Inkjet printer ink is probably the most expensive liquid ever invented by mankind. Sold at $3,000 per liter, the substance is pricier by over 500% than the most expensive Champagne. But did you know that a good volume of total ink supply still lingers with the inkjet cartridge when the printer sensor issues a no ink warning prompt? Yes indeed! Ink wastage is one of the enduring issues in the printing world and inkjet manufacturers have yet to come up with technology that will fully optimize ink utilization but without the disadvantages of using single color ink cartridges.
An earlier study on inkjet printer ink utilization conducted by international technical services provider TUV Rheinland disclosed disconcerting results. Findings revealed that over 50% of total ink supply is retained when the inkjet cartridge is discarded and replaced by new ink supplies. And to think that printer ink is expensive at $3 per ml. At this rate, at least $8 is wasted in the disposal of a supposedly empty 5 ml ink cartridge. The study was actually commissioned by Seiko Epson Corporation back in 2007, in response to consumer complaints regarding the vast amounts of leftover ink inside exhausted ink cartridges.
Findings intimated that ink printers on the average deliver an ink efficiency level of around 58% when utilized for photo printing and becomes underutilized when used to print business documents, particularly presentations. Moreover, it was revealed that inkjets loaded with individual color tanks are better at optimizing ink usage versus the combination or multi-ink cartridges and therefore have higher ink utilization levels.
In this case, the user will only have to replace the exhausted cartridge. This alone promotes environmental benefits as it entails the disposal of only 1 color cartridge, while allowing the continued use of the remaining cartridges until ink is finally used-up. Furthermore, this offers substantial cut in printing expenditures, as replacement happens only one after the other thus totally using up all of the ink filling the cartridges.
Recent ink cartridge designs have been streamlined not only to improve print performance but also to increase ink utilization. Hewlett Packard for instance developed Latex Scitex ink cartridges that preserve the integrity of ink composition in the course of shipping, use and storage. This is made possible with the integration of vapor and air barriers in its construction. More importantly, Latex Scitex cartridge technology promotes high ink utilization; to therefore maximize the delivery of extracted ink.
Shopping for an inkjet printer to fill your photo printing requirements? Don’t just check the unit specifications. As much as possible, inspect the ink delivery system at work and the cartridge construction as well. After all, you wouldn’t want to be wasting precious dollars on the disposal of half empty ink cartridges.