What is ink expiration and will it make my HP ink supplies stop working?
What is ink expiration? Why does it exist? Is there something built into HP ink supplies that make them stop working on a certain date?
The simple fact is that most HP ink supplies do not have ink expiration dates, so few users are affected. Of the small percentage of HP ink supplies that do have ink expiration dates, some will, indeed, stop working on those dates, while others have dates that can be overridden—causing minimal impact to the overall printing experience.
What is ink expiration?
The ink expiration is a built-in date on the microchip wherby certain HP inkjet cartridge will stop working. Air ingestion and water evaporation can cause ink to change over time. In printing systems where the printhead and ink supply are separate, older ink can adversely impact the printhead and the ink delivery components within the printer. With ink expiration, however, HP can prevent this from happening.
Why ink expiration?
Why do any HP inkjet products have ink expiration dates?
To protect the printing system and ensure print quality, some ink cartridges will use an ink expiration date. If the cartridge still has ink on that date, it either stops operating or displays a warning message which the customer can override. As previously mentioned most HP ink supplies do not have ink expiration date. This issue affects only a small percentage of older HP ink supplies.
What is the ink expiration date?
It’s important to note that the ink expiration date is NOT the date stamped or printed on the ink supply. Rather, the printed date on all HP inkjet supplies is the “Warranty ends” date. To determine the ink expiration date on a particular supply, the consumer needs to consider three factors: the ink supply, its warranty date, and the date on which the cartridge is initially installed.
Which printers use ink expiration?
The table below provides additional information on the particular printers that use ink cartridges with ink expiration dates, whether or not the user can override the expiration date, and the process of determining the expiration date on those supplies with no override.
Ink expires, but you can override*
Ink expires, no override*
Ink does not expire
|Printers||HP Officejet Pro 8000, 8500, K550, K5300, K5400, K8600, L7400, L7500, L7600, and L7700 SeriesHP Photosmart 3110, 3210, 3310, 8250, C5180, C6180, C6200, C7180, C7200, C8100, D6160, D7160, D7200, D7360, and D7400 series, HP Photosmart Pro B8800, B9180HP Designjet 510, 4000, 4500, 4X20, 5100, 5500, 8000, 9000, 10000, L25500, L26500, L28500, L65500, LX600, LX800, LX820, LX850, T610, T620, T770, T790, T1100, T1120, T1200, T1300, T2300 eMFP, T7100, Z2100, Z3100, Z3200, Z5200ps, Z6100, Z6200 series, HP CM8050 and CM8060||HP Officejet Pro K850HP digital Copier Printer 610HP Business Inkjet – allHP Officejet D series, HP Officejet 7100 series, HP Officejet 9100 seriesHP Professional series (2000 and 2500)HP Color Inkjet cp1160 and cp1700||All other HP printers.|
|When will expiration make my cartridges stop?||Able to continue after override.||Color Inkjet cp1160 series, Officejet d125xi, d135, d145, d155xi, 7110, 7130, 7140xi, HP Fax 610:12 months after the “Warranty Ends” date, or 18 months after the ink cartridge is installed, whichever comes first.All other printers: 24 months after the “Warranty Ends” date, or 30 months after the ink cartridge is installed, whichever comes first.||Do not expire.|
*Override—you can continue printing without replacing the ink cartridge, by following instructions on the printer, in the user manual, or in the ink cartridge expiration message on the computer screen.
The black colour can be defined as the absence of all other colours, as compared to white, which is a combination of all colours. The science behind the colour of black lies in the types of colour which are reflected back. Black is the absorption of all of the colours, with no colours reflected back to the human eye. Comparitively, white will reflect the entire colour spectrum back to the human eye, which then recombines them into the colour that we see and recognise as white.
Black can be printed by combining 100% of the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow colours (making a separate black cartridge redundant). However, this method has its drawbacks as often the colour produced is closer to grey than a true black. The benefits of a separate black cartridge also lie in its ability to be swapped out without wasting left-over ink from the other colours in that cartridge, as black ink is the predominant form of ink used.
To produce better results the four colour printing method CMYK is used where black is K and the fourth cartridge colour. This stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. K is used instead of B in this method to avoid confusion with the Red, Green, Blue (RGB) acronym where B is blue. The K used instead is derived from the German word ‘kohl’, meaning coal.
Cyan is also called process blue and is one of the subtractive primary colours used in the CMYK or CMY colour methods (where CMY is just CMYK where black is derived from mixing the three colours, as explained above). This colour is primarily blue, with some green in it.
For printers using ink cartridges Cyan is either inserted as one of four cartridges (one for each of the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) or as a combined ink cartridge with Yellow and Magenta.
Magenta is also called process red and is the second of three subtractive primary colours used in the CMYK and CMY methods. The magenta colour is greenless, meaning it absorbs all wavelengths of green light and predominantly red with a tinge of blue.
Like Cyan, Magenta is either inserted as one of four cartridges (one for each of the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) or as a combined ink cartridge with Yellow and Cyan.
Yellow is the third and final subtractive primary colour used in the CMY and CMYK printing methods. Yellow is blueless, meaning that it absorbs all wavelengths of blue light.
Like the two other subtractive primary colours, Yellow is either inserted as one of four cartridges (one for each of the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) or as a combined ink cartridge with Cyan and Magenta.
Common causes of a cartridge not recognised error:
- replacing cartridges before the printer has detected it’s out of ink or toner
- installing cartridges out of sequence
- touching electrical contacts on the cartridge with your bare hands
Each cartridge has an individual ID or a serial number that the printer uses to know if the cartridge is present. Occasionally if you install a new cartridge the printer is still looking for the old cartridge and will not recognise the ID of the new one.
This issue may be avoided by following a few simple steps.
Ink and Laser Cartridges
Follow this when the printer will not recognise the cartridge either by error message or flashing light.
- Take the cartridge out
- Turn power off at the wall socket (not printer)
- Wait 120 seconds (no less)
- Turn power back on at the wall socket
- Reinstall cartridge, referring to the operating manual instructions on cartridge installation.
At this point the cartridge should be recognised.
- Get some methylated spirits and a cotton tip (please follow safety instructions on bottle), dampen the cotton tip and then clean the electrical circuitry board on the cartridge.
- At this point, you should also clean the cartridge carriage electrical board. Open the printer lid, wait for the carriage to come to the middle (by turning on the printer), and then turning the power off at the wall.
- This will allow the cartridge to move freely and be safe to clean. The next step is to lightly wipe the cotton tip, dampened with methylated spirits, over the electrical contacts. This will remove any ink splatter and film built up on the contacts.
- Finally, return the carriage to where it had stopped when you turned the printer off, then turn the power back on. The carriage will go back to the loading position, and you will be able to install the cartridges. Do this next according to your printer instructions, however, usually you will need to put the colour cartridge in first, as this is the sequence required for printer recognition.
Colour Ink and Laser Cartridges
When changing empty colour cartridges you should only change one at a time, starting with the colour that first came up empty.
Note: Only remove empty cartridges that the printer has prompted you to.
- When notified of an empty toner or ink cartridge, remove and install the replacement for, that cartridge only.
- If more than one cartridge is empty, proceed to remove the next cartridge that is asked for.
- Do not remove all cartridges at the same time, as this confuses the printer such that it might fail to read its status correctly
Incorrectly installed cartridges will bring up a ‘not-recognised’ cartridge error message on the printer menu, printer status on your computer or flashing light on the printer.
Poor Print Quality – Inkjet cartridges with Built-in Print Head
- Try print-head clean
- Run the test page to see if print quality has improved. If not, try step 3
- Take cartridge out, fold a tissue in half, and then in half again. Place the ink cartridge (print head down) on the tissue to see if you have a good ink blot.
- If the blot is good, clean the electrical contacts on the side of the cartridge, and in the printer with a cotton tip dampened with methylated spirits. There may be ink or other foreign matter on them. Do not touch the contacts with your bare hands as the oil and moisture on your fingers can damage the electrical properties of the contacts.
Try the next procedure if the above steps do not improve print quality, or if the print head is blocked (refer to blot test).
- Heat water approximately 4/5mm deep in a saucer so that it is hot but not boiling. Sit the cartridge print-head into the water with the cartridge in an upright position and let it soak for five minutes. You can put 20mls of blue windex in the water if you have it. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER CHEMICALS.
- Remove the cartridge from the water, pat dry moisture from the print head onto folded tissue.
- Wipe a dry cotton tip over the electrical contacts so that there is no moisture on these when installing.
- You may need to repeat the soaking a number of times to overcome dry ink in jets.
Toner is a powder used in laser printers, faxes and photocopiers to form the printed text and images on the paper. In its early form, it was simply carbon powder. Then, to improve the quality of the printout, the carbon was melt-mixed with a polymer and the particles are melted by the heat of the fuser and bind to the paper.
In earlier machines, this low-cost carbon toner was poured by the user from a bottle into a reservoir in the machine. Current machines feed directly from a sealed laser toner cartridge. Modern laser toner cartridges intended for use in colour copiers and printers come in cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
The specific polymer used varies by manufacturer but can be a butadiene copolymer, or a few other special polymers. Toner formulations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from machine to machine. Typically formulation, granule size and melting point vary the most.
Originally, the particle size of toner averaged 14–16 micrometres or greater. To improve image resolution, particle size was reduced, eventually reaching about 8–10 micrometers for 600 dots per inch resolution. Further reductions in particle size producing further improvements in resolution are being developed through the application of new technologies such as Emulsion-Aggregation. Toner manufacturers maintain a quality control standard for particle size distribution to produce a powder suitable for use in their printers.
Toner has traditionally been made by compounding the ingredients and creating a slab which was broken or pelletized, then turned into a fine powder with a controlled particle size range by air milling. This process results in toner granules with varying sizes and aspherical shapes. To get a finer print, some companies are using a chemical process to grow toner particles from molecular reagents. This results in more uniform size and shapes of toner particles. The smaller, uniform shapes permit more accurate colour reproduction and more efficient toner use.
This makes it imperative that you match the correct toner with your printer, to obtain best results and maintain printer life.
As technology has made working from home as easy as it has ever been—with high-speed connections, video chat platforms and cloud-based networking—the modern home office needs little more than a laptop, a few printer cartridges, some paper and of course the printer. So when PC Advisor released the results of a survey this month, probing respondents on how they use their home printer, the results came as a surprise to bloggers and even some printer and ink cartridge manufacturers.
The survey, sponsored by Kodak, asked: ‘Who in your household uses your home printer the most?.’ 60 percent of respondents selected ‘Me or my partner – for leisure’. The other options were ‘Me or my partner – for work’; ‘Kids – for leisure’; ‘Kids – for homework/college’; and ‘Other family/friends’.
Tech reporters at PC Advisor have a number of theories as to why so many people are eschewing the home office printer in favor of a more fun, photo-friendly printing option. In an increasingly digital world, the UK tech publication posits, many of our business documents—from contracts to boarding passes—have come online, to our phones or onto a growing number of tablet devices, reducing the need to fire up the printer and waste our precious printer ink.
Like many paper-based office practices, photo developing has gone digital as well, creating an entirely new segment of photo printing technology. Gone are the days of developing rolls of film and waiting for the guy at the corner drug store. Today, many printer owners are printing their own photos from home and getting instant access to their memories in the process. Printers have become more adept at printing photos, creating more vivid colours and better resolutions to handle top-flight digital cameras with high mega-pixel images.
While the home office is still a reality in many homes, most business people are leaving their business printing tasks at headquarters and saving their paper and printer ink for fun.
While printer ink may be just a line item on your budget, the way these inks work together can help you understand what you are loading into your printer every month. With a few tweaks and additions, you could save on ink cartridges and waste less toner.
Printers typically utilize variations on the three primary colours. These colours are typically Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), and Yellow (yellow). By understanding how these three work together, you can make more informed printing decisions.
Black: Black is made by combining all other colours until no one single colour can be reflected back to the eye. By combining all three primary colours in equal amounts, printers can create a colour similar to black. But because this is a crude combination, prints can often come out brown or grey. That is why, when your black printer cartridge is low, your prints come out grey. Printer cartridges come in black as well and most offices utilize black ink for their prints to create more brilliant blacks. Some offices, however, don’t need many documents to go out of the office and therefore choose to simply allow the typical CMY group to get the job done. This is not typically recommended, as black ink creates a more preferable, legible print. Black is abbreviated as K, which stands for Kohle, the German word for coal. This is so the colour spectrum RGB (Red, Green, Blue) will not be confused with the normal printer spectrum of CMYK.
Cyan: As a blue with some green in it, Cyan is used largely as a subtractive colour, removing brightness from colours, rather than adding it. It is critical to creating shadow and expressing the darker end of the colour palette. Cyan can come as its own cartridge or in a combined CMY ink cartridge.
Magenta: Unlike Cyan, Magenta contains no green at all but does contain a bit of blue. It is a subtractive colour also but helps push prints towards the middle of the colour scale. This colour can also come on its own or in a combined cartridge with Cyan and Yellow.
Yellow: Perhaps the most complex colour in the primary scale, Yellow is a blueless colour that absorbes all wavelengths of blue from light. It can mix with blue to create green at the darker end of the spectrum, but can also be combined in light or heavy doses to create a wide range of colours on the brighter end of the spectrum. This colour can appear in printers on its own or combined with Cyan and Magenta.
While many printer ink and toner cartridges have become interchangeable, no matter what printer your office uses, after-market printer chip providers have made a business out of helping you keep your printer current with modern technology. But with the release of a new printer, technology manufacturer Samsung seeks to make after-market printer chips obsolete.
The printer is known as the Samsung ML1640,1660, 1915 series. These models include a new feature know as “Stealthware,” designed to automatically activate new firmware features based on set time frames. This design hopes to help users stay current with modern print technology.
The Stealthware system can be tailored to fit with any printer platform and can be set to update due to an internal time clock, page count, calendar date and more.
As their printers age, some customers worry that page yields will suffer. Now, with automatically updating firmware, printers will stay relevant longer, causing these concerns to grow. Many office professionals don’t realize that printer cartridges are designed to cover only 5 percent per page. If you are printing a lot of pictures, graphics and large logos, you may use up ink cartridges faster than a printer used strictly for printing text documents. Customers concerned about page yields as their hardware ages should talk to their local printer ink specialist, bringing an example of a typical print project.
As technology makes printers last longer, business owners and workers should keep an eye on their printer performance to ensure that they are still getting the best out of their equipment.
A few years back small to medium sized businesses preferred laser printer cartridges more than ink cartridges. Today the gap is becoming closer because there are many different choices available on the market and the prices of printers are becoming cheaper.
Before buying a cheap laser printer, you should calculate its ongoing costs. In most situations, you would end up paying a lot more because the refills are typically expensive. Manufacturing companies have been hiding the truth about the real cost of producing their laser printers. In reality, the cost of one unit of laser printer is not that cheap, but these companies belief that they will profit more on the sales of cartridges. Selling the printing devices with a dicey deal is just their marketing strategy to get more profits in the long term.
Many people are now aware that the cheaper a printing device is, the more expensive its refills would be. A leading brand like Hewlett Packard has reaped around $15 billion in profit from the sales of printer cartridges alone. This is because most businesses do a lot of printing on a daily basis so basically they will keep buying new cartridges.
Ink cartridges are relatively cheaper than the laser ones. Their printing capacity differs from one brand to the next. Overall, it’s up to you to decide but keep in mind that cheap laser printers are likely to have expensive cartridges.
With mobile technology bringing everything from books and newspapers to legal briefs and contracts online, the need for paper has diminished in places like the school and the office. But for some, the need or even want for actual paper and printing is not going away any time soon. For those still loving their printer cartridges and paper trays, new technologies are making it easier to get hard copies from tablets and mobile phones.
The Little Printer: London-based design team Berg has partnered with some of the world’s largest companies to release a prototype called the “Little Printer.” The machine takes up as much room on your shelf as an alarm clock but wirelessly connects with a smartphone app to pull a number of daily factoids from your personal web (upcoming birthdays from Facebook, agendas for the day from your address book) and print them into a handy little receipt for quick perusal. Sporting a tiny ink cartridge and wi-fi router, the device is little more than a few components and a faceplate yet can be completely controlled from your phone. According to tech blog CNet, the Little Printer is a marketing tool for Berg’s newest concept, BergCloud. This online ecosystem would allow you to control an array of household items from your mobile device.
All-in-1 Printers: The self-contained printer-scanner-fax combo is so 2007. Today’s all-in-one printers—like the Kodak Hero 9.1 released this week—offer more than the average home office staple. From wireless connectivity over your office network to ordering double-sided prints from your mobile device to even receiving printer ink refill warnings to your phone, these printers create a more complete office eco-system. You can also print from the Google Cloud, swap back and forth between photo paper and regular documents with ease and even print 3-D pictures and video captures. The Hero and printers like it are connecting the digital world with the tactile world like never before.
Australian parcel service Australia Post goes through a lot of ink cartridges, printing shipping labels and work orders for packages across the nation. But this year, the company hoped to make more from printer cartridges than a few extra deliveries. To celebrate National Recycling Week, Australia Post partnered with environmental non-profit Planet Ark to recycle used ink cartridges into pens.
The Enviroliner felt tip pen is made from more than 95 per cent of recycled plastics and inks, with one cartridge making two pens. Each person who donated a printer cartridge to the cause got to take the pens home as souvenirs, giving the ink and plastic new life.
Project organizers released a statement, saying the project was designed to combat e-waste; the disposal of technology items that may contain harmful chemicals and can harm the groundwater around landfills. Mobile phones, computers, tube televisions and printer ink can all add toxins like mercury and lead to the environment if not disposed of properly. Planet Ark’s campaign manager Brad Gray stated that one third of people still throw printer cartridges in their home trash.
“By making e-waste recycling so accessible Australia Post is helping to encourage more and more people to get involved,” said Mr. Gray.
Beyond just pens, printer and toner cartridges collected by the program will be used in a variety of ways. Some will be returned to their original manufacturers so they can be refilled and parts can be repurposed. The remaining cartridges will be converted into new products such as pens, park benches and rulers.