Canadian company releases Epson printhead-cleaning cartridges

July 31, 2014

inkjetcleanDigital Sign Technologies’ cartridges will also clean Mimaki, Roland and Mutoh machines.

The company reported in a press release that the cartridges are designed for “on-the-printer printhead cleaning, maintenance and recovery” under the brand-name InkJetClean, with the cartridges fitting Mimaki, Roland and Mutoch eco-solvent wide-format printers as well.

The cartridges work by printing fluid “like ink, cleaning your printhead right on a printer”, with the solvent, “as it prints through”, recovering “missing or deflected nozzles”, as well as flushing and cleaning the printer’s “tubing, dampers, capping station, and everything that touches it”. The company adds that “in a matter of minutes” the cartridges can supposedly “dramatically improve[e] the condition of the printheads, saving time and eliminating risks” of dismantling printheads.

Digital Sign Technologies added that the cartridges are also “perfectly suited” for regular printhead maintenance, recommending that users install the cartridges “if you started noticing slightest deflections of nozzles in your nozzle test prints”. This will apparently “ensure a consistent, high-quality output, while extending the service life of your printheads”.

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Computer memory printed onto paper

July 29, 2014

Taiwanese researchers have been able to print computer memory onto paper.

Credit: CITEWorld

Credit: CITEWorld

CITEWorld reported on the research by Dr. Der-Hsien Lien and his team, who demonstrated printing “the kind of memory computers read” onto paper, with the aim that with printable transistors, this could “spawn a host of easy-to-make connected paper-based products” such as “do-it-yourself RFID tags”.

Noting that “there’s something deliciously ironic about printing memory onto paper [as] paper has held memories for thousands of years”, the site adds that this development can jump on the back of 3D printing to offer “home-printable objects” that can talk to “each other with home-printable computer components”.

With paper being “cheap, flexible and widespread”, it is a “good candidate as a substrate”, with the issue of absorption and “being porous and uneven” previously an “unwanted quality” when constructing electronics. Dr. Lien and his team coated paper in carbon to “make a type of resistive random access memory” that would apply voltage across the insulator layer with an electrode, so that each “bit” on the paper would be an insulator sandwiched between two electrodes.

The insulator in this case was “the right kind of ink”, which was titanium oxide printed with a modified inkjet printer, and a silver solution was used to print 50 µm dots as the electrodes. This meant that one A4 piece of paper would hold one megabyte of memory, with Lien adding that the memory “maintains its state for about eight minutes” after power is switched off, and holds up “if you bend and fold the paper”.

With much more research to be done, Lien adds that “in the future you [could] make a functional device in your home”, with initial uses including shopkeepers printing “labels for goods with an embedded list of all the goods in certain boxes”, and whilst read and write speeds are “not fast enough for complicated tasks yet”, the technology is “suitable enough for low level jobs”.

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Second UK inkjet workshop announced

July 22, 2014

iFormulate Ltd. to host second one-day training workshop in Runcorn,

UK-based formulation technology consultancy, iFormulate Ltd., announced that the second of its two separate one-day training workshops covering the essential of formulation for inkjet applications will take place on 25 September 2014, and will focus on “textiles, solvents and UV” inkjets.

The workshops are designed for scientists and technologies involved in inkjet formulation as well as in the digital printing supply chain. “Intermediate Inkjet Formulation” follows the first meeting in June, which The Recycler reported on earlier this year. Expert speakers include industry consultants Dr. John Provost, Terence Kenneth, Bill Fern and Mark Holbrook.

The second workshop will see attendees learn about “the formulation of solvent inks for continuous and drop-on-demand printers, UV inkjet inks and UV curing”, as well as “textile inks and application processes for digital textile printing”. The session will also “cover the optimisation of inks for specific printheads and ink-substrate interactions” for printing on paper.

Dr Jim Bullock, Director at iFormulate, commented: “We were delighted by the positive reaction of delegates to the first workshop. In fact several delegates signed up for the September workshop because of their good experience in June. Inkjet formulation is a big topic, so in the second workshop we are able build on some of the important topics which we couldn’t cover in detail the first time around.”

Information and registration details can be found here, or by emailing

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Brother launches new affordable inkjet printer

July 22, 2014

The MFC-J4420DW is aimed at the SOHO (Small Office Home Office) market.

Brother's MFC-J4420DW

Brother’s MFC-J4420DW

CePro reported on the launch of the printer by the OEM, which noted that the machine features “cost-competitive features and print rates” alongside compatibility with iOS, Android, Microsoft and Kindle Fire tablets and phones for mobile printing.

The MFC-J4420DW is part of Brother’s Business Smart product line, and offers a “higher level of performance than previous generations” due to improved print speeds of 20ppm in monochrome and 18ppm in colour, alongside a 2.7-inch colour touchscreen and 11-inch by 17-inch paper printing options.

The device also features the OEM’s Super High-Yield inkjet cartridges, which can print approximately 1,200 monochrome and colour pages , which Brother notes “helps to reduce per page print costs, which can help save money in higher volume print environments”. Mobile printing applications that the machine can sync with include AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Cortado Workplace and iPrint & Scan.

Eric Dahl, Director of Marketing for SoHo Products for Brother, commented: “With the expansion and improved pricing of our award-winning Business Smart Series, it’s easier than ever for a customer to find the ideal colour inkjet all-in-one for the home office or small office.

“By committing to low-cost printing, mobile device connectivity, and versatile paper handling, we’re making owning an innovative, hard-working Brother Inkjet all-in-one accessible to SOHO customers who are keeping a careful eye on their budget.”

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Papers with “good de-inkability” demonstrated by OEMs

July 16, 2014

The Digital Print De-inking Alliance (DPDA) presented the papers at a meeting in Munich.pip1_heads

The DPDA, which comprises HP, Kodak, Océ and Ricoh, presented results from a series of studies on de-inking – removing inkjet ink from paper so that the paper can be reused – at the International De-inking Symposium in Munich, Germany.

A study involving the OEMs and nine different papers saw positive results, with “all but one” combination of ink and paper passing the INGEDE Method 11/EPRC test, as well as 90 percent of the scores for deinking of the paper ranging from 72 to 100, which the DPDA notes classifies them as having “Good De-inkability” under stationery and publishing standards. The sole failure was said to be due to “a prototype ink still in development”.

Two OEMs, Océ and HP, presented independent research from their own studies, with Océ’s Product Line Manager of Ink and Substrates, David Croll, showing results that found paper choice “is critical for successful de-inking of water-based inkjet inks”, with papers featuring “water soluble calcium salt” able to be successfully de-inked despite being either uncoated, wood-free papers with pigment-based inks printed on them.

HP’s Environmental Research Scientist, Nils Miller, also discussed the OEM’s study of 10 commercially available coated and uncoated papers that were successfully de-inked, noting that despite concerns about issues with inkjet five or six years ago, the industry has seen “significant improvement” in de-inkability.

Miller added: “In a time of change when the paper and printing industries face a number of challenges, it is important that both industries devote resources to assessing and, where necessary, improving inherent de-inkability. This study reinforces the idea that commercially viable papers can have good de-inkability with modern inkjet inks.”

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Printer tips include use of refilled cartridges

July 8, 2014

Lexmark inkjetArticle discusses ways of solving common inkjet printer problems, with third-party and refilled cartridges suggested as alternatives to OEM-branded products.

Philip LeRiche of social enterprise The Restart Project wrote an article for The Guardian in which he gives readers tips on “how to mend an inkjet printer” and “give your printer a longer life” after recognising that people frequently encounter issues such as error messages, ink running out too quickly and chip-related problems.

LeRiche noted that, due to the current OEM business model whereby profit is made from consumables sales rather than the printers, it is “very unlikely that a professional [printer] repair will be cost-effective”; and so he listed ways in which the consumer can prevent their printer from needing to be repaired and get the most out of their device.

Included in his advice is the use of third-party or refilled cartridges instead of OEM cartridges as they “can save you money and be more environmentally friendly”; although he stated that “compatible ink quality varies” and so “it’s worth researching the best options for your specific printer model”. He added that “a compromise might be to use branded ink during the warranty period but thereafter only for colour if you want top-quality colour photos”.

However, he goes on to say that while “you may receive premature low-ink warnings” when using refilled or compatible cartridges, it is often best to “ignore them if print quality is still good” as “some manufacturers chip their cartridges to discourage refilling or third-party alternatives”.

The article also covers solutions to problems such as the print head drying out and needing to be cleaned, paper jams, and software issues such as error messages; as well as “kill chips” which can cause printers to stop working altogether

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OCP releases new Canon inks

July 4, 2014

canon_cli_42_8_patronen_l0c224The ink manufacturer has produced inkjet ink for Canon’s CLI-42 cartridges.

The cartridges are used in Canon’s Pixma Pro-100 inkjet printer, which features A3 printing alongside “exceptional photo printing quality, high printing speed” and the ability to support a “wide variety of print media”. The device uses Canon’s eight-colour ChromaLife 100+ dye-based inks, including three monochrome inks, and the cartridges come with chips recognised by the machine.

The different cartridges used in the machine include light grey (LGY), grey (GY), black (BK), cyan (C), cyan light (PC), magenta (M), magenta light (PM) and yellow (Y), with each cartridge featuring a sponge and no printhead. The smallest droplet size, according to OCP, is three picolitres, and each cartridge weighs 27g when full and 16g when empty, whilst the filling quantity is 13g.

In terms of the recommended OCP inks for the respective cartridges, OCp has developed two grey, one black and five colour inks with “OEM-like printing results”, and the following ink product numbers include: BK 157 (for LGY); BK 158 (for GY); BK 159 (for BK); C 158 (for C); CL 159 (for PC); M 158 (for M); ML 159 (for PM); and Y 158 (for Y).

OCP added that samples are available in 0.25kg packaging, noting that for individual samples and quantities, customers should get in touch.

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Epson “bets” on inkjet printers

June 24, 2014

Minoru Usui

Minoru Usui

The OEM’s President has stated that inkjets are the company’s “mainstay”.

Wall Street Journal reported on Epson President Minoru Usui’s views on the company’s future, noting that “inkjet printers are Epson’s mainstay”, and that the company is betting on the “revival” of the technology to grow its business worldwide.

Usui stated that whilst “other printer companies are racing to introduce” 3D printers, Epson believes there is still “opportunity” in 2D printing, adding that he believes 3D printers “lack precision and efficiency, and operate with too limited a range of materials for commercial use”. To that end, the OEM will not introduce a 3D printer “until it has developed a model for industrial use”, which may not be for another five years.

Noting his belief that “existing 3-D models are mostly for making plastic toys and things like that [….] to Epson, this is a highly limited market”, Usui and Epson are said by the article to be “counting on” the inkjet market “to bring back growth”, with stock prices rising by 19 percent this month alone showing a growing confidence in the company’s products.

Goldman Sachs Analyst Toshiya Hari stated that Epson’s stock “had been really beaten down [...] people were saying, ‘We won’t be printing in two years’ […] now we’re getting calls from US investors that can’t believe a printer company is having this kind of rise”, with business inkjet said to be part of the reason for the OEM’s growth in popularity.

Tetsuya Wadaki, Analyst at Nomura Securities, added that whilst “big corporations may be reluctant” to use inkjet printers over laser, many OEMs are focusing on SMBs, for whom the machines “could be adequate for […] it is a huge business opportunity for Epson”. The OEM plans to invest $100 million (€73.4 million) in expanding a production line for its business inkjet printer printheads, and still continues to make “most of the principal parts in its printers” and assemble them.

Uusi noted that Epson had previously chased markets “just because they were big”, but that “in the future we will focus on our core technology. I’m not interested in making a smartphone—anyone can do it. The important thing is the core technology, not the device. If we could make refrigerators with inkjet technology, we probably would”.

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Epson RIPS ink “costs less to run” than cartridges

June 16, 2014

The OEM’s ink bags are predicted to provide a “good year” for inkjet.RIPS_colour_inks - Copy

Australian Financial Review reported on the Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS) devised by Epson, which offers litre-sized bags of ink that can print around 75,000 pages, and which the site notes may yet make 2014 “a good year for printer ink”.

The bags, whilst “not for home printing”, are designed as part of Epson’s attempts to “push into the upper reaches of the corporate printing market” alongside HP – the business inkjet sector. Along with the devices that will use the bags said to be able to print 100 pages per minute, the site notes that Epson is hoping the technology “could one day replace laser printers”.

The first RIPS printer will offer 24ppm speeds with a “moving inkjet printhead quite like the ones we’re all used to”, but Epson demonstrated to staff and press a machine using the RIPS bags that has 11 printheads “ganged together” to fit the width of a page, meaning the printhead “doesn’t have to move”, and giving the machine the 100ppm speeds mentioned earlier.

Noting the advantages of the RIPS technology include costing “less to run” and producing less waste, the news site adds that one set of bags “prints as many pages as 50 laser printer toner cartridges and six photoconductor unit replacements”, labelling it a “tiny a pile of waste next to a huge pile of waste”.

The “catch”, it notes, is that Epson is only making the bags available as part of an MPS programme, and thus the businesses targeted will pay per page, and at this time the OEM is “coy” about how much the ink bags will actually cost as “customers may never pay for [them] directly”.

However, the site calculated that if you printed 75,000 pages using Epson’s standard capacity Claria black inkjet cartridge, taking into account Epson’s yield estimate of 400 pages per cartridge, one bag would last for as long as 188 cartridges. It also looked at the cost difference, noting that the cartridges, at $19.99 (€14.74) each, would cost a total of $3,758.12 (€2,772); and noted that if each RIPS bag of black ink holds a litre, and a wine bottle holds 750 millimetres, “if this ink were wine” it would cost $2,818.59 (€2,079).

The site’s article ends on a flippant note, stating that “if someone sends you a bag of Epson ink as a gift, ring them up to thank them. If you must write them a note, type it up in a word processor and print it out with the Epson ink. Don’t write it by hand, whatever you do”.

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SME Inkjet launches HP Officejet Pro X inkjets

May 13, 2014

sme1The manufacturer has designed inkjet ink for the OEM’s Pro X 970 and 971 cartridges.

The cartridges are used in the OEM’s Officejet Pro X476, Pro X576, X51 and X551 colour printers, with the first two of these MFPs. SME Inkjet stated that the inkjets are the first release from its Aspen brand, with challenges faced in development including “printhead technology and resulting print speed[s]” of the machines.

The company added that its ink manufacturer “has been making wide-format and speciality OEM inks for numerous printheads for over 30 years, and while it was a challenge, they did develop perhaps the best inks available”. SME Inkjet also stated that using the Aspen ink “further reduces the printing cost for our customers compared to colour laser printers, without compromising print quality”.

Two testimonials for the inks were given by SME Inkjet customers, including Spur Press’ Tim Buchanan, who stated that his company had “great success” with the ink, producing 20,000 to 25,000 prints “with great results”, as well as noting that the ink “started cleaning the printhead” which another ink had clogged. Rapid Refill Colorado Springs in turn noted that the ink has “pleased” its customers “with the image quality” when used for colour and black prints.

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