When the factory installed OEM starter toner cartridges that come with a new laser printer dries out, users will always want a perfect replacement. But how do we define a perfect toner cartridge replacement? Well, the best gauge is likely print quality, which could be rated to either match or exceed the print performance of the OEM cartridge. Second on the list is print yield coverage where cartridge is expected to deliver the same volume of prints as the OEM cartridge is rated; based on the industry mandated page coverage of 5%. Furthermore, the replacement cartridge should not succumb to toner leaks or else it would put in too much strain on printer components. Nonetheless, the most important consideration is the pricing of the cartridge which ought to be affordable to a wide range of laser printer users with differing budgets and buying preferences. All of these cartridge features can only come from products of fine technology because smart engineering will naturally produce smart, if not perfect toner cartridges.
What makes a toner cartridge smart or perfect?
Toner cartridges that provide users perfect printing experience are equipped with components that pass or exceed quality standards and likewise meticulously manufactured to guarantee long, trouble-free printing operation.
If the laser printer is the single pass type, then the Organic Photo Conductor (OPC) Drum is built-in with thedesignated toner cartridge and serviceable life of integrated OPC Drum should at least be 4 times over that of toner powder supplied with the cartridge. The idea is anchored towards economy because users cannot be expected to replace the OPC Drum every time the cartridge runs out of toner. Most likely, users will resort to the use of compatible toner supplied with toner refill kits in an effort to reduce printing costs.
The life of the cartridge largely depends on the capability of the Primary Charge Roller (PCR) and magnetic roller to provide the required electrical potential and maintain adhesion of toner to the OPC Drum. These components must pass a proprietary, multi-stage process so it can deliver more consistent printouts.
Wiper blades, doctor blades and sealing blades work in conjunction with other cartridge components to convey toner efficiently. Each blade must be tested and examined thoroughly. Components that come 1/10,000 of an inch off the specification must not be used.
Toner cartridges are protected with seals to prevent toner leaks, courtesy of two foam strips; one on each end. Toner leaks could be avoided if the seal (usually made of absorbent material) installed is designed as a full gasket; therefore allowing contacts on all 4 sides; unless the cartridge is split in half. An additional factor that makes a cartridge truly perfect is a customized toner formulation that not only serves as the vehicle for image production, but also acts as lubricant to the OPC Drum for optimum performance.
REMEMBER that only fine engineering and technical innovation can produce the perfect equipment, toner cartridges included.
Photo by Sira Anamwong