Are Refilled Cartridges Good?

Published Date
01 - Jan - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2005
 
Are Refilled Cartridges Good?
"Recycling cartridges could cost you more in the long run"
The first myth I would like to dispel is that all the work is done by the printer. No matter how good a printer may be, you need a quality print cartridge working together with it. An inkjet print cartridge is not just a container for ink. It packs in a whole lot of science. Also consider this: if a nozzle is exposed to air for more than a mere few seconds, it becomes clogged from crusted ink. "Capping" the nozzles is an HP innovation that reduces the amount of time they are exposed to air, thereby reducing clogged nozzles-an innovation that might not be found in lower-priced alternatives. For HP inkjet printers that use a flexible "wiper" blade to clean the nozzle plate, removing ink spray, ink crust and paper dust, the corresponding HP print cartridges are also designed to eject a small amount of ink on the wiper to obtain a "wet-wipe," thus helping to dislodge ink crusts.

The truth about lower-priced alternatives is that they could cost customers more in the long run because of quality and reliability problems
Raj Kumar Rishi, Country Manager, Supplies Business, Hewlett-Packard India Ltd.

The second myth is that all inks are the same. The truth is that not all inks are created equal. HP inks are designed from the ground up with unique ingredients and special manufacturing processes-not easily replicated without an imaging and printing R&D commitment of over $1 billion a year. HP patented inks, such as the latest HP Vivera Inks, are engineered to give customers the most vibrant and long-lasting colours-with fade resistance of over 100 years when using HP 6-ink printers and HP Premium Plus Photo Papers.

The truth about lower-priced alternatives is that they could cost customers more in the long run because of quality and reliability problems. Compared to leading worldwide remanufactured brands tested by QualityLogic, Inc., original HP black inkjet cartridges have been proven, on average, to be over nine times more reliable, and original HP colour inkjet print cartridges to be 50 times more so. Imagine the hassle, ink and paper wastage from reprints, and worse, possible damage to the printer that would require repairs and cause downtime. All these are hidden costs that customers should consider as part of the overall cost of printing-beyond the initial purchase price of a cartridge.

"If done correctly, recycling works. Think money and the environment"
HP is the largest player worldwide, with the maximum market share. Many HP cartridges say "Intended for single use only." Here's the truth, from an interview given by HP Senior Vice President Pradeep Jotwani to CNET News.com, dated 05/02/2003: "I think customers draw the line. Part of that choice is they can choose our original supplies... But there is a segment of the market that is cost-conscious that draws a different line. ... We consciously make sure that our cartridges are reusable and refillable." HP does put some limits on the practice, such as adding software that makes some of its cartridges unusable after a certain expiration date-either four-and-a-half years after manufacturing or two-and-a-half years after a cartridge is installed.

HP Limited Warranty Statement point no. A (4) states, "For HP printer products, the use of a non-HP ink cartridge or a refilled ink cartridge does not affect the warranty to the customer ..."
Praveen Khandelwal, Director, Lipap Systems Private Limited

It is well known that many HP cartridges can be refilled up to seven to eight times, so obviously the "single use" statement is more to discourage people from recycling and does not mean that the cartridges cannot "actually" be refilled.

Can recycled cartridges really cause damage and lead to cancellation of warranties? Here's the truth. The inks available from internationally reputed manufacturers such as OCP GmbH, Germany, are formulated with the highest quality dyes, pigments and processes. Customers worldwide have been using these inks without problems. About the warranty: HP Limited Warranty Statement point no. A (4) states, "For HP printer products, the use of a non-HP ink cartridge or a refilled ink cartridge does not affect the warranty to the customer ... However, if printer failure or damage is attributable to the use of a non-HP or refilled ink cartridge, HP will charge its standard time and materials charges..." Can refilled or recycled cartridges reproduce the quality of a new cartridge? Yes and no. It all depends on where you get your supplies. Companies such as OCP GmbH guarantee their Pigment Inks for stability up to two years.

Cartridge parts are non-biodegradable. Ink powder contains harmful chemicals that can pollute the water and soil. The answer is recycling. On the whole, if done correctly, recycling works: it saves customers money, is good for the environment, and saves the country lots of foreign exchange.  



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