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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Central Print System FAQs

Is printing secure?

The Safecom print management system is a secure environment.

  • From a managed print device, control data (that is, information that is sent between the printer and the server when a user logs in) uses RSA encryption up to 2048-bit.
  • Within the print system, print data (the documents users print) is transmitted using either AES (up to 256-bit) or TwoFish (128-bit) encryption.
  • Once a print job has been sent, document content is inaccessible to any user until it is released at a print device – CIS staff can delete a job from the system if required, but no CIS/DTP staff have a means of viewing / reconstructing / opening the content of the job itself.
  • Via email – once received by our EveryonePrint server, the above Safecom standards apply. Users should note that as with any standard email, there is no encryption in transit.
  • For Driver Print queues (Windows/Mac/Linux), IPP over SSL is used, with 256-bit encryption.

Can I continue to print without swipe-to-release?

The University's Information Governance Oversight Group (IGOG) reviewed the subject of direct printing in October 2018 and concluded that no exceptions will be granted because of the increased security risk this printing method presents. It is necessary for users to authenticate at a print device before a print job can be released. (Note that even if a printer is in a secure office, direct printing would still present a risk of users not in that office accidentally submitting jobs to that printer.)

What type of paper can the new devices use?

The standard Office Depot A4 80gsm Bright White 100% recycled printer paper is our recommended standard printer paper. Thinner, or untreated recycled paper will significantly increase the likelihood of a device misfeed or jam. Please contact CIS if you have a requirement for other types of paper and we will advise on suitability.

How should I load the paper?

Simply unwap the paper and flex the paper stack (there is no need to fan through it) before inserting it in the tray. To avoid potential for misaligned printing or jams, make sure the paper stack is square, the guides are properly adjusted to the paper stack and remove any creased/folded sheets.
A video from HP demonstrating this can be found here

What happens if a printer develops a fault partway through a print job?

It's possible you may experience an occasional out of paper warning, paper jam, or other fault especially during a long print run. In these situations, you'd expect that the device would resume printing after the warning was cleared, e.g. by loading new paper or removing a stuck sheet. Users should be aware that the same behaviour applies if a device fault occurs and the user does not stay at the device to rectify the issue - printing may resume when the warning has been cleared. We would suggest if a MFD stops midway through a print run and you cannot resume printing, you restart the device (power off on the main switch, wait 10 seconds, then power on) to clear any job cached on the device. If in doubt, telephone the CIS service desk (41515 or 0191 334 1515) for advice, especially if the print job contains confidential or sensitive data.

This behaviour is common across all print systems and represents no change from the outgoing system/devices.

Where is my nearest printer?

Print devices are being installed across departments as the refresh progresses. One major change with the new system is that it is now user-based rather than device-based. This means that a member of staff can release a print job from any device, even in previously 'student only' areas, and not be charged. The majority of classrooms and open-access computing areas have print facilities and a list of locations can be found here. In a similar fashion, students will be charged for printing if they attempt to release a job from a staff device.

How do you decide where to site a particular model of printer?

Our policy since the last print refresh started in Summer 2017 (last reviewed April 2019) is that:

  1. Printing capacity of devices provided is based on real data - the measured combined throughput of existing print devices in the Dept/College, or estimated throughput for new builds/refurbs if this is not possible.
  2. Functionality (colour, A3, finishing options) is based on existing provision and the business needs of the Dept.
  3. Dedicated Dept/College administration centres (office or clusters of offices) will typically receive at least one high-capacity device in very close proximity
  4. For other users, approx 30sec walk to a print device capable of mono/colour A4 printing is acceptable
  5. This walk may involve a single flight of stairs
  6. You should never have to walk outside a building to collect mono A4 printouts
  7. Staff and students sharing print devices in open/communal areas is acceptable.
  8. ‘Nonstandard’ functionality such as A3 and finishing (staple/booklet/punch) units are provided on a limited basis. Where volume does not justify a dedicated unit in close proximity, a longer walk within a building, or occasionally between buildings, may be necessary to collect this type of job.
  9. Devices are provided to serve requirements across rooms/buildings and are not exclusively for the use of a particular Dept. In cases where multiple Departments (or Sections) share office space, printers will also be shared. Users working mobile across campus should be able to collect printouts from any device, subject to any local access restrictions that are in place.
  10. Locally installed (USB/wifi connected) 'personal' printers are no longer supported, unless for a specialist application - eg dedicated label printers and some lab printing requirements. Older devices may not be always work with Windows 10 or new PC hardware, and will not be replaced if they fail or are incompatible, nor new toner/ink purchased - if an accessible shared device is already present. The print solution design in each area accounted for these devices being replaced, but actual removal of any of these local devices only took place during the print refresh project with the agreement of the Dept.
  11. Releasing confidential documents on a shared device is standard business practice. The need to print confidential material does not justify installing print devices for individual users.
  12. Requests to deviate from the above principles due to health or mobility reasons will need Occupational Health support to progress.
  13. Staff are not charged for printing, but there is a significant environmental impact and operational expense associated with this service, so printing should not be seen as 'free'. Users are encouraged to print only when necessary, using other technologies (eg online/email versions of papers) wherever appropriate. Although availability of colour and finishing options have increased during the 2017/18 printer refresh, print queues deployed to desktops default to mono output and users are asked to limit the use of colour where possible.
  14. At Durham, we are constrained particularly in some historic locations in our ability to site shared devices in communal areas which also satisfy fire/health and safety guidelines/recommendations. In such situations, we will adhere to the above principles as closely as possible, but work with Departments to arrive at a proportionate, cost-effective soloution that meets the business needs of the users in the building concerned.

Where are the replacement consumables for the printer near me?

During the rollout phases, in order to ensure accuracy of supply and billing, consumables were marked to be delivered direct to local CIS support teams. Devices automatically order toner when their supplies reach a pre-set threshold, which (depending on usage) sees the consumable arrive 1-2 weeks in advance of it needing to be installed. CIS are working towards moving these deliveries back to local Departments - where appropriate.

As individual toner is now labelled for use by a specific device and so as to avoid oversupply issues experienced with the previous contract, it is not expected that remote sites will hold buffer stocks of consumables. Local support teams have access to common supplies in the event of an automated ordering issue with a particular device.

Please note: for those devices with finishing units, staples do not automatically re-order. Your local CIS support team has access to replacement stocks of staples.Resupply can be arranged through the IT Servicedesk.

Can I move a printer to a different location?

If a Department or College wishes to re-site a device, this can usually be accommodated as long as power and data connections are available in the new location, and University and local health and safety policy is adhered to. Please don't move a device yourself - contact the CIS Service Desk for advice instead Moving a device without CIS' knowledge may result in difficulties when arranging service/maintenance visits, and risks breaking the automatic ordering of consumables, which relies on the device's location and network registration being up to date.

What if I need further help and support?

CIS field team staff have received training on the operation of devices from DTP, so if you require assistance with the MFDs please request help via the IT Service Desk:

Please also report any faults with devices via the same route. Each device has a clearly identifiable blue and white sticker detailing the unique printer ID (asset number) - eg DU-1234 - please quote this in any correspondence about a particular device.