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Brother Printer not printing at the specified location

I am using Brother MFC 7300 C all-in-one printer to print a batch of invoices on pre-printed stationery. The report has strict requirements of where the items must be printed, like the invoice date must print in the box designated for that purpose.
My problem is that even though on the screen, in Print Preview, I see the report aligned correctly on all pages, when I print multiple pages, the matter does not line up correctly ... sometimes the matter is printed in the correct boxes or sometimes few threads above the box (never below). Is this due to the mechanics of  top-loaded paper feeder ? Surprisingly my less expensive Canon i450 does the printing fine (but I don't know that it will take the full load).

Is this problem fixable ? Or is it time to go buy a more expensive heavy duty  printer?

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Unless you have very few invoices to print I feel compelled to comment that it is a strange choice of printer. If at all possible invoices should be printed on a dot matrix or a laser printer. Ink jet printers are slow, expensive to run, and only deposit a smearable print. Not a good idea. Personally I would get an inexpensive laser printer (eg Brother HL-1450 or newer). If at all possible do not use pre-printed invoices - again it's expensive and really not worthwhile. If you use a laser printer and use invoice printing software that produces it all in one go you will save yourself the cost of the pre-printed invoices and also ensure that all the data is always printed in the right place every time.

If you do not have dedicated invoice printing software and if you don't have too many invoices to print you might consider setting up a pro-forma in a word processor with all the fields set up for a mail merge. The information for the invoice print run would then be downloaded into a spreadsheet data source for the mailmerge. It sounds messy but once set up it could be made to work easily. It would be as much work to set up a print run for 100 invoices as for one invoice.

Not quite the answer you were looking for but I think you will do yourself a favour re-thinking the matter completely.
dshankoAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much for the valuable tips, patrickab !

Since this is a one-time only (but emergency ;-)) situation for the next day or two, I have to keep looking for a temporary solution. But yes, in the long run this will be done on a laser printer.

Regarding not using the pre-printed forms, are you saying that the cost of getting the pre-printed stock will be MORE than printing on the laser printer? We were under the impression that the toner is very costly and we have some shaded boxes etc which will eat it up very fast. Please correct me if this is wrong and help me gather some evidence.

Our volume is about 100 invoices a day and about 500 statements at the end of the month.
The cost per sheet ratio between ink jet and laser printers is somewhere between 5:1 and 10:1 depending on availability of cheap ink cartridges and/or laser cartridges. On my Epson Stylus Photo 1200 it costs approx 10p per sheet (that's not a mistake 10p) whilst my laser printer costs approx 1p per sheet. I have debated this here on EE and others have commented that they reckoned the ration was closer to 5:1 for their inkjets/lasers. The cost of pre-printed forms is usually high. I do remember having to buy them for a Sage invoicing system and it was excessive.

I think if you adopt a laser printing solution you will save yourselves quite a lot of money pretty quickly. You will also completely avoid the mis-alignment problems of using pre-printed stationery.
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dshankoAuthor Commented:
patrickab: thanks for the cost analysis between inkjet and laser printer.

I am more interested in the same between laser and pre-printing. But I guess, that analysis depends heavily on the amount of printing on each sheet ... so general pointers will do.

I must admit that the avoidance of mis-alignment is a very strong motivation for me to lean towards the free-form solution. But I can only go that route if I can prove the long term cost-benefit of that solution.
The facts that you need are all easily obtainable. You need the cost of all the comparable hardware and of all the consumables. The calculation will quickly show the advantage of the laser printer approach.

Pre-printed invoices - 5p/sheet
Ink jet cartridge - £10/250sheets - 4p/sheet
Total per sheet 9p/sheet

If printed on plain paper with inkjet - £3/500 - 0.6p/sheet
Inkjet cartridge - £10/250sheets - 2p/sheet
Total - 2.6p/sheet

If printed on plain paper with laser - £3/500 - 0.6p/sheet
Laser cartridge - £12/2500 - 0.6p/sheet
Total - 1.2p/sheet

Inkjet will print at about 4 pages a minute and a reasonable laser at about 12 pages a minute. So there is a direct manpower saving of say approx 15 minutes. That should really be factored in as well.

Inkjet vs laser - However even with a difference of lets say 1.4p/sheet you would save about £1.4/day for 100 invoices or about £7/week. It doesn't sound like much but at the rate of say £30 per month and with the differnt in cost between a laser printer and an inkjet of only at most £150 in 5 months you have paid for the laser versus the inkjet.

The cost difference between the inkjet pre-printed forms and the laser jet printed forms is 7.8p/sheet. So you would be saving approximately £7.80/day of say £40/week. In less than two months you would have paid for the whole laser printer!

Hope that helps.
dshankoAuthor Commented:

Even though my original question goes unanswered, you answered many other questions in great detail and so I have accepted your comments. You certainly deserve all the points.

-- dshanko
dshanko - Thanks for the points and A grade - Patrick
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