Whether it’s a standalone multi-function copier, a laser printer/copier combination, or a simple scanner with a copying feature, modern copier technology represents some impressive engineering and copying capabilities.
The sophisticated copier equipment available today can do a lot. But, regardless of how well a copier is made, it’s just a matter of time before it just doesn’t make sense to have it anymore. Obsolescence can contribute to this, as well as improvements made by competitive copiers.
And, of course, there’s the inevitable malfunction. Even the best copier is going to require repair or servicing eventually.
Granting all of this, it makes sense to ask the question, “How long should a copier last?”. At Fisher’s Technology, we’ve been working with the latest and greatest in office technology since 1936, so we’ve seen the best (and the worst) that commercial copiers have to offer. In this blog post, we’re going to be giving you a few things to think about when it comes to modern copier life expectancy.
Copier Return on Investment
Before we look at the numerous variables that contribute to the lifespan of the average copier, let’s look at the reasons why copiers are invested into so heavily—even in today’s ‘paperless’ world.
Paper Still Rules the Workplace
With as much as the internet and mobile devices have worked together to make data more securely available for more people, there is still the base-level need for paper-based conveyance of information.
Office memos, sales presentations, contracts, training documents, and physical records are still daily requirements for many businesses, meaning the copier of today is working just as hard as it ever has, if not harder.
Granting this, there is no foreseeable end to the need for copiers—especially those that can do more than just copy.
Profitability Hinges on Communication
Without copiers, many business processes will simply grind to a halt. Copier downtime is a significant obstruction to the pace of meetings, presentations, and overall business productivity, which is why copier manufacturers invest so much time, money, and energy on research and development aimed at making their copiers last as long as possible.
What Makes a Copier “Grow Old”?
There are two main criteria that will definitively answer the question, “Is this copier too old?”. They are:
- How much the copier has been used. Most copier manufacturers have a baseline for how many hours their machines can be expected to operate effectively throughout the course of their lifespan. Even the copier manufacturers know that nothing lasts forever. A copier that has seen minimal use over a two-year period is going to be in much better shape and have a lot more ‘life’ left than a copier that ran nearly constantly, from 9-5 every weekday, in the same time period.
- Whether it is meeting ongoing copy and print demand. As businesses grow and scale, their needs for copying and printing are going to naturally change. So, a mid-range copier may not be adequate for a company that has been experiencing significant growth. Even a fairly new copier can be considered ‘behind the times’ if it can’t perform against the demanding needs of the company or individual who owns or leases it.
When we look at these two criteria for any given copier, we’re able to determine with some degree of certainty whether or not it’s time has come, or if it has a few more years of use.
In taking into account all of the variables that impact commercial copier lifespans, a good average to use when estimating the performance life of a modern copier is five years. That is to say, with moderate use and with reasonable printing demands, most copiers can be expected to perform well for five years.
This estimate increases, however, when we look at the class of higher-range copiers and multifunction printers that are more efficient than their mid- or lower-tier counterparts. Some premium copiers can be expected to still be office productivity workhorses as much as ten years after their date of manufacture. This is because they’re able to complete more copying and printing tasks faster, without as much wear-and-tear on precision components.
Another key factor that will contribute to longer copier lifespans is who services it. Copier technicians that use the right replacement parts, maintenance best practices, and specialized tools are going to do more to keep the copier running smoothly.
Fisher’s Technology Knows Copiers
Are you thinking that the time might be right to upgrade your copier? Or, are you thinking about ways to integrate a printing management system within your organization?
The office productivity professionals at Fisher’s Technology stand ready to answer your questions related to all things copiers, printers, and document management.
Contact us today, and give us your toughest copier questions!