An ink cartridge is the component of a printer that consists of ink which is deposited on the paper while printing. An ink cartridge generally contains ink reservoirs that are partitioned. Some manufacturers even add a chip and electronic contacts that operate with the printer. The printing normally depends on the fluidity of the ink, which is affected if the ink starts drying at the print head. It happens when the ink level gets low. Isopropyl alcohol is a good solution to rub off the dried ink; use a swab or a paper towel to make it spotless.
Pricing of cartridges is the major question
Ink cartridges are more expensive than what might be expected – sometimes even equals a substantial fraction of the price of the printer. In order to save money, people use ink cartridges from a third-party vendor. The higher price of cartridges has even provided a leeway for counterfeiters to provide cartridges with a fake brand name, all of which claim to be original. Another option involves alterations of a cartridge by the original manufacturer which allows for the continuous ink systems to make use of external ink tanks. Many others utilize aftermarket inks, and refill their own cartridges by using a kit that has bulk ink.
It is actually sometimes cheaper to purchase a brand new printer than to restore the whole set of cartridges provided along with the printer. The chief manufacturers of printers− Lexmark, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Epson, Brother and Canon − use a business model called “razor and blades”, and often end up losing money while expecting to earn a profit by selling ink cartridges over the life-time of the printer. Printer manufacturers derive huge amount of profits from toner and ink cartridge sales, while many of these brands have taken several actions against the concept of aftermarket cartridges.
Deciding whether to refill or replace?
Since ink cartridges manufactured by the original manufacturers are quite expensive, demand still exists for inexpensive third party alternatives. These involve ink sold in cartridge refill kits, machines which automatically refill the cartridges, and remanufactured cartridges. Consumers can also refill the cartridges with a kit, or get it refilled in a store where they pump back the ink into the cartridge. Another alternative for the consumer is to buy “bulk ink” and refill the ink cartridges whenever needed. This is an extremely cost-effective solution, if the customer is a regular user of cartridges or if it is for office use.
Certain third party firms are offering refillable ink cartridges that have an auto-reset chip in order to simplify the entire refilling process. Such refillable ink cartridges are a lesser threat to the environment and are relatively easy to refill.
Around three liters of oil is used to prepare a cartridge; a laser cartridge can actually be remanufactured two or three times along with its parts. The parts used in a remanufacturing process are also recyclable. While doing so, emission of greenhouse-gases is reduced by approximately 4.5kg for each of the laser cartridges. Armed with this kind of knowledge, it makes much sense to recycle or reuse your printer cartridge instead of always buying a new cartridge. Look for ways to reuse rather than replace always.
About the Author: James Hanning helps provide useful tips on using your office resources like ink cartridges much more efficiently.