7 pages: Average size of a print job in my dept.

13%: Amount of printed pages wasted by banner pages: 13% (1 out of 8 pages is usually thrown away recycled).

1,050,000 pages: Average yearly print volume in my dept (yes, over a million)

$932: Money wasted on paper to print banner pages each year.  That’s just the paper cost, and does not include toner, printer maintenance, etc.

Call them what you want: banner pages, separator pages, job sheet, etc.  These things are a waste of money.  I’m looking for solutions to eliminate banner pages from my department.  So far, I’ve found two options.

The on-printer option

The Lexmark TS6545dn is relatively cheap ($1500), fast (55ppm), and has a function called “Reserve Print” that allows printouts to be held on the printers hard drive until they are printed via the printer’s LCD interface.

The HP P4515n is also relatively cheap (~$1500), fast (62ppm), and has “Job Storage Features”, which include “Personal Jobs”.  This feature is a bit nicer in that it automatically uses the username (you don’t have to set it in the driver config like the Lexmark), and automatically deletes the job after it prints.  The HP is a bit worse in that there are 3-4 more steps necessary to retrieve printouts.  A pin (4-digit code) is still necessary, but can be set to a default like “0000”, which is acceptable for my uses.  HP’s Web Jetadmin may be able to work around the quirks (allowing multiple copies at the printer).  If this is true, HP will be the clear winner.  I’ll updated this post as more details become available.

Pros

  1. Free!  The feature is built in to the printer and requires minimal additional hardware (an internal hard drive is recommended for print job storage).
  2. Easy to use!  Walk up to the printer, find your username, find the job you want to print and press go.

Cons

  1. At the printer, you can print multiple copies of your document, even if you just sent 1 copy to the printer.  I support student printing and need a way to account for who prints what and how much.  This detraction is present on both Lexmark and HP printers.
  2. Lexmark only: Print job is not automatically deleted after you print it.  This may not be a “con” in your case, but it is in mine.

The add-on option

HP, CZ, and others have release station software.  This runs on a computer near the printer and is used to release print jobs from the queue on an as-needed basis.  The best implementation I’ve seen uses an all-in-one touch screen computer hung on the wall above the printer.  Of course that can get expensive.

Pros

  1. Use it with any printer since it isn’t printer specific.
  2. Easy to use.  Touch the print job you want and press release.
  3. Use to load-balance printers.  Choose which printer you want to release your job to (ex: if there are 3 printers in the same room)

Cons

  1. Expensive.  The touch screen all-in-one PC, plus related software licenses quickly tops $1000.

Do you have/use an option I don’t know about?  Please share your knowledge by leaving a comment below.!

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