Heat free print technology is the latest ecological advancement in the printing world, and something that schools can greatly benefit from.
In this blog, I guide you through this transition by highlighting the numerous benefits, including lower energy consumption, reduced maintenance costs, and enhanced sustainability, before looking at the key things you need to consider before switching.
Read on to explore the ins and outs of heat-free printing and how it can help your school!
What are the key benefits of heat free school print technology?
Printing in schools is often done with laser printers that use heat and fuse toner to a page; heat-free printers and copiers have several advantages over conventional high-temperature printing methods:
Energy efficiency: Heat free print technology consumes 87% (Rochester Institute of Technology research) less energy due to it requiring a much lower fusing temperature. This reduced energy consumption can lead to cost savings and a smaller carbon footprint.
Faster warm-up times: Heat free printers have a faster warm-up time since they don't need to reach as high a temperature before they can start printing. This improves the overall efficiency and productivity of the printing process, but most importantly it gets the job done faster. Printing starts within 6 seconds, and EcoPrinter models can print 100 pages per minute. That’s going to slash the daily copier queue for your school!
Longer-lasting equipment: Since heat free print technology puts less thermal stress on the components of the printer, the equipment tends to have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance. Fewer days where the school printer is out of action can only be a good thing.
Enhanced compatibility with printing materials: Some specialty papers and media can be sensitive to high temperatures. Heat free printing reduces the risk of damage to these materials, allowing for greater versatility in the types of printing material that can be used. With the price of printer paper having risen this last year, this could give you more options for paper you can now order.
How does heat free school printing work?
Heat free printing technology doesn't require heat to transfer ink onto paper, unlike laser printing that uses heat to fuse toner to the paper. There are 2 different methods to deposit ink onto the paper, and their functioning can be divided into two main types: thermal inkjet and piezoelectric inkjet.
Thermal inkjet: The ink is heated within the print head's tiny chambers, causing it to vaporise and form a bubble. The pressure from the expanding bubble forces a droplet of ink onto the paper. Once the bubble collapses, the chamber refills with more ink, and the process repeats. Despite the name "thermal inkjet," this technology doesn't require external heat to warm up the printer or maintain its temperature, making it more energy-efficient than laser printing.
Piezoelectric inkjet: Uses piezoelectric crystals in the print head instead of heat. When an electric charge is applied to these crystals, they change shape, creating pressure that forces ink droplets onto the paper. Since there's no heat involved in this process, it's considered a heat-free printing technology.
At EcoPrinters, we offer both and can make a recommendation based on your schools specific needs.
What should I consider when looking at changing to heat free printers?
When considering a switch from traditional school laser copiers to heat-free technology, it's essential to evaluate various factors to ensure the transition meets your needs and expectations. Here are some key aspects to consider:
Cost: Assess the total cost of ownership, including the initial purchase price, ongoing maintenance costs, and consumables like ink and paper. Heat-free technology may offer savings in energy consumption and maintenance, but ensure these savings offset any potential differences in upfront costs or consumable expenses that your print supplier is quoting.
Print quality and speed: Compare the print quality and speed of the heat-free printers with the school's existing laser copiers. Ensure they meet the necessary quality and speed requirements for your school's needs.
Compatibility with existing systems: Ensure that the new heat-free printers are compatible with the school's existing computer systems, software, and network infrastructure. This may include checking driver availability, integration with document management systems, and compatibility with various operating systems. Your print supplier should be able to talk you through each of these in detail.
Environmental impact: Assess the environmental benefits of switching to heat-free technology, such as reduced energy consumption, lower CO2 emissions, and less waste generation. This can help demonstrate the school's commitment to sustainability and serve as an educational opportunity for students.
Training and support: Consider the potential need for staff training to familiarise them with the new printers and their operation. Additionally, evaluate the support and warranty options offered by the print supplier to ensure the school receives adequate assistance in case of any issues.
Capacity and scalability: Ensure that the new heat-free printers can handle the school's printing volume and offer the option to scale up or down as needed. This may include assessing the printers' duty cycle, paper handling capabilities, and whether they can accommodate multiple users.
Specialty media and features: If the school requires printing on specialty media or needs specific features, such as double-sided printing, ensure that the heat-free printers can accommodate these requirements.
By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision about switching to heat-free print technology and ensure a smooth transition that meets your needs and sustainability goals.
Overall, heat free print technology provides a more environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to traditional high-temperature school copiers. It can help reduce energy consumption, improve print quality, and extend the life of the equipment, while at the same time help you fulfil your school’s sustainability goals.
If you'd like to know more about Eco Printers range of heat-free printers, get in touch via email or the chat in the bottom right corner. We're trusted by more than 110 schools, helping them to save money and improve their green credentials.
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) titled "Energy and Environmental Profile Comparison of Inkjet and Laser Printers