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Remanufactured Printer Cartridges: More Than Just ‘Refilled’ Cartridges

Printer ink products from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are known for being expensive. Thankfully, consumers these days have the option of purchasing remanufactured printer cartridges.

Remanufactured printer cartridges are recycled from old, discarded OEM cartridges. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the remanufacturing process simply involves refilling these empty cartridges with new ink. The procedure is actually much more complex than that.

This short guide to expounds on the basic differences between these high-quality remanufactured printer cartridges and cartridges that receive rudimentary ink replenishment.


What are ink refill kits?

Ink refill kits are exactly what their name suggests. They are usually sold in office supply stores as do-it-yourself sets. These typically include the ink bottles as well as the syringes and needles that are used to transfer the new ink into the empty cartridges.

Using refill kits is the most basic method of refilling cartridges. There is simply no way to clean the inside of the empty shells. As to be expected, they don’t exactly provide the most satisfactory results. If you’re looking for quality and performance, it’s best to avoid such products.


What are cartridge refilling services?

A step up from DIY ink refills are the basic refilling services. Refill centers clean the cartridges by using a spinning machine. Afterwards, the refill ink is injected into the empty shells.


What are remanufactured ink cartridges?

As mentioned, remanufacturing ink cartridges is not plainly refilling empty cartridges. It is a thorough, technical process that is performed and completed in a controlled environment.  This ensures that the final products will perform just as efficiently as OEM products.


The remanufacturing process usually follows these steps:


Step 1: Inspection

The process begins with an inspection of the empty cartridge shells. They are visually examined and tested with an electrical tester to determine their quality and integrity.


Step 2: Print head cleaning

The dried ink on the print heads is removed with a special cleaning solution.


Step 3: Removal of old ink

The cartridges go through a cleaning process that involves techniques like centrifugal cleaning, vacuum boiling, and atomized spray cleaning. The multi-step process ensures that old ink residues from the print heads and from the inside of the empty shells are completely removed. After cleaning, the cartridges are thoroughly dried.


Step 4: Refilling

Next, custom-formulated ink is injected into the cartridges with the help of a digitally operated machine. The mechanized process helps prevent spillage and inconsistencies in the amount of ink being injected.


Step 6: Testing and Quality Control

The cartridges are individually tested using industry-recognized methods, ensuring that their quality and performance are on a par with OEM products.


Step 7: Packaging

Finally the cartridges are heat-sealed in special packaging bags and then boxed so that they will be protected while in storage.

Because of these very exacting procedures, the entire remanufacturing process can take a couple of days to complete. The  advantage is that manufacturers can produce superior ink cartridges that meet consumer expectations and industry quality standards.

High-quality remanufactured ink cartridges are setting the bar higher for recycled printer consumables. With the availability of such items in the market, businesses and individuals now have better alternatives to expensive OEM ink products, even for well-known brands like Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Brother.


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