How to know when it’s time for a new large format printer

Though large format printers are built to be workhorses—and indeed, their average lifespan exceeds that of standard inkjet printers—they’re not quite immune to the ravages of time. No matter how well you maintain your organization’s large format printer, once it reaches its sixth, seventh or eighth year, you’ll likely start to see a decline in performance and an uptick in potentially costly service calls.

Here’s why age is more than just a number when it comes to large format printers, and why it may be time to consider replacing yours:

Hardware hassles

Your printer is useless if it’s not connected to a computer or other device that feeds it information to print. Often, those devices are upgraded more frequently than the printer itself, which can lead to connectivity challenges. If your large format printer is incompatible with a new operating system, it can lead to frustrating output errors, computer crashes, and productivity delays that increase the “hidden” costs of continuing to use the printer.

You need more speed

The purpose of business technology is to make your work faster and easier. And maybe your older-model printer still does that—when compared to drawing a poster by hand. Many of today’s top-quality LFPs, however, not only output more pages per minute, but they also come with an array of features that help alleviate even the most seemingly minor pain points in the printing process. These features could include everything from quicker start-up times to the ability to change out inks without having to stop your print job.

You have other needs, too

Efficiency may be even more paramount if your business has grown. A larger team with expanded large format printing needs is likely to take a toll on older machines. A newer, faster LFP means more of your employees can print more quickly—and they can do it even when off-site, thanks to mobile- and cloud-printing solutions. A newer device is also likely to produce much higher-quality prints and colour output, the better to please clients whose expectations have definitely grown these past few years.

The consumables conundrum

Like death and taxes, it’s also a certainty that as any piece of technology ages, it becomes ever more difficult to find the parts and accessories that are vital to its operation. With printers, that means ink/toner cartridges and print heads, as well as any other parts that may be subject to wear and tear. Naturally, it’s far easier (and potentially less expensive) to find the consumables you need for devices of a more recent vintage.