Sunday, November 7, 2010

Xerox ColorQube 8570 "What's the Total Cost of Operation?"

I really enjoy writing the "What's the Total Cost of Operation?" for printers.  What amazes me most is the recommended monthly volumes and the monthly duty cycle claims from the manufacturers. 

Alright, before we move forward let's get the monthly duty cycle thingy out of the way.  All manufacturers will advertise a Monthly Duty Cycle, most when reading this will not interpret this correctly, some may even think that a Monthly Duty Cycle of 85,000 pages per month means that this printer can and will print 85,000 pages each and every month!  That statement is not correct and as far as I'm concerned Manufacturers should get out of the habit of reporting a Monthly Duty Cycle.  What is actually meant is that the printer may be able to achieve that volume per month on occasions.

But, let me give you a small scenario with the occasional duty cycle of 85,000 pages per month on the Xerox ColorQube 8570DN.  First, the printer is rated at a speed of up to 40 pages per minute in color.  In a recent report from PC Advisor they stated the the speed for a full page 22mb full page color photo exited at 2.1 ppm (pages per minute).  Let's use this scenario with a print speed of 2.1 pages per minute.  In one hour we would have 126 pages printed.  Now we'll take 85,000 pages and divide by the hourly speed of 126 pages. It would take roughly 674 hours to reach the 85,000 page mark. Considering there is 160 work hours per month, it would take 4.2 months to run the 85,000 pages. :(

Remember we're having fun with this, different files will produce different print speeds.  One of the keywords in how manufacturers rate print speeds is the word "upto", in the case of the Xerox ColorQube it's "upto" 40 pages per minute. Now, if the printer was capable of 40 pages per minute in color, it would take 35.4 hours to run the 85,000 pages and that's not counting the time to replace the paper. The ColorQube has a 525 sheet paper tray, thus you'd need to fill the paper tray almost 162 times! 

To be fair, the ColorQubes recommended monthly volume is 8,000 pages per month per Xerox web page. Additional items that I find annoying is that there is no clarification if the 8,000 recommended or the 85,000 monthly duty cycle is a combination of monochrome (black) and color. I would assume by reading the brochure that I could run all color through the unit. Well, I went and read the brochure and it's amazing that there is no recommended monthly volume on the brochure, however what's mentioned twice is the Monthly Duty Cycle of 85,000 pages! :(

To the cost per page:

The 8,000 color pages per month based on a 20% coverage of the document means the consumable (solid ink and solid ink maintenance kit) cost per page will be .1230 cents for color and .0208 for monochrome (black). Your monthly cost for consumables not including parts or service for color will cost you a whopping $984.00 per month. Over the course of 60 months, you'll spend an estimated $59,040!!!!

Well, what happens when if my documents average 40% coverage? 

The 8,000 color pages per month based on a 40% coverage of the document means the consumable (solid ink and solid ink maintenance kit) cost per page will be .2427 cents for color and .0208 for monochrome (black). Your monthly cost for consumables not including parts or service for color will cost you a whopping $1,941.60 per month. Over the course of 60 months, you'll spend an estimated $116,496!

Take a peak here for some page coverage examples.

End result is if you are need of reproducing 8,000 color pages per month, there are many alternatives that will save thousands of dollars such as a true Color Multifunctional Copier/Printer. These types of machines can have a color cost per page of under .10 cents per page which includes all consumables, on-site maintenance, labor and parts!  You can take the extra money that you saved by reading this and send me the difference! :)  If you are interested in a Color Multifunctional Copier/Printer check out our other site and we'll get you hooked up with a Print4Pay Hotel Cost per Page expert that would be more than happy to prepare a cost savings scenario for you!

-=Good Selling=-


Greg Walters said...

Good one Art!

Duty cycles I think are derived in the marketing departments - not the real world...

Nice Job.

Art Post said...


Thanx for the kudos! Not the real world is right! Tehy all need to do a better job of educating the consumer......well if they did there would be no place for us! Right?


Anonymous said...

0.123 CENTS per page x 8000=$9.84 per month. That's a bit more reasonable.

Art Post said...


Where did you learn your math?? :) .12 is twelve cents.
.12 times 8,000 = $960.

.012 is what equals $9.60

The cost per page for color for this device with the consumables is .12 or twelve cents per page.

Thans for the comment!


Philip John said...


8000 pages on an MFP at 10 cents per page is still $ 800.00 per month. Plus add the lease cost of approx $ 300 to $ 500 per month

One thing that crashes your projection is that Xerox offers a cost per page on the ColorQube 8570 & 8870. For 100% coverage (unlimited coverage) the cost varies from 5 cents per page to 9 cents per page (after accounting for the base monthly service cost). That includes unlimited toner, maintenance & on-site support. Excludes paper - exactly the same as copier maintenance contracts.

So would you rather spend $ 1000.00 - $ 2500.00 on a Xerox printer and get 9 cents per page or spend $ 10000 on an MFP and get 10 cents per page?


Anonymous said...

As a tech I've always been surprised on how much a printer/copier can manage to produce.

In Norway it is typical that the customers buy a machine that is WAY to big for their need.
It's like driving in a city, delivering pizza with a large truck.
I see offices that prints 5000 pages a year with a Ricoh MPC2800 with all options on it.
They might just as well have managed with a small inkjet printer in the Pro series from Lexmark. They are dirt cheap and very cheap to use also.
I've been working as a tech for 12 years now - and I have seen maybe 3-4 machines that has not been up to the task.
I've seen a business run about 200 -250 000 pages a year on a small Ricoh SPC232SF. They change toner every 6000 pages. We told them it was cheaper to lease a bigger machine but they are very happy with what they got.
It has worked well - but we're there quite often to change fuser/transfer belt/paper feed parts.
I've seen a Ricoh MP2060 make 350 000 pages a month for almost 3 years now. They should clearly have chosen a bigger model. I performed a PM every month. But they were happy. This was a print center in a large company, working the machine 24/7 more or less. But they gave the machine about 8 hours a day with no production. 4 two hour breaks. That did the job.
But in the end we had to change a lot of extra parts like clutches, buchings, toner coils and stuff like that. But it worked surprisingly well.
We had a company with over 20 workers using a tiny Brother MFC. That machine died after 6-7 month. They had changed lasers, fusers and finally realised it was MUCH cheaper to buy a bigger machine.
We also had a company that didn't want to replace some old Ricoh 1060s that made about a million impressions a month (each). They bought a lot of tiny Samsung laser printers for about 100 dollars each. Some of them "died" after printing 2-4000 pages in a day. After a few weeks, they bought some OK, but fairly small HPs running 100 000 prints a month each. They manage so far. They have reached 600K now.

If you know how many prints you would like to make. Check the cost per page for several models. Remember to count all parts if it is a printer (laser, toner, transfer belt, fuser, paper feed and so on).
You can actually print close to the numbers the manufacturer claim - if you run the printer lets say 17 hours a day. .. so buy extra paper trays :-)
We've seen this in some copy shops or a print center in a large company. They use the print server to direct jobs to the right machine, and they also start print jobs at night. The machine gets a few breaks, and are less likely to get drum fatigue.
If you produce at these numbers, the machine will NOT last for 5 years. The mechanical parts in the machine will have to be replaced. It can be done - but expect to wait days for parts and hours of extra service costs when the machine have reached the maximum number of pages it is designed to produce.

But the most important thing is how often does the machine require service. If the tech has to be there once a week to do a PM, it is not big enough for the job. But it may still be be able to handle the volume. But small paper trays, small toner bottles, small cartridges and so on makes it more wice to choose a model that has longer service intervals. If you change the toner every day, and the cartridge every second or third day.. you know you have to buy a bigger model.
It WILL always break down, or run out of toner when there is a deadline. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

We've had that Xerox model for a few month now.
We use it to print basic office stuff, more or less.
We print about 35000 pages a month, with about 4% coverage.
The machine works fine for us. Our office is staffed 24/7 - so the machine is "always" in use.
We think the machine is easy to use. More then quick enough and the quality is good.
We use a lot of lousy recycled paper. So far it has worked well.
We've reached about 150 000 pages now. There is no indication that the machine can't handle the workload so far.
With out coverage the price pr page is good. We print color on 25% of all pages.