OEM Ink Cartridges vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

OEM Ink Cartridges vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges
OEM Ink Cartridges vs. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

Offices remain on the lookout for methods to help bring down operational costs and improve efficiencies. With so many overheads, every effort can strengthen a company’s balance sheet. As the costs associated with printing and copying can run as high as 5% of a company’s total operating expenses, finding ways to reduce waste and improve printing practices can provide valuable savings.

One such initiative is opting to use remanufactured ink cartridges instead of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) equivalents. While everyone is aware that OEMs provide warnings in their literature about doing this, it’s since become clear that this is primarily to protect their revenue streams. OEMs manufacture the printers and copiers and are well aware that these types of capital expenditures rarely occur for any business. That’s why there is a clear incentive for them to prevent other manufacturers from providing the consumables used in their devices.

The Benefits of Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

With the judgment from the Supreme Court ruling against Lexmark’s post-sale restrictions, companies are now free to refurbish cartridges without the manufacturer’s prior consent. While this case hinged specifically on toner cartridges, the implications for ruling in Lexmark’s favor would have had far-reaching effects. Regardless, the ruling went the way of Impression Products, a small family-owned company who remanufactured Lexmark cartridges as a cost-effective alternative to the single-use ones provided by the OEM.

There are many benefits to using a remanufactured cartridge. While there is a cost-saving, some of the other advantages may surprise companies. For instance, Lexmark sold the same cartridge in both refillable and non-refillable versions. The non-refillable version just used a chip to prevent the printer from recognizing it if someone refilled the cartridge. This goes to show how far OEMs will go to prevent third-party participation in the printer consumables market.

Price per Cartridge Savings for Businesses

As the paper and ink are among the most significant expenses for any printer, a lower cost for every ink cartridge will assist companies with saving money on their fleet. With a remanufactured cartridge, savings of between 30 to 60 percent is possible. For companies that print thousands of pages every month, that is a drastic improvement on the operational bottom-line. Some vendors will also provide discounts on large quantities, allowing businesses to achieve further cost reductions.

No Reduction in the Quality of the Prints

The process of remanufacturing ink cartridges does not rely on recycling the unit. While recycling is an option (and some cartridges will end up being sent to a recycling facility after being remanufactured a few times), remanufacturing involves replacing the mechanical and movable parts, and refilling the unit. Once the manufacturer refurbishes the unit, quality tests indicate whether the cartridge will perform similarly to the original.

Keep in mind that the OEM manufactured the original unit and service providers don’t replace any of the core plastic or metal components, except those prone to wear and tear. The refurbished cartridge comes with its own warranty and doesn’t reduce the print quality. In fact, companies that remanufacture print cartridges are now making improvements, providing bigger yields from the same cartridge as the original OEM units.

Environmental Sustainability Benefits from Remanufactured Cartridges

Probably the most significant benefit of using remanufactured ink cartridges is the reduced impact on the environment. To recycle a cartridge, companies need to break down and separate the parts into their plastic and metal constituents. With remanufactured cartridges, what was intended as a single-use consumable continues working well past it’s designed lifespan. As the process reduces the total waste surrounding the print operation, utilizing a remanufactured ink cartridge is a sustainable business practice.

Other Considerations for Using Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

There are some considerations to take into account when using remanufactured cartridges. Firstly, companies should make use of reputable vendors that ensure the product’s quality. They should also request a warranty on the lifespan of the cartridge and establish the different standards used to refurbish the unit.

One specific question that companies do need clarity on is if the OEM can void the printer or copier’s warranty if a company uses remanufactured cartridges. According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, companies may not use misleading or unfair disclaimers in their warranties. Therefore, using a remanufactured ink cartridge cannot be grounds for voiding the manufacturer’s device warranty.

Reduce Operational Costs with Remanufactured Ink Cartridges from Cartridge World

For real cost savings and improved operational efficiencies, Cartridge World provides expert print and office productivity solutions. As a leading supplier of printers and consumables for more than fifteen years, Cartridge World operates throughout the Quad Cities and delivers manufacturer agnostic printing solutions to any sized business or enterprise.

To reduce your office printing overheads and find a reputable partner that has experts that deliver cost-effective solutions, reach out to one of Cartridge World’s consultants today.