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Refilling inkjet cartridges worth it??

By Tink56 ·
We have about 15 HP DeskJet printers throughout our organization. I'm spending over $2,500 a year on inkjet cartridges.

I've identified two reasons we are overprinting on the DeskJets:

1. Everyone who has a deskjet can also print to a network laserjet. However, why get up and walk over to the network laserjet when you can just print it to the printer on your desktop.

2. The marketing materials (small but frequent, personalized copies) printed on the deskjets will go to a new network color laser printer. The color laser will have permissions set and logs monitored periodically. The color laserjet should allow me to remove at least 8 of the deskjets.

Okay, so those issues aside, I was told to investigate "refilling" the inkjet cartridges; that the cost for this is significantly lower than buying new cartridges. I'm not keen on this and want to put together valid arguments against it. (Kudos if you can convince me it would indeed be worth it.)

How many times can you refill a cartridge?

I understand that cartridges have the print head built into them. That over time the print quality can suffer if you continually refill them because the print head wears out. Exactly how many times can you refill a cartridge?

Someone told me that you can't just let empty cartridges sit around for weeks at a time because any ink left in them will dry and clog things up. So how often should one refill empty cartridges?

There's one of these places that refill cartridges about a mile from here but I haven't checked them out. I dread adding the task of coming and going to this place to my list of things to do. Do you have to wait while they fill them? Or do you leave them and pick them up later? Or do you drop yours off and pick up other refilled cartridges that someone else provided?

So, what's your experience and recommendation?

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a better approach

by master3bs In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

In the long run it will be more cost efficient to invest in a laserjet printer. We recently needed about 12 new printers. I purchased HP 1022 laserjet printers which have worked nicely.

Fortunately the company I work for understands that in the long run we are saving money by spending a bit more on the laserjets.

You could make a case for upgrading the printers instead.

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in reality

by Jaqui In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

you go through 10 cartidges of ink by refilling before you buy new ones again.
cost for a 5 refill container of inks is about 1/2 the cost of a cartidge.
so you get 10 cartridges for the price of one.

issue, this method is cost effective, but you get ink on yourself doing the refills.
paying for refilled inkjet cartridges isn't as significant a savings.
( some ink cartidges around here are close to 100 each )
[refill sets are 20 and 30 black / colour]

getting refilled laser toner cartridges isn't as good a deal, and those can only be refilled 5 times,so you pay for 4 to get 5

when you empty an ink cartidge, you have to fill it in 2 days at most.
( most common to only have one set extras if refilling and swap then fill empty ones. )

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Often overlooked

by jdmercha In reply to Refilling inkjet cartridg ...

The most common thing to overlook with printing costs is the incedental labor involved.

You may save money on supplies by refilling cartridges, but don't forget:
1. The cost in time it takes you to fill them.
2. The cost of increased trouble calls because a refilled cartridge does not perform as well as a new one.
3. The cost of of an imperfect process. You may get as many as 10 refills out of a cartridge, but that won't be the average.

As far as networked printer go, consider too the cost of the emplyees time to get up and walk down the hall to get their print jobs. Not only the cost of the time it takes to walk down there, but the cost in lost productivity.

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by w2ktechman In reply to Often overlooked

The cost in getting up and going to the printer should not be a factor. It is recommended for people to get up and away from a computer every 15 minutes to keep from having ergonomic related problems which can cost a lot more than a little lost productivity.
In this day and age, companies should be looking into a paperless environment anyway. There are sooo many media devices out there that paper copies should be used as a minimum. Many people are so used to printing, that they cannot get away from it. But printing in general should be limited in use.
At the least, most companies should be mostly away from personal printers except in extreme cases. Networked laserjets are my choice for printers, I hate inkjets. I wont even buy an inkjet for home use anymore. Inkjets are mostly made very cheap, and replaceable. In fact, if you hit a sale, you can get a new printer for the same price as buying ink and print heads for said printer. What does this do to landfills? Most LJ's that I have used last for many years and break much less.

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In a perfect world...

by jdmercha In reply to Disagree

I would agree with you. However, in my experience you can't get people to buy into the paperless office. We have many people here that will print out their email rather than read them on the screen. We have personal printers and network printers. The network printer is often a location for employees to gather and chat.

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But, if you

by w2ktechman In reply to In a perfect world...

If you take away the personal printers and leave them with network printers, then there will be less email printing. Plus they get to get up once in a while which is good for multiple reasons. The only people that should have personal printers in an office are the ones who need to print often (Need To), and which the print jobs themselves contain confidential Information.

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Not in my office

by jdmercha In reply to But, if you

If I get rid of desktop printers people will still print their emails. And many of them will end up being printed on expensive letterhead paper.

I have a lot of technically challenged people. I have at least one user who will have her secretary print out her email so she can read it.

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If they do

by w2ktechman In reply to Not in my office

setup a paper tray for plain paper.

I work in a department with a lot of high level employees, most of them have their admins do just about everything for them. Most are technically challenged as well, in fact, I have a few of them, that I have to show how to dock their notebooks on a regular basis. How challenged is that???
Once we got it through that they were losing their personal printers (many of them), they did in fact, get used to the setup. It has been over a year for many, and there is still some whining, but for the most part it has been a success.
Also, a lot of them did start going to a more paperless environment. Not totally, but there are less print jobs.

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So did the older deskjets.

by TonytheTiger In reply to Disagree

We still have some HP 500Cs around that are almost 15 years old. Use them in field construction offices where they see lots of dirt and abuse, and they've outlasted several generations of newer ones. They're not fast, but they've been reliable.

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Thats Great

by w2ktechman In reply to So did the older deskjets ...

I wouldnt expect a deskjet to last long or take a lot of dust. I still see HP LJ's III, 4 and 5 which perform well, and some are workhorses (even still).

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