How to Know if MFPs Need to Be Repaired or Replaced

Printers, whether specialized devices of MFPs represent a sizeable investment for any company. As a result, it may be tempting to hold onto one as long as possible. That’s not always a bad strategy. However, like any machine, printers do eventually wear out – even with impeccable service, a printer will eventually reach the end of its natural life.

MFPs are built to last, and it can be difficult to identify when a device should be repaired or replaced. A good service technician will be able to tell the difference, but companies should be aware of the state of their printers as well. Read on to learn about why an MFP which lasts for a long time can be a problem, and how to tell when a device needs to be repaired or when it’s time to replace it entirely.

The Perils of MFPs That Are Built to Last

Today’s MFPs are designed to be the workhorse of the modern office. Reliable, robust, and efficient; they marry multiple functionalities under the roof of a single machine. This simplification of the print environment has made them a staple of today’s work environment. For most companies, they’re exactly what is needed to keep productivity streamlined. Plus, with proper maintenance, they’re able to stay running for a very long time.

However, the average printer lifespan is between four and five years depending on how extreme the print environment is. That’s plenty of time for a business to grow and develop printing needs beyond what the device is capable of delivering. Likewise, five years represents a tremendous amount of time in the rapidly developing office technology industry. It can make it difficult to find replacement parts or the right consumables such as cartridges or paper weights. It can also cause a company to miss out on innovations which transform office processes available in later models.

The peril of a device built to last is that it can become outdated long before a mechanical failure. Companies seeking to make their printer a long-term investment must consider the risks such a move entails.

When to Repair vs. When to Replace

The Sharp Awarding Winning MFPs are reliable and have a longer life span that most. For example, the Sharp AR-M550N was introduced 14 years ago and is still going strong with updated Sharp Printer Drivers.  Because of well-built models like the AR-M550N, it might be difficult to identify when a machine needs to be repaired, or when it needs to be replaced altogether. An authorized service technician will be able to tell the difference, but there are a few telltale signs when either option is more appropriate.

When to Repair an MFP

For most offices and machines, repairing the printer is the easiest and more cost-effective solution. Consider repairing an MFP when:

  • A specific, identifiable part is worn out, but the rest of the machine is fine.
  • Print quality has decreased, especially if the printer outputs blurry images or spots on the pages.
  • The manufacturer is still selling the model, or the manufacturer still sells the spare parts.
  • Patches for the printer software or firmware are still being released.

It’s completely normal for a printer to need maintenance. Like a car, routine maintenance and hardware repairs help prolong the life of a printer. It’s easy to prevent minor problems from causing more serious problems down the road.

When to Replace an MFP

Eventually, a MFP will need to be replaced altogether. However, with MFP’s lasting longer and longer, the moment when that occurs might not necessarily be the end of its mechanical life. Instead, there exist other clues to consider that a printer is no longer a great fit for an office. These include:

  • It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find spare parts or the correct consumables because the manufacturer stopped making them.
  • The office is outsourcing more and more print jobs because the internal printers can’t handle them.
  • The printer software is not compatible with the newer office computers.
  • The printer is restraining business processes which need to leverage more powerful technology.

MFPs are designed to be an integral part of the workflow. When they are no longer contributing to the overall productivity of an office, then it’s time to upgrade the print environment with a new device altogether.

Get the Best Printer for an Office Today

MFPs represent one of the most ingenious inventions in the office technology world. By combining multiple functions into one device, it’s much easier to improve productivity and keep employees focused on their work. Sharp series MFPs are among some of the most robust, reliable, and long-lasting devices on the market. They’re a solid choice for companies seeking to make the most out of their investment.

Smile helps companies achieve optimal productivity by selecting the right devices. Contact us today to explore your options.