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Discussion 3rd Party Inks

Discussion in 'Product and Supplier Referrals' started by iJetDigital, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. iJetDigital

    iJetDigital New Member

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    Sep 28, 2018
    Oxford, PA
    Regarding 3rd Party Inks. What are your thoughts and concerns using 3rd party inks for your production machines? If a company provided a warranty for printheads, what other concerns would prevent you from trying 3rd party inks in your printers? List as many as you can think of please.
     
  2. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    We used third party inks in a Mimaki JV3, after having stuck with OEM for a couple of years past the warranty. We enjoyed the lower price, and with the particular supplier we used the conversion was simple--the inks were compatible with the OEM so we didn't have to throw out all our ink and switch them all at the same time. Everything went along fine for a few years until we had a head failure with the cyan ink. We replaced it (paying a technician to do it) and then it failed again less than 2 weeks later. Paid the technician to come out again and replace it, and the same thing happened in a week. Replaced it myself, (I'd learned how by then) and again, a week later it failed. After two months of spending money fixing the printer and having almost no production, I bought a new printer (that we still have now, over 5 years later). About 6 months later I got a bulletin from the ink manufacturer that they had identified a problem with their cyan ink and if I returned ink cartridges from certain lot numbers they'd send me new ink cartridges. An 80 dollar ink cartridge is no recompense for thousands in repair cost and tens of thousands in lost business.

    With our new machine we pay OEM prices for OEM ink.
     
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  3. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Denver, CO
    As a tech I always recommend OEM inks. The peace of mind you gain from OEM inks far outweighs the cost savings and there is no real way of knowing if 3rd party inks are lowering the life of your print head. I normally see 3 - 5 years on print head life. I have seen far more print heads last 8+ years when using OEM. I have never seen OEM inks melt a maintenance station but I have seen 3rd party inks do so. The only way to know for sure that an ink isn't going to lower the life of your print head is to do a study with multiple machines and print heads in the same environment over many years and by then it won't matter anyway. Might as well stick with what you know works for sure. That being said, I sell 3rd party inks because even after I give my above speech to my customers, they pick 3rd party anyway more than half the time. Some people just can't pass up savings even if it means more costs down the road. So we just sell the Bordeaux brand because it has worked best for us and doesn't seem to damage our customer's machines. We tried 20/20 inks before that and we had to eat a bunch of heads. Peace of mind is worth more than people realize sometimes.
     
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  4. iJetDigital

    iJetDigital New Member

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    Sep 28, 2018
    Oxford, PA
    Thank you for the feedback. If a 3rd party ink manufacturer provided a head warranty (If it was the vendors problem), meaning it would pay for the head replacement, would that give you piece of mind in making the decision to switch and use an ink other than OEM?
     
  5. iJetDigital

    iJetDigital New Member

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    Sep 28, 2018
    Oxford, PA
    Thank you for the feedback on 3rd party inks. Is there a warranty your company offers when a customer uses Bordeaux inks? I offer the following; (this is a snippet from the warranty statement) "If iJetDigital InkJet Solutions, ink product found at fault, iJetDigital InkJet Solutions, will compensate the end user for replacement cost at iJetDigital InkJet Solutions expense."
     
  6. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    There would be some peace of mind in that, but in my case, I can see where the first head or two they would probably say wasn't covered because the problem with the ink had not yet been identified.
     
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