Feb (02-06) - Hot spares
February, 2006 Editorial
As mentioned in previous columns, I have to report that there are many machine types and models which are much "rarer" than we have seen over the past few years. See below.
The service conundrum: How should understaffed and overworked IT departments optimize their maintenance dollar? No one would want to publicly announce this, but it seems that many firms have more money than time. It's oh so much easier to pickup the phone and call in a service technician than it is to diagnose or self maintain. Most fixes on printing equipment are fairly simple. The more complicated solutions often include maintenance kits which aren't covered under maintenance anyway. Here's what I recommend:
Hot spares with depot repair. The math is straightforward. If the machines are of the desktop variety, it is often far far cheaper to send in replacement printers for those that may fail and have the failed units sent back for repair than it is to buy service agreements for the installed base. Its similar to the insurance sales pitch. If you assume a worst case scenario of double the failure rate you expect, it is quite often way less expensive to have a spares/depot program in place:
- No down time. Only the time it takes to put the newer printer in place and the failed unit back in the box and slap a label on it.
- Follow the learning curve. It will become more easier to diagnose and repair at your leisure if you are so inclined, without leaving your users hanging
- Some users are just plain lazy and will participate in the quick fix if it avoids anything more than a phone call.
- You still own the failed units and its is almost never a total loss.
- Any money invested in replacement spares remains an asset. Dollars that go to maintenance companies are lost when the contract expires leaving you with nothing to show for it
- It easy. No one has to spend time on the phone describing the problem in great depth. We can find out the issues once we get it back on the bench.
This is from IBM, you may find it useful:
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I-O Corporation recently announced a PC based application to act as a sophisticated print server, supporting AFP/IPDS printing to PCL based printers. It supports up to 128 devices. Its called the Adaptio. There are other packages in this realm, but I-O has excellent products and experienced support staff.
Traffic trends over the past two years show an anemic "recovery" since 2004. Unemployment is low, but as more and more jobs disappear in the manufacturing sector, the demand for capital goods remains weak.
Did you know that the cost to maintain an IBM 4247-003 is nearly a third of its cost? Does that mean that IBM expects 100% failure in three years? Why is a 4230 family so much less expensive to maintain? Because the 4230 is a better machine. Want to convert all those twinax and coax printers to ethernet? Check out the ACC line.
I was just informed that the cost of foam-in-place chemicals and films is going up, again. Every time we re-order its over $1000. It beats trying to store foam inserts, but we will have to study this and perhaps do some tinkering to see if we can reduce the amount of foam that goes in each carton without sacrificing durability. We have been using a quite dense foam mixture for at least 15 years. But now that equipment has generally gotten lighter (more plastic, less metal) a less dense recipe may work as well. We will not use foam peanuts (popcorn?), or just plain bubble wrap. The ez-packs are just too difficult to repack, and they can be dislodged during freight.
Here's the latest hots and nots:
IBM 4000-is1/is2 with
IBM 4000-id3/id4 with CCD MICR-- EXCELLENT! ( It has the Customer Changeable MICR features, so you can go back and forth between MICR and non-MICR jobs. )
IBM 2074-002's sitting NOW!
IBM InfoPrint 1352n and 1352 (4528-n01, 4528-001) over 80 pieces sitting NEW IN BOX.
IBM 4230-102's, and 4230-4i3's. This is an excellent opportunity while they are available at these low prices. These can accommodate IPDS ETHERNET!!!
IBM InfoPrint 1228 (4928-001) - 28ppm in color! NEW in box, only two left.
Lexmark Optra E 4026-070 cute 8ppm desktop laser, by the piece or pallet
Lexmark Optra S1250, S1255, S1625, S1855’s – sitting (most with ethernet). Over 300
Lexmark Optra S2450, and S2455 -- 24ppm laser
Lexmark Optra Se3455 - 34 pages per minute and cheap-to-keep (2)
Lexmark Optra T610 -- units in stock now.
Lexmark T614's -- units in stock now.
Lexmark T522's - over 200 pieces in stock now.
Lexmark T620n's - 20+ in stock now.
Lexmark T630's -- over 100 units in stock now.Lexmark Optra W810 - 35ppm and 11x17 in a very solid printer, less than 10
Lexmark 4227plus- fast ASCII impact printer
IBM 4400-004 - Like new condition with ethernet and wireless ethernet
Multifunction upgrades 4036-301, 4036-305 for IBM and Lexmark machines
More trays and drawers for above lasers than I care to admit....
IBM 1100 (45xx series) series (1116, 1120, 1125, 1130, 1140, 1145) (we have a few)
Lexmark Optra T622
Lexmark Optra T520
Lexmark Optra T616
Lexmark Optra T622
Lexmark T63x family
IBM 1312, 1332
IBM 4224-1e3 twinax