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Test Standards

Test Standards are intended to allow the same results to be achieved in multiple locations. To the extent that they are effective and representative of the manner in which the particular user employs a printing device, they are quite valuable. Of course, the opposite holds true, and being static they are subject to becoming somewhat obsolete over time. Standards also represent the “lowest common denominator”; that is, in order to apply to a large audience, they must target a basic, common usage.

Perhaps the most significant relevant standards organization is the ISO/IEC, the International Organization for Standards in conjunction with the International Electrotechnical Commission. INCITS, the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards, is the primary U.S. focus of standardization in the field of Information and Communications Technologies, encompassing storage, processing, transfer, display, management, organization, and retrieval of information. As such, INCITS also serves as the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Technical Advisory Group for ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1. JTC 1 is responsible for International standardization in the field of Information Technology. Most areas of interest for printing device standards fall with this heirarchy.

INCITS is actively creating and updating various standards. Of particular interest is the 2004 release of the ISO/IEC standard 19752 for monochrome toner Yield. Standards 19798 for color toner yield, 24711 for color ink yield, and 24712 for a common test document are under development, as are standards 24734 for printer and 24735 for digital copier Throughput Speed. Efforts to establish a Print Quality standard are underway, including 19799 for Gloss Uniformity.

There are times when going beyond an available standard is appropriate. Obsolescence and special usage environments are common reasons. Deviating from standards is also appropriate when doing comparative testing. However, when a relevant standard is available it is advisable to follow those aspects of it that are applicable. For example, a lot of effort is put into defining cartridge “End-of-Life” for ink and toner Yield benchmarking, and those definitions would be useful when testing, for example, intermittent inkjet printing device Yield. When doing comparative testing, it is most important to use the same test procedure, equipment setup, and documents all in the same environment.

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