5% PAGE COVERAGE – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
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“My new cartridge prints 6800 pages at 5% page coverage“-It sounds like you are on cloud nine after getting an awesome deal but suddenly your printer is showing up with low on ink messages. It is really frustrating when your cartridge doesn’t last as long as stated by the manufacturer. Every cartridge manufacturer measures the number of printed pages based on 5% page coverage. But what does that really mean? How is this actually calculated and what are the factors that actually affect the performance? Before understanding page coverage, we need to understand what page yield is and why the cartridge doesn’t print the amount of pages it says it should print!
What is page yield and How it is measured?
Page yield is how many pages can be printed with a single cartridge; and is based on certain criteria’s defined by the International Organization for standardization (ISO) to make it easy for the customer to compare different products in the open market. In 2004, the ISO collaborated with the International Electrotechnical commission (IEC) and published yield standards for Monochrome Toner Cartridges (ISO/IEC 19752), Color Inkjet Cartridges (ISO/IEC 24711) and Color Toner Cartridges (ISO/IEC 19798).
When you are ready to purchase a new cartridge you should look at the page yield, which shows how many pages this cartridge is estimated to print. After learning about the page yield you will probably be scratching your head thinking what is 5% coverage?
This actually means that only 5% of the page will be covered in ink or toner. This 5 percent coverage is the basic coverage with no bold letters, images, shading or graphics. You now have an answer to what 5% coverage is, but you must be thinking, what does 5% coverage look like? When you print pages from your printer there are many different parameters used to calculate the exact page yield and page coverage.
Let’s say for example, you and your friend are using the same printer and cartridge, which have a page yield of 3000 pages. But the printing results for both are totally different.
The two friends are using the same printer and cartridge but one of them is out ink so fast because he is printing a lot of documents in color on a daily basis or printing lots of blocks of shading, in comparison to his friend who is only printing black and white documents daily. So, as you might expect a print out with 5% coverage will have a lot of fewer colors or shaded areas and if you are thinking of printing photographs (typically between 70 and 80 percent coverage) then be ready to use a lot of ink or toner.
How is ISO page yield determined?
The printer manufacturer does thorough testing by running test pages created by the ISO (either for monochrome toner or color inkjet/toner cartridge) under a specific environment and conditions using cartridges purchased on the open market.
ISO Page Yield vs. Actual Page Yield
- Page coverage : It is one of the major factors in calculating the cartridge yield and varies with the quantity of ink used by the print which is directly related to the quantity and size of the content you are printing. In general color printing involves higher average page coverage than black and white printing. It also depends upon the type of font used and the font size. Making font size smaller between 8 to 12 and using calibri gave you higher 5% coverage than other fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Comic Sans . A customer who generally prints more documents containing will yield more pages pr cartridge than a customer who prints more images and graphics. The figure below shows some sample documents and their varying page coverage s.
- Size of the Job : Efficiency of the printer is increased when multiple pages are printed in one go instead of printing the same number of pages with breaks in between.
- Temperature conditions : Cartridge yield is highly effected by the temperature and humidity in the environment. A very hot and humid climate makes the toner behave in a clumpy manner, and therefore more toner is consumed. Very high levels of humidity also cause wrinkling of the pages, so for best results make sure the humidity level is at 50% and temperature should be around 22C (71F). These small changes help in maintaining very efficient results.
- Calibration : To get better print quality some printers have a calibration procedure. Each time these calibration cycles occur they use a small amount of toner. The calibration frequency is increased when frequently devices are changed or power on and off. Printer calibration is the process of making the printed image match the image shown on the computer screen.
- Duplex Printing : Printing on both sides of the page helps to improve page yield for inkjet printers because the paper is already humid from first print which helps absorption on the second page and thus reducing the quantity of ink.
Hopefully this article has made things a little clearer. So before making any cartridge purchase decisions swift through the article quickly.
*NOTE: Suppliesoutlet.com doesn’t own any of the images used in the article.