For so long, recycled printer cartridges have received bad publicity over their presumed substandard quality and inferior performance. Considering that many people did experience problems with the cartridges they bought in the past, it’s not very difficult to appreciate why the negative perception exists, despite the fact that buying remanufactured cartridges help consumers save money.
However, it is important to understand that recycled printer cartridges come in different classes. There are those that are really poor in terms of quality, and there are those that are relatively acceptable. Then there are also superior recycled printer cartridges that exhibit qualities on a par with those produced by original equipment manufacturers (OEM).
High-quality recycled printer cartridges are known in the printer ink industry as “remanufactured” cartridges. The name alone will probably give you an idea that these are not your typical recycled cartridges, which are, more often than not, the culprit behind the quality-related problems that people complain about.
How are low-quality recycled printer cartridges made?
Many ordinary recycled cartridges are produced using ink refill kits that can be purchased from office supplies stores. This sort of recycling is usually a do-it-yourself endeavor, and the process is so elementary that users don’t even have a way to clean the ink dregs from the emptied cartridge shells. It basically involves using syringe and needles to extract the new ink provided in the kit so that it can be transferred into the used cartridge.
Many cartridge refill shops also provide quick refilling services to recycle used ink cartridges. Unlike cartridges that have been recycled using refill kits, cartridges that receive these quick refills first undergo basic cleaning to remove the ink still remaining inside the shells and on the print heads. This cleaning process can involve the use of spinning machines and ultrasonic cleaning systems.
This type of recycling can be accomplished within a half hour, and they could result in better-quality printouts. If you want the best results, however, you should go for remanufactured printing cartridges.
Remanufacturing: The best cartridge recycling process
The most advanced printer cartridge recycling process is known as remanufacturing. It is a rigorous technical process that involves several stages. For ink cartridges, the steps are as follows:
- Inspection (visual and electrical)
- Cleaning (centrifugal cleaning, vacuum billing, atomized spray cleaning)
- Computer-aided refilling
- Quality testing
For toner cartridges, the following steps are followed:
- Parts inspection (to