Archive for March, 2010

Envelope Address Printers

Pitney BowesPitney Bowes has created a line of printers specifically designed for printing addresses on envelopes at a rapid speed with consistency and quality.  These machines range in size, with the smaller models meant for offices with occasional addressing needs and the largest model equipped to handle thousands of pieces of mail per day.  The series line is called AddressRight, and though these are not the first machines of this type, Pitney Bowes has certainly raised the bar. Continue reading “Envelope Address Printers” »

How Often to Use Your Printer

Many users are not aware that a printer needs to be used fairly often to stay in proper working order. Most printers are designed for fairly consistent use, and lack of use can cause problems. At the same time, overuse can also lead to problems, so it is important to choose a printer designed to handle the volume you plan to use it for.

Using a Printer Too Little

It may seem that using a printer too little would not be an issue, but some of the parts can begin to exhibit problems when unused. If your printer gets more use as a bed for your cat than printing off documents, you might be at risk. The most sensitive part of a printer is the cartridge. The cartridge is sensitive to moisture, heat, and dust from the time it is opened, so the longer a cartridge is in use, the more exposure it has to these three elements. After sitting unused for long periods of the time, the ink or toner can gum up or become clogged. This is particularly the case with a home inkjet printer, that doesn’t get a lot of use. Replacing a cartridge often alleviates this problem, but a printer that is not used frequently may not have its cartridge replaced often enough. Inkjet printers and inkjet cartridges can have the same problem. Continue reading “How Often to Use Your Printer” »

Ink and Toner Cartridge Shelf Life

The average shelf life of a standard printer cartridge ranges between 18-24 months after manufacture.  This is true for brand new ink and toner cartridges made by the original manufacturer of the printer as well as remanufactured or compatible cartridges made by third party vendors.  The amount of time a cartridge can be sufficiently stored is contingent upon some other factors beyond when it was manufactured.

Below is a check list to ensure shelved printer cartridges last as long as possible:printer cartridges

  • If applicable, rotate the oldest cartridges to the front and the newest cartridges to the back to ensure no single cartridge stays on the shelf too long.
  • Be sure to store the cartridge in a location that is cool and not overly exposed to air.  If the temperature is too warm or too much air infiltrates the cartridge, the consistency of the ink or toner can be compromised, rendering it unusable.

Possible Reasons Your Cartridges are Not Working

Having issues with your printer cartridge?

There are different scenarios to look at when troubleshooting your printing issues, whether the printer never accepts the cartridge when it is installed or the cartridge works for a while but then malfunctions or start producing sub-par quality.

Regardless of whether you use OEM cartridges or remanufactured cartridges made by third party vendors, problems occur occasionally.  It is always possible that your printer or cartridge is defective, but you should try a few troubleshooting tactics before calling the manufacturer.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself and a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem yourself:

Print Problems


Is the cartridge fully locked into place?

When you insert your new cartridge, you want to make sure it is fully locked into the designated slot.  Listen for a clicking sound and pull on the cartridge lightly to make sure it is securely locked in. Continue reading “Possible Reasons Your Cartridges are Not Working” »

How to Evaluate Printer Cartridge Page Yield

When ink and toner cartridges are purchased, the manufacturer provides a “page yield”, which provides the consumer with an approximation of the number of pages standard and high-capacity tonereach cartridge should produce before running out of ink or toner.  This is called the Manufacturer Expected Page Yield.   Here is an example of a standard and high-capacity cartridge for the same printer and the manufacturer “expected” page yield for each cartridge: Continue reading “How to Evaluate Printer Cartridge Page Yield” »

Difference between OEM, Compatible and Remanufactured Printer Cartridges

When  looking to purchase replacements for your printer cartridge, you may notice up to three different options for cartridges, all priced differently but with the same printer compatibility and page yield specifications.   Compatible, Remanufactured and OEM are the three types of cartridges – at Ink Technologies we frequently get questions from customers asking what the differences are between them.

In this blog, we hope to answer those questions as well as give you a little insight into the manufacturing process, environmental effects and the economical implications of each type of cartridge.Printer Cartridge Dilemma

OEM cartridges

OEM cartridges are made by the manufacturer of the printer, such as HP, Dell or Brother.  Because of the premium brand name, the price of OEM toner and ink cartridges is considerably more than other types of cartridges, ranging from 2–5 times higher. Continue reading “Difference between OEM, Compatible and Remanufactured Printer Cartridges” »

Reduce Waste with Solid Ink Printers

In the late 1980’s, the brilliant minds behind Xerox office equipment began developing a color printing technology that would be very simple for users and produce high-quality colors on standard paper without the need for a cartridge.  The end result was a solid ink printer, which is still a technology unique to Xerox.  What started as an attempt to simplify color printing has become a way for offices and homes to also reduce waste.

Laser and inkjet printers are the most commonly used machines in the world, generally because they are the most affordable upfront and replacement cartridges are inexpensive.  Any company or individual that is concerned about the environment, however, should look into using a solid ink printer, to help reduce their carbon footprint.

Solid Ink vs Cartridge WasteHow is Xerox Solid Ink Made?

Non-toxic liquid ink is hardened in a very specific shape, making a wax stick, similar to a crayon but far more complex in molecular nature.  Each color for each model is shaped differently, thus making it difficult to install a solid ink stick into the wrong slot on a printer. When the printer is in use, the solid ink is actually melted back down to its liquid form and applied to the paper, where it once again hardens, but this time to make words and images on the page. Continue reading “Reduce Waste with Solid Ink Printers” »

What is an Imaging Drum?

A laser printer has many components that make up the technology system used to quickly generate documents that meet a professional standard.  The rollers pull the paper through and the toner actually makes the images and lettering visible to the human eye, but it is the imaging drum that is the central piece in these highly advanced printers.  Also referred to as a drum unit and a photoreceptor assembly, the imaging drum is ultimately responsible for the transfer of printer toner and image or text to the paper.

Initially, the drum receives a positive charge from the corona wire.  The laser then writes on the drum, leaving a negative charge in the shape of the image or text that is being printed.  The toner is attracted to this charge and clings to the imaging drum where the negative charge is.  The rollers are then used to pull the paper through the machine, and the negative charge of the paper is stronger than that of the drum.  As a result, the toner is pulled from the drum to the paper, creating a precise document in an efficient matter of time.

Most printers have separate slots for the drum and toner cartridge to be installed in to.  Other units, like Brother printers require a drum and a Brother toner cartridge, but the two snap together and are installed into the printer as one assembly.  Some printers have toner cartridges that the drum is built into the cartridge and are replaced as one consumable.  Be sure to understand which system your machine uses so you can be sure to purchase the right kind of replacements.

For visual effect, here is the difference between imaging drums and drum assemblies:

Imaging Drum Imaging Drum  Assembly (with toner cartridge)
 imaging drum   imaging drum assembly

Continue reading “What is an Imaging Drum?” »

What are Remanufactured Toner Cartridges?

When shopping for toner cartridges, you may have heard the phrase “remanufactured” referring to certain products. You may have even heard stories of how remanufactured cartridges are of lower quality than genuine versions from the manufacturer.

To put it simply, remanufactured toner cartridges are previously-used cartridges that are reconditioned, then refilled with fresh toner and sold for a more affordable price.  The yield and resolution rendered by each remanufactured cartridge made by reputable companies will be equivalent to that of an OEM cartridge, with a satisfaction guaranteeto back it up.

disassembled cartridgeIf you are somewhat familiar with the remanufacturing process, you may have gotten the impression that empty cartridges are simply refilled and then sealed.  While there are some disreputable manufacturers who do only this, most reputable manufacturers take far more steps in the procedure.  First, the cartridge is completely emptied so no toner particles remain.  Once cleaned out, the cartridge is disassembled and inspected for any components that might be worn out or broken.  If any are found, they are replaced with fresh parts. Continue reading “What are Remanufactured Toner Cartridges?” »