Non-OEM inks for affordable prints – a challenging alternative

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Useful tips how to choose good quality inks

When come non-OEM inks into consideration? When you buy a printer there is no doubt about the first choice. It is always the original printer manufacturer’s inks. Because they usually provide a safe start when beginning to run a new printing machine. Unfortunately, in most cases, these inks are rather costly. The reason is the global manufacturer’s sales practice and policy. It includes many different aspects as a reason, among which: High cost of research and development, production, professional labour, marketing considerations, etc.

The ink market today

The situation on the market is although changing dramatically. Certainly, the demand for lower cost of the final print is growing day to day.
This is why every printer has at least once considered the replacement of the expensive OEM inks with a third party product line. Of course, at a minor or moderate risk.

What are the main risks with the alternative inks?

Above all:

– reduced or bad printer performance;
– technical issues, sometimes severe, increasing need for technical service at a high price;
– losing the quality of print;
– losing customers;
– quite often losing a lot of money.

On the other hand

In contrast, by using less expensive printing consumables at a times lower price leads you to gain a higher margin at selling the final product. As a result, this forces the print shop owners usually to go for such a solution.
Here and therefore comes the demand for:
– enough information,
– feedback,
– technical advice,
Рguarantee for future help in order to maintain smooth and problems workflow.

For that reason, the printers need to know what quality they are buying by choosing this or that particular third party ink series. There are several aspects to be taken into consideration and to keep an eye on.

Aspects to consider when choosing non-OEM inks

– Is it the right ink for your printer model?
– Who is making it?
– What is the feedback from the existing market?
– How is its colour gamut?
– Is it good for my print head? What is the drying time of the ink?
– Does it have good mechanical characteristics like good media adhesion and scratch resistance for example?
There are chemical and technical parameters too for which you cannot judge at a glance. Such as the ink raw pigments material type, ink viscosity, surface tension, environmental characteristics.

Is the source the point?

It is not true that inks origin can determine its quality. OEM inks are usually ordered by the printer manufacturer at a limited number of big ink producers. They are being branded and sold expensively under the name of the specific printer brand. But, some of these factories seem to sell their own brands many times cheaper still keeping confidentiality.

Which non-OEM brand to choose?

The best advice would be to trust a proven manufacturer. The one with a good worldwide reputation. The one who is present at all trade events continuously. From such a manufacturer you can receive all the necessary technical datasheets and environmental statistics. He will have and provide the important certificates of conformity and safety. This can reduce substantially the risk. Especially after getting the right positive market feedback from his existing clients.

What makes the product cost more?

Definitely, high ink price has several adequate reasons.
– First, are good quality raw ingredients.
– Then come the thorough measurement and production process, backed by many years of research and testing the results.
– All this is done by good and qualified professionals.
– Specialists who use proper instruments and scientific techniques.
– Listening to the market reaction and…
– Constant improving the products.

These are the tools which help the manufacturers selling the inks but the printers as well.

How to stay on the safe side with lower priced inks?

By buying third-party /non-OEM inks you have to aim at least at some of these positive aspects. If you sacrifice all of them, probably you will be the only loser.

Don’t let it happen to your business.

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