Inks and what you should know.
I am often asked this eternal question about inks and saving money. Should I start using compatible inks in my machine I need to reduce costs. My answer is always the same, stay with OEM ink, and then I go into why, more on this in a bit. We all understand the need to remain competitive, the need to reduce overheads, the need to increase margin in an ever more modest industry, the ability to deliver more for less. Changing from OEM ink is usually a false economy for lots of reasons not least being that the actually difference in an A2 print in terms of cost can be as little or less than 0.14p based on an image that used 2mil of ink which is a pretty standard coverage. Will that really make a difference when your selling that A2 for say £15-20. The gain is so minuscule, so slight that I fail to see the benefit.
OEM ink from manufactures like Canon has undergone years of testing, with millions being spent on R&D to make sure that your prints stand the test of time, are consistent and full of punch and colour, the right colour, expertly matched to heads so that you waste nothing, and your device behaves the way it should day after day, year after year. I have so many horror stories of machines breaking down beyond economical repair because someone put non-original ink in machine perhaps I will share some of these with you in later posts but suffice to say for a small saving in cost there were large repair bills with ink congealing in lines to ink just running through heads like a tap had been turned on.
Inks have been crafted by the manufacturer to be perfect, no compromise at all. Whilst chatting to a good chum the other day who has a large format printer, he told me he now uses compatible inks on one of his newer devices. I had my usually chat about the risks and then it dawned on me we had been here before and reminded him that he was one of my stories. He said what do you mean one of your stories, well I then had to jog his memory of a few years ago in a different life in a previous business, he had gone down the same route (there was then some head nodding, and a small realisation in the eye) and we had just about adverted disaster that we believed had been down to these cheap inks he was using, luckily it had not been for too long, and was it a coincidence that the colours where non-originals were being used had problems, well a few parts including reservoirs some syringing and a new head later we had fixed the problem, he was back on OEM ink and hey presto. Like everything we do we can’t say definitely anything, but I am not a big fan of coincidence, and I guess memories are short when it comes to savings and time will tell if we shall find ourselves in the same situation again in time. We laughed about it and I said that I will wait for his call! But there was just a glimmer that perhaps he was having second thoughts, and I wait with baited breath to see if he is smart enough to change back.
Why take the risk? Yes, you can save a little money, but is it really worth the health of your printer. I will share some more stories in future posts so you can share in some others experience’s, I guess that’s the question you will need to ask yourselves. But when you have weighed this up I am sure you will see that there really is no option, OEM all the way.