Xerographic Module

A xerographic module is the term used by some manufacturers (particularly Xerox) to describe the drum cartridge contained in laser printers or multifunctional devices. It is also known as a photo-reactive drum, imaging drum or developer drum. In fact, the term xerographic module was coined by Xerox when the company was one of the leading players in the early photocopier industry and has since been adopted by several companies and resellers of consumables.

How it Works

In essence, a drum cartridge is the part of your laser equipment (whether fax, copier or printer) that attracts toner and places it accurately on your paper. It achieves this through static electricity that attracts toner particles according to the printed matter involved. The drum is composed of photo reactive material that changes its charge as light from the laser touches it. This change in charge attracts the toner to specific areas of the drum, ultimately resulting in a clearly defined printed image. For colour laser printing the process is a little more complicated but based on the same principles.


Replacing a xerographic module is a task that can easily be performed on most modern printers. Earlier models had permanent drums fitted. These were not serviceable and when printing quality deteriorated because of drum wear and tear, a new equipment purchase was necessary. However, nowadays, with most modern models, in addition to toner cartridge replacement, drum replacement is also possible and is no more complicated than replacing a standard toner cartridge. The lifespan of a drum cartridge is many times more than a toner cartridge and replacement frequency solely depends on your printing volume. It is estimated that a drum cartridge should be checked after every five toner cartridge replacements. As with any piece of electrical equipment, plug it our well in advance of replacement (perhaps an hour beforehand) to allow internal parts to cool down and discharge completely. Then replace your drum cartridge, taking care not to spill any toner, as it is highly toxic.

It is recommended that you stick with OEM drum cartridges that are designed specifically for your equipment type and model. Use of non-branded solutions could have unforeseen consequences and damage your equipment beyond repair.