I am often asked why we sell Jettec ink cartridges as opposed to other manufacturer’s brands of compatible cartridge. As with most things in life there is no one answer but the nice guys in Jettec’s technical department have released a product brief that they kindly have allowed me to reproduce. This informative guide provides a lot of the answers as to why we use Jettec to provide our compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges.
Inkjet Cartridges, A Product Brief
Patents are an important concern for the compatible inkjet cartridge industry. OEM’s spend millions of dollars patenting their inventions, and have shown increasing frustration and lack of acceptance with manufacturers and importers, who pay little or no regard for the OEM’s intellectual property rights. Many importers and sellers of these products claim without substance they are not infringing any patents, but close inspection reveals that this is not always the case.
Recent OEM successes in the courts have shown the dangers of complacency in this issue. 24 defendants lost in the US ITC case, and pending presidential review, the final group await their fate. Meanwhile, a UK high court action against a prominent importer and some of their customers has had its first hearing before the judge. Despite the importer’s claims they do not infringe, the case continues.
Jettec is experienced in the patent research, and use a highly respected firm of patent attorneys and QCs to endorse its designs. We have been successful in defending ourselves against allegations by OEMs, and we are able to continue to sell our range of world beating products, free of the problems faced by our competitors, who have failed to research the OEM patents before releasing their imports.
Design of Compatibles
Jettec has a long history of designing compatible products that avoid patent infringement, whilst providing equal or better life that the original cartridges. A typical ink cartridge is more that just a box of ink. The structure has to supply the ink when needed, avoid leakage under a wide range of ambient conditions, and keep the ink fresh during the life of the cartridge. The ink also has imported work to do. It has to print perfectly on a wide rage of media, have the right physical parameters to flow correctly through the cartridge and printhead, and remove any small air bubbles introduced during a cartridge change.
Like the OEM’s, Jettec realises that its inventions are valuable, and so we have filed many patent applications for our work, many of which are now granted. The ink cartridge components and ink are not the only factors in the quality of our products. We have many years R&D experience in those elements of the cartridge filing and ink processing that matter to the correct functioning of our products. This knowledge has been incorporated into the many items of purpose-made equipment, designed and manufactured at Jettec for our production lines. By building extensive automation into manufacturing techniques, we are able to maintain market share in the face of fierce competition from products manufactured in the Far East.
An important part of any inkjet company’s business is remanufacturing of empty thermal inkjet cartridges. It requires a sound engineering base to be able to analyse the performance of these complicated devices and solve the many puzzles involved in cleaning and refilling these cartridges to ensure a perfect working solution. It is a sad fact that many remanufactured cartridges in the market have had a less that perfect treatment and so many customers are disappointed when they try them in their printers. We pride ourselves on being able to devise processes and equipment to precisely clean and test our products, and we are a supplier of computerised test equipment to our remanufacturing competitors.
Consumers are increasingly aware of environmental concerns and wish to play a part in reducing their impact. At Jettec we take the environment extremely seriously, and have recently redesigned our packaging range and invested in new machinery to enable us to pack our cartridges in blisters made from recycled plastic, and reducing the size and weight of the packs, well within the targets of many of our major retail customers. Jettec is a ISO14001 registered company, and has recycling certification to meet EU standards.
An in-house digital press enables us to respond quickly to customer’s packaging requests, whilst fulfilling our product just-in-time philosophy. We continue to research new packaging materials with a view to reducing our environmental impact and do so with the advice of environment experts. We operate a plastics recycling facility at our manufacturing plant in Boston, where we recompound plastics waste from the car industry for use in our ink cartridges. Jettec is based in central England enabling us to ship to customers with less carbon footprint than orders shipped from overseas.
Inkjet consumables are not commodity items. They require great care and expertise to manufacture or recycle, so their performance results in repeat sales.