1. Scope

1.1 This guide is intended for use as a means to evaluate all-in-one toner printer cartridges. All-in-one cartridges contain a toner developer section and the OPC (organophotoconductor) section among other components. All-in-one cartridges are self-contained parts of printers that contain toner.

1.2 This guide provides a basis for comparing all-in-one printer cartridges such as new OEM cartridges and remanufactured cartridges for use in contract purchasing.

1.3 This guide is not intended to be all inclusive of the quality attributes of all-in-one printer cartridges. The purpose of this standard practice is to make simple, but useful, evaluations that can be used to determine basic print quality, packaging integrity, and yield for cost-per-page comparisons.

1.4 The package integrity portion of this practice is applied to all-in-one cartridges that require common carrier shipping.

1.5 This guide and its inclusive standard practices do not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and to determine the application of regulatory limitations prior to use.

2. Referenced Documents

2.1 ISTA – International Safe Transit Association – Integrity Test Procedure 1A, references ASTM: D999 (Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers), D5276 (Drop Test of Loaded Containers by Free Fall), D5487 (Simulated Drop of Loaded Containers by Shock Machines), D880 (Impact Testing for Shipping Containers and Systems), D4003 (Programmable Horizontal Impact Test for Shipping Containers and Systems)

2.2 ASTM F 1856 Standard Practice for Determining Toner Usage for Printer Cartridges

2.3 ANSI IT2.17-1995 Density Measurements- Part 4: Geometric Conditions for Reflection Density

2.4 ASTM F 335 Standard Terminology Relating to Electrostatic Copying

2.5 ASTM F 2036 Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Larger Area Density and Background on Electrophotographic Printers.

3. Description of Terms Specific to this Guide

3.1 Package integrity – as defined in ISTA 1A, Preface.

3.2 Yield – the estimated number of pages produced at 5% print coverage, as defined in ASTM F 1856 section 11.3.

3.3 5% print coverage – As per ASTM F1856, section 7.2

4. Summary of Guide

4.1 This guide is a series of integrated standardized tests that will provide an evaluation of an all-in-one printer cartridge for contract purposes. Cartridges that are not delivered via common carrier are not required to use the package integrity test. It is common practice for some cartridge suppliers to “ hand deliver” their products and this assumes a far less severe shipping environment. “Hand delivered” means the cartridge is transported and delivered by the producer of the cartridge.

4.2 These tests have a sequence of package integrity, image density, background, and estimated yield. Package integrity stresses the packaging of the cartridge first. If failure occurs during this phase, the sequence is halted to avoid potential printer damage from a damaged cartridge. Image density and background evaluations are performed between the test intervals for yield.

4.3 A comparison can be made among the different sources for all-in-one cartridges. A purchaser can specify minimum performance levels based on these test results in purchasing contracts.

5. Significance and Use

5.1 This guide can be used for the evaluation of OEM and remanufactured all-in-one toner cartridges for the purposes of contract specifications.

5.2 This guide is suitable for quality acceptance evaluations.

6. Interferences

6.1 Relative humidity and temperature can affect test results in all four test areas in this practice: image density, background, yield, and package integrity. Users of this guide should refer to the specific interferences described in ASTM F 1856, ASTM F 2036, and ISTA 1A.

6.2 In a comparative cartridge test the same test target and printer must be used. The number of characters, font, and font size have a direct affect on toner consumption.

6.3 The test targets should not produce uneven wear on the cartridge components as this may affect the test results.

6.4 Test printers should be in good mechanical and electrical condition. Preferably printers with a continuous history of preventative maintenance should be used.

8.9 A calibrated balance must be used to obtain toner usage weights during yield testing.

6.7 The densitometer used to measure density and background must be calibrated daily or before use in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

6.8 The techniques used for toner cartridge disassembly and assembly should avoid toner loss to ensure accurate toner weight measurements.

7. Equipment and Materials

7.1 As per ASTM F 1856, ANSI IT 2.17-1995, and ISTA Procedure 1A

7.2 Printer data system capable of generating a test target in accordance with ASTM F 2036 for image density and for background evaluation.

8. Test Procedure

8.1 Cartridges which are to be “hand delivered” are exempt from sections 8.2, 8.3, and 8.4

8.2 It is assumed that the purchaser will specify pass/fail criteria for package integrity, although the producer of the cartridge may specify pass/fail criteria for this test as described in ISTA 1A, section “Product Damage Tolerance and Package Degradation Allowance.”

8.3 Subject the test cartridge to the vibration test as described in ISTA 1A section “Vibration Test” excluding Step 5.

8.4 Subject the test cartridge to the free fall drop test as described in ISTA 1A section “Impact Test (ASTM D5276) and inspect as described in Step 3.

8.5 If the package passes the package integrity test, sections 8.3 and 8.4, or if the cartridge is “hand delivered,” continue with Section 8.6, if the package integrity test is failed then discontinue test to avoid potential damage to the printer.

8.6 Unpack the test cartridge. If it has a seal, remove the seal, following the conditioning instructions in ASTM F 1856, section 6.1

8.7 Record the temperature and humidity of the starting test conditions.

8.9 Follow the test procedure in ASTM F 1856, paragraph 8.3. and ASTM F 2036 paragraph 6.2

8.9 Carry out test procedure as described in ASTM F 1856 paragraph 8.1 (weight full)

8.9 Carry out test procedure as described in ASTM F 2036 section 7.

8.10 Calculate yield test intervals according to ASTM 1856 F 1856 paragraph 11.2

8.11 If necessary print 5% text pages until page count reaches start of first interval.

8.12 Carry out test procedure as described in ASTM F 1856 Section 8

8.13 Carry out test procedure as described in ASTM 2036 paragraphs 7.2 to 7.7. If no further yield test is required go to paragraph 8.20.

8.14 If necessary print 5% text pages until page count reaches start of next interval.

8.15 Carry out test procedure as described in ASTM F 1856 Section 8

8.16 Carry out test procedure as described in ASTM 2036 paragraphs 7.2 to 7.7. If no further yield test is required go to paragraph 8.20

8.17 If necessary print 5% text pages until page count reaches start of next interval

8.18 Carry out test procedure as described in ASTM F 1856 Section 8

8.19 Carry out test procedure as described in ASTM 2036 paragraphs 7.2 to 7.7.

8.20 Disassemble cartridge and remove remaining toner from hopper and associated parts. Weigh the empty hopper (weight empty).

9. Calculation

9.1 Calculate the rate of toner usage described in ASTM F 1856

9.2 Average the toner usage per page as described in F 1856 section 11.2.

9.3 Divide the average toner usage per page, as defined in ASTM F 1856, section 11.2, into the available toner as defined in this section to determine the estimated page yield at 5% coverage. For the purpose of this guide the available toner is defined as the total weight of the toner in the toner hopper at the start of the test ( weight_full – weight _empty).

10. Report

10.1 Follow the reporting requirements in ASTM F 1856 ,section 10, ASTM F 2036 section 9, and ISTA 1A, Report section.

11. Interpretation of Results

11.1 The test results determined by these integrated test methods relates only to the test conditions used. Variations can be expected according to the interferences described in section 6.

11.2 For improved performance reliability, more than one cartridge should be evaluated. The number evaluated can be stipulated by the purchaser, or it can be determined by a sampling method such as ANSI Z1.4 – 1993, “Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes.”

11.3 The package integrity portion of this test does not cover all environmental conditions or shipping conditions. It is used as an indicator of packaging performance including outer packaging, supports, and seals. Other specific packaging test requirements may be necessary depending on the method and conditions to be expected during shipment.