Press Release: June 16, 2004
Topics:

Canon, Epson, HP, and Lexmark Support New ISO Standard that Helps Customers Evaluate Printer and Print Cartridge Yield

Consensus-driven standard for measuring monochrome toner print cartridge yield is technically robust, international in scope
TOKYO; PALO ALTO, Calif.; LEXINGTON, Ky.; June 16, 2004

Canon (NYSE: CAJ), Epson, HP (NYSE:HPQ) (Nasdaq:HPQ), and Lexmark (NYSE: LXK) today announced their support of the new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard, ISO/IEC 19752, for monochrome toner cartridge yield in monochrome laser printers. Canon, Epson, HP, and Lexmark are leading proponents of industry standards and believe a single, rigorous, worldwide ISO standard to measure monochrome toner cartridge yield will help customers more objectively and accurately evaluate printer and print cartridge yield.

The new ISO standard for monochrome toner cartridge yield clearly defines the key attributes that affect yield and applies robust statistical analysis so all manufacturers can utilize the same methodology when measuring yield. For instance, instead of testing a couple of cartridges on a single printer, this standard requires that at least nine cartridges be tested on a minimum of three separate printers. Rather than taking the average of the yield of the nine cartridges, a robust statistical method is used to calculate the lower 95 percent confidence bound. This more accurately represents the potential customer experience by taking into account manufacturing variations in the performance of the cartridges and the printers. Until now, printer manufacturers have used a variety of methodologies to measure toner yield, making it challenging for customers to accurately compare yield measurements from leading suppliers.

Canon, Epson, HP, and Lexmark have supported and acted as key participants in ISO's development of an industry standard for determining toner cartridge yield for monochrome laser printers. These companies believe the standard's robust criteria and consistency, ISO's unbiased and global approach, and the industry-wide participation in developing the standard will result in significant benefits for customers and the printing industry alike. The new standard can be used to evaluate OEM (original equipment manufacturer) remanufactured and refilled toner cartridges.

"ISO's voluntary standards must be robust to endure the rigorous processes that ensure they meet the requirements of businesses and their customers worldwide and the designation of 'ISO International Standard'," said Roger Frost, ISO Press and Communications Manager. "Developed by experts from organizations throughout the world in the sectors that will put them to use, the standards represent an international consensus on state-of-the-art solutions for technological and business challenges."

"The new ISO standard for determining monochrome toner yield puts a solid foundation in place to evolve standards for colour laser and inkjet technology," said Mogens Molgaard Jensen, Executive Vice President of Canon Europe and Head of Consumer Imaging for Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"This new standard should be a call to action for the printing industry to support and adhere to these new, rigorous testing methodologies to measure monochrome toner cartridge yield, and also seek to formulate similar standards for color cartridges," said Seiichi Hirano, director and chief executive of the Imaging and Information Products Operations Division, Seiko Epson Corp. "Widespread adoption will ensure customers have access to yield information they can rely on when making the purchase decision."

"Customers can be assured that companies who support and adhere to the new ISO standard are using the most robust testing criteria available for determining monochrome toner printer yield," said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of Supplies, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "However, yield is only one among many factors in the overall costs of printing. To get the best overall value, we advise our customers to consider reliability, productivity, quality, speed, and ease of use as well."

"Lexmark actively supported the development of the ISO standard for monochrome toner print cartridge yield (for monochrome laser printers)," said Paul Rooke, Lexmark executive vice president and president of its Printing Solutions and Services Division. "We believe ISO's unbiased, global approach will result in significant customer and industry benefits."

ISO is an internationally recognized organization that has successfully developed many important and broadly used standards by working closely with standards organizations around the world and from all parts of the printing industry to arrive at unbiased, robust, reliable standards on behalf of customers.

Following are key provisions of the ISO standard for monochrome toner cartridge yield:

Technically Robust Testing Criteria

  • Standard test document: Use of a standard page printed in a controlled environment with printer default settings.

  • Number of cartridges tested: A minimum of nine of each cartridge is tested until they stop printing, allowing reliable estimates of lowest predicted yield with 95 percent statistical confidence.

  • Source for cartridges: Cartridges and printers used represent those available to customers on the open market.

  • Clear, objective, end-of-life criteria: Determines cartridge yield through measurements that establish an end-of-life criterion.

  • Number of printers: A minimum of three cartridges are tested on three different printers to avoid bias due to printer variability.

  • Controlled environment: Printing environment is controlled and consistent because temperature and humidity variations affect yield.

  • Objectivity: Because of worldwide and industry-wide participation, the testing criteria reflect objectivity in developing a reliable and rigorous standard.

Consensus-Driven International Standards

Canon, Epson, HP, and Lexmark, along with other OEMs, are also working with the ISO cartridge standards committee to develop a similar standard for color inkjet cartridges and printers as well as color laser cartridges and printers. These standards are expected to be complete in late 2005.

Details of the ISO standard can be accessed on the ISO website at http://www.iso.org/iso/en/stdsdevelopment/techprog/workprog/
TechnicalProgrammeProjectDetailPage.TechnicalProgrammeProjectDetail?csnumber=34911

The ISO website home page is http://www.iso.org

About Canon

Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leader in the field of professional and consumer imaging equipment and information systems. Canon's extensive range of products includes copiers, Bubble Jet and laser printers, cameras, video equipment, medical equipment and semiconductor-manufacturing equipment. Canon's consolidated net sales for fiscal 2003 (ended December 31, 2003) totaled $29.9 billion (at an exchange rate of JPY107 = US$1). Visit the Canon Inc. website at http://www.canon.com/index.html.

About Epson

Epson increases its corporate value through its innovative and creative culture. Dedicated to providing its customers with digital image innovation, its main product lines comprise information-related equipment, electronic devices, and precision products. The Epson Group is a network of 88,036 employees in 111 companies around the world and had consolidated sales of 1,322 billion yen in the fiscal year ended March 2003. More information can be found at http://www.epson.co.jp/e/.

About HP

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2004, HP revenue totaled $76.8 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

About Lexmark

Lexmark International, Inc. is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of printing solutions -- including laser and inkjet printers, multifunction products, associated supplies and services -- for offices and homes in more than 150 countries. Founded in 1991, Lexmark reported approximately $4.8 billion in revenue in 2003, and can be found on the Internet at http://www.lexmark.com.

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at http://www.hp.com.