Epson Eco Friendly Inkjets

This week we are looking at the reasons why Inkjet technology has historically been unsuitable for the office user and how these problems are now being overcome with modern inkjet printers designed for office use. Traditionally the Inkjet printer has been a cheap, feature limited, low volume device targeted at the home user. At BDS we are particularly impressed with the way Epson have overcome these issues in their Workforce Pro range. This truly innovative range of office printers delivers
solutions to all the historic problems and offers robust, full featured, reliable, eco-friendly products to users at all levels.

Running Costs

Inkjet printing had generally been expensive. This is because manufacturers
targeted the low volume home, or small office user. This led to an explosion of cheap printers available at sub £100, but however, supplied only with low capacity starter ink cartridges. The user might print 150-300 pages and then find a set of replacement inks would cost more than the printer did. Replacement cartridges were often small, probably only yielding maybe 1000 pages or so. In many cases the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow were combined into a single cartridge, thus, when the magenta was empty, you had to also discard the remaining yellow and cyan ink. So this was very expensive.

Epson have put a lot of thought into the consumables. They have produced high yield cartridges up to 7000 colour pages meaning fewer user interventions and more reliable printing with minimal waste product. The running costs are
comparable to laser for normal page coverage, and much less for lower page
coverage users as the only consumable is ink. Whereas on a laser you wear out drums, transfer assemblies and fusers every time you print a page regardless of page coverage, on an inkjet, if the coverage is low, then the consumable usage is correspondingly lower. The Workforce Pro has separate cartridges for each colour thus maximising the yield and minimising cost to the user.

Low Yeild Cartridges & Reliability

Low cartridge yields makes the technology unsuitable for general office print
volumes. Frequent depletions of ink supply require a high level of user
interventions. The more interventions required, the more likelihood of a resultant failure of the machine. Similarly being built for low volume use, the designs tended to lack the robustness required for higher volume office printing.

The Workforce Pro has been built around an industrial strength engine. It is
intended to slot in right where the laser printer is in the office. The engine is robust and designed with high duty cycles for office workloads. With the high yield ink cartridges, user interventions are kept to a minimum.

Print Quality

Historically inkjet has delivered variable print quality. This had as much to do with paper as it did with inks. Laser printers and inkjet printers use fundamentally
different print processes requiring very different properties of the paper. The world had settled on laser printing as the core technology so paper manufacturers of course produce paper optimised for performance in laser toner based machines. Specialist papers for inkjet were produced in relatively small quantities and
therefore at higher cost, adding further to the cost burden of the inkjet user.

A major problem was bleed through when printing solid fields on duplex. The image could often be easily smudged with highlighters or water spills.

Paper production techniques have improved. Paper manufacturers are producing ‘standard’ low cost office paper which is suitable for use in both laser and inkjet printers almost eliminating bleed through and other paper related print quality problems.

Manufacturers have improved control over the positioning of the tiny droplets of base coloured inks to deliver excellent colour at very high print resolutions using minimal ink. This also minimises bleed through and reduces drying time.

Improved pigment formulations deliver solid black print quality and vibrant
colours. These improvements require less ink to produce high quality. The inks themselves are now very robust, fast drying formulations resulting in shorter drying times. This all adds up to excellent quality, durable, duplex prints being achieved at high speeds with minimal waste.

Power Consumption & The Environment

Inkjet technology has always had excellent environmental credentials using
typically only about 20% of the power of a laser printer. The technology is far
simpler than laser toner printing thus there is very little wastage. The ink is
supplied in cartridges which have generally no complex parts, so they are very simple and very cheap to manufacture, whilst producing minimal waste.

This range has addressed all of the historic problems with using Inkjet technology as the main office printer in the office.

Next week we will be looking at how inkjet technology has become the
backbone of some serious production printers.

If you need independent, impartial advice regarding your new printer/copier or want a great deal on toners or inks then give us a call or send an e-mail to


The BDS Team

BDS Computers Ltd
01635 206700

Unit 2 Home Farm Industrial Estate, Yattendon, Thatcham. RG18 0XT

Printers • Toners • Inks • Copiers • Services

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