Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Everyone talks about quality, but few actually follow through on the goals expressed in their rhetoric. For anyone looking to better understand how to qualify a HP printer parts supplier, this article should be instructive.
I tell any printer service company or reseller looking to qualify a printer fuser supplier that they should do more than ask for a suppliers QC process—they should test it for themselves. I find it incredible that something as critical to a company's business profitability plan as fusers or maintenance kits often taken as a commodity that doesn’t require the same due diligence as software, hardware, or other office products.
HP Printer Replacement Parts vary greatly from one supplier to another. But you shouldn’t take my word for our quality. Test them for yourselves, and make sure you do the same with anybody with whom you are placing your trust.
Changes in technology, printer features, and user expectations necessitate QC being an organic, adaptable entity poised to take on the challenges of our industry at any point in time. Metrofuser has developed an arduous, 5-step QC protocol that is the foundation of our 97.5 percent product success rate.
In this article I will discuss what is involved in these steps from a process, equipment, and testing protocol standpoint. Metrofuser’s founders, have insisted that Quality Control (QC) processes continually evolve as our industry changes.
Performance Testing of Critical Raw Materials.
Metrofuser is a very difficult company to sell to because of the extensive testing to which they subjected raw materials. In today’s raw materials market, there is so much price pressure that the manufacturers cannot possibly test the components to the same extent that can.
Metrofuser has great relationships with its raw materials suppliers, often resulting in co-developed custom formulations. However, we still are required to stress their materials to the breaking point when we qualify them and when we test them on an ongoing basis. When Metrofuser qualifies a bill of materials (BOM), a number of tests are run on critical parts.
Printer parts are tested with a system for, print quality and yield. In addition, Metrofuser offers a 6-month warranty. If a printer part does comeback under warranty is corroborated by Metrofuser’s forensics department. The department performs a full analysis of every returned printer part and corrective actions are routed to all team members.
Step 1 100 Percent Pre Production Core Inspection
Prior to the part hitting the production floor the raw material fuser core it is put thru a multi inspection analysis to determine if should be rebuild. Gear posts are are inspected and frames analysed for alignment.
Step 2: Metrofuser’s Visual QC Loop
100 percent of Metrofuser’s parts travel to a QC area staffed by experts who conduct visual inspections on 100 percent of Metrofuser’s post production. All of Metrofuser’s parts are bar-coded, which provides data on critical visibility features such as post-test Inspector, BOM information, and critical attention check points.
Step 3: 100 Percent Post Production Print Testing
Every part Metrofuser remanufactures is inserted into a test bed fixture and put through a series of tests to confirm full performance and functionality. The full battery of tests inspect for toner density, adhesion, odors and even noises. Each printer part undergo testing and inspection of 150-250 test prints using BLI certified paper and various aftermarket toner samples.
Step 4: Pre Packaging QC
Printer parts Travel to Packaging. Here a final Inspector reviews the WO and part ID for an unprecedented third time prior to final packaging!
Step 5: QC Post Pack Audit Inspection
Our final quality checkpoint involves auditing and testing of finished, packed stock done in varying percentages based on model volume, difficulty, and release date.
PrintSim Simulation Software
Many manufacturers conduct varying types of testing, but Metrofuser takes incoming material testing to the next level. Most manufacturers run destructive tests using continuous printing to end of life. This is a good test when running page yield comparisons against the OEM. The issue is that continuous printing isn’t real world.
This would be like determining the longevity of the drive train in your car by testing it at 60 mph per hour without stopping until the engine dies. In this scenario, your engine would last for 500,000 miles.
Try driving in New Jersey, or, even worse, Chicago, or the 405 freeway in Los Angeles for a few months, and you will see that your engine will be lucky to last for 100,000 mi. Metrofuser runs at single-page mode, which places the most stress on critical parts. This creates a true, real world stress test.
Metrofuser developed a proprietary print emulation software call PrintSim™ which enables real world printer stress testing within an engineering lab setting.
PrintSim™ is software that allows Metrofuser's engineers to emulate the real printing performed at in a end-user setting. As an example, a laser printer in a law office may sit idle for 60 minutes and then run single page prints for next 60 minutes then sit idle again.