June 16, 2014
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”.
Categories : Products and Technology