We have a Windows server network and Canon ImageRunner printers. Occasionally we print large numbers of documents using batch printing software, Batch & Print Pro. Let's say the batch print software sends 600 individual documents to be printed. It sends them at a rate of maybe one every 1 1/2 to 2 seconds. That's faster than the printer can spit them out. Over time, quite a number of documents can accumulate in the printer's queue. But the queue is only visible on the printer itself, and the Windows queue doesn't seem to be aware of the pending jobs. If I double click the printer in the Printers & Faxes folder, I can see the jobs appearing then disappearing about as fast as they are sent.
Because the documents are gone from the Windows queue, the Batch & Print Pro feature called "printer load balancing" which works based on how many documents are in the queue, will not work. Let's say I set the maximum number of documents in the queue on the main load-balanced printer to be 2. As soon as BPP sees 2 backed up it switches to the alternate printer, thus doubling your print capacity. (You can actually have up to 5 load balanced printers.)
The only way I can get the load balancing to work is if I change both my printers to "offline" within Windows. Only then BPP load balancing works correctly because jobs are in the Windows queue for BPP to see. As soon as I turn the printers back online, BPP sends all documents to one printer.
So my question is, is there any way to make Windows more in control of the print queue, and not the printer? I've linked a ScreenCast video showing two 11 page batches being printed with 2 load-balanced printers. The first batch of 11 is with the two printers "offline". You'll see that as soon as 2 jobs are stacked in the queue of the first printer, the rest of the jobs go to the second printer. Then I turn the printers online and you see all jobs going to the one printer.