What is STMC?

The STMC logo is well recognized as the printer cartridge industry’s seal of approval.

STMC stands for the Standardized Test Methods Committee. This global committee was formed back in the 1990s to find and promote standardized test methods for the printer cartridge industry. The test methods are used to evaluate printer cartridge performance. Standardized test methods make it possible to evaluate a cartridge anywhere and come up with the same test results no matter who tests it. Standardized tests do not specify how a cartridge must perform; they only measure it.

Why is STMC important?

Before STMC was formed, purchasers had only one way to compare cartridges: price. Consumers and business purchasers alike discovered that the least expensive cartridge was actually not the best value, as some didn’t print well, or printed far fewer pages or didn’t print at all.

STMC certification gave purchasing agents the means to become discerning cartridge purchasers. The tests measure the cartridges chief three performance characteristics: Page yield, image density and background (wasted toner in the white space.) STMC tests also allow the cartridge producers themselves the opportunity to check – and improve – their cartridges’ performance.

STMC was embraced immediately and its popularity spread throughout the globe, as STMC certification has been granted to companies in more than 60 countries.

There are state contracts that will only be awarded to STMC certified companies. There are even private contracts that will only be awarded to STMC certified companies. The bottom line is that every printer cartridge manufacturer is encouraged to become certified to make our industry h2er and more quality and value conscious.

How do we acquire STMC certification?

Contact a certified trainer to set up the training. Click here for list. The trainers are volunteers and do not charge for training. However, some trainers may ask to have their expenses reimbursed.

Be equipped. Before the trainer arrives, acquire the test methods and read them, and make sure that you have the necessary training equipment. Test methods and list of equipment can be viewed here.

Get certified. After your trainer has showed you the proper use of the equipment and test methods, he will notify the STMC committee auditors that your company has been trained and owns the correct testing equipment. He will also instruct you to undertake a test on your own and send the results to the STMC. Those test results will be evaluated by an auditor. Upon approval of all of these items, the International Imaging Technology Council will issue a certificate to your company that it is proficient in the use of the test methods.

Receive STMC logo. You will also be licensed to use a logo for your marketing and packaging materials that is uniquely identified as yours with a registration number. You must submit in writing that you agree to use the test methods routinely and that you agree to use the logo properly.

Fees:

  • Initial certification is $1,000.00
  • Recertification (every 2 years) is $1,000.00

STMC Logo is included.

How do we renew?

Renewing your STMC certification is similar to the initial training. Simply send in a recent test report to STMC Coordinator Katie Bandle, (katie@i-itc.org) for review by an auditor. (If you feel that your testing employees need a refresher, please contact a trainer for retraining.) If your test report demonstrates that you are still adept at using the test methods, and you pay the renewal fees, you will be approved for recertification.

Can we have a logo with no expiration date?

Like most certification programs, you must demonstrate proficiency in the use of the test methods to retain it. The use of the two-year certification period keeps all involved honest, and helps guard against fraudulent logo abuse. Using a logo with no date is a violation of your licensing agreement for that logo.

Can we change the color?

No, all logos need to be in the uniform black and white template. Using a logo in an alternate color is a violation of your licensing agreement for that logo.

Can we have one with no number?

The logo number is what identifies your company in the Int’l ITC’s internal records. While we keep these numbers confidential, they help us identify companies who may be struggling with quality issues, or worse, may be fraudulently using your number! Using a logo without this four-digit number is also a violation of your licensing agreement for that logo.

Can we use a vendor’s or a manufacturer’s logo?

Yes! If you are a reseller buying finished cartridges from a STMC certified company, you may use its logo on your packaging.

Why shouldn’t we send our certificate electronically?

We encourage members to share their logo on packaging, websites and marketing materials. However, the STMC certificate should be carefully guarded, as it is easy to copy and manipulate by counterfeiters and others with fraudulent intent. To maintain the integrity of these certificates, the Committee has a firm policy to send only one hard-copy original certificate to a company. We ask our certified companies to also abide by this policy.

What should we do if we find someone misusing a STMC logo?

Contact us immediately! The more information you can provide, us the better, such as the logo number in question, the company displaying the logo, and where you saw the logo (e.g. a website, tradeshow, business card, or email signature.) The Int’l ITC has opened hundreds of cases on logo misuse and has sent out an equal number of cease-and-desist letters. We have—and will—take action if our logo is being misused.