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Total cost of ownership, or TCO, calculates both visible and non-visible or “hidden” costs before purchasing a CIJ ink jet printer. TCO is like an iceberg; the total cost of using the printer is not evident at the time of purchase, because you only see the portion of it which is above the surface. The top of the iceberg represents visible costs, such as the initial purchase price and the cost of a supply item. Significant hidden costs (often 2 -3 times the purchase price of the printer over time) are below the surface and represents more than the actual printer cost. You cannot see them without doing TCO “due diligence” before you buy. They identify the real cost of a printer during its lifetime and the real cost of operating it annually and over its lifetime.

An attractive CIJ printer price or deal up front, can turn into an unacceptable cost of purchase over time. Calculating what the TCO of a continuous ink jet printer (CIJ) will be annually and over its 7-year average life span can result in the purchase of a different model, because the original one can’t be cost justified. Management who is asked to approve a purchase would not have approved it if they knew in advance of its high operating costs, when there was another good printer with a low/modest TCO.  It’s really important and of significant value to calculate and uncover that total cost of ownership and how it impacts its cost of operation over its lifetime.

TCO’s are not difficult to calculate once you obtained the right information. It will only take 30 minutes when you know the answers to these important questions of hidden costs. Using TCO as your cost metric, instead of the initial purchase price, can result in enormous saving and cost avoidance for your corporation. If you need to purchase several printers up front or over time, it can result in saving your company literally thousands of dollars of avoidable operating costs.

TCO hidden costs over time include scheduled module replacement (major cost), printhead replacement (major cost), the solvent/make-up usage per operating hour (major cost) not just the cost per ml,  line downtime for any reason, and unnecessary service agreements, which all add up to significant cost over time. Suddenly, the CIJ printer you thought was a bargain or the one you planned to purchase isn’t the bargain or value you thought it was. TCO evaluations let you make informed, non-emotional decisions because those decisions are based upon facts, not speculations or loose verbal cost estimates given to you about a specific printer.

Continuous Ink Jet printer TCO hidden costs are explained in detail in a white paper below.  Find out the key questions you should ask every supplier before you purchase a continuous inkjet printer. Take those answers and calculate the total cost of ownership, annually, and over a 7-year period, when making a CIJ printer purchase decision. You will be quite surprised at how substantial those hidden costs amount to, and how they will influence your decision!

Provide top management with your quotes and TCO analysis for them to evaluate for purchase approval.