Refilled Ink Cartridges Fade Rapidly

August 23, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | Printers | Comment | |

Henry WilhelmRefill your used inkjet cartridges with cheaper third-party ink and prepare to pay the price in much shorter fading times, claims a new study by Wilhelm Imaging Research.

HP UK Press Release

LONDON, UK, August 23, 2006 - A new study at the independent testing organisation Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc (WIR) shows that photos printed with refilled cartridges can fade significantly in less than two months, while prints made with original HP inks and photo papers last far longer. Photos printed using original HP inkjet print cartridges on HP media1 had the highest WIR Display Permanence Rating of all inks tested - 73 years. This means that under the standard conditions of the WIR tests it would take 73 years before noticeable fading would occur.2   By contrast, refilled inkjet print cartridges had among the lowest WIR Display Permanence Ratings ever measured in the WIR lab.

For example, prints made with Tesco-refilled ink cartridges and Tesco-branded photo paper faded 730 times more rapidly than prints made with original HP inkjet print cartridges and paper.3 Even the best of the refilled cartridges printed on matched, same-brand photo paper had a rating of only 1.2 years, and faded approximately 60 times more rapidly than prints made with original HP photo inks and paper.4

This is WIR’s first published study comparing the permanence of refilled ink cartridges and photo papers available in the European market with original HP photo inks and papers.

“Generally, refilled ink cartridges and third-party photo papers have been advertised as having quality equal to the original products,” said Henry Wilhelm, president and director of research, WIR.

He continued: “Because these claims of product quality deliberately exclude image permanence, we feel that the claims are misleading. The poor permanence of these products is being hidden from consumers who want to make informed purchase decisions. The purpose of this study was to examine the permanence of third-party inks and photo papers and compare this with HP inks and paper, thereby assisting consumers by providing important permanence information that has been unavailable in the marketplace.”

Wilhelm concluded: “Based on the results of this study, WIR considers the permanence of all the refilled ink cartridges tested to be poor and unsuitable for printing consumer photographs. People have always understood that the driving motivation in photography is to preserve moments in time. Refilled inks and third-party papers fail in that respect.”

Vincent Vanderpoel, vice president and general manager, HP IPG Supplies EMEA, said: “HP customers have a choice about the aftermarket products they use. However there are significant implications behind choosing anything other than original printing supplies. The consequences of poor display permanence only emerge when it is potentially too late.”

He added, “Customers also need to understand the significance of using original products both for the ink and the paper, which these results bear out. These are not small differences: there is clearly a huge increase in permanence when using HP products throughout.”

The following table shows the results of the Wilhelm Imaging Research ink permanence study commissioned by HP. WIR Display Permanence Ratings for Original HP Photo Inks and Papers Compared with Store Label Refilled Ink Cartridges and Other Third-Party Photo Inks and Papers

Inkjet print cartridge and paper brandWIR Display Permanence Rating

Original HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper 73 years
Tesco refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on Tesco Premium Photo Heavyweight Glossy Inkjet Paper   0.1 years
Tesco refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper   0.9 years
Jessops refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on Jessops Photo Inkjet Paper, Glossy   0.9 years
Jessops refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper   4.5 years
Embatex Emstar refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on Kodak Ultra Premium Photo Paper   0.6 years
Embatex Emstar refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper     4.5 years
KMP refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on KMP Photo Paper   1.2 years
KMP refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper   4.4 years
WeCare refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on WeCare High-Quality Photo Gloss Paper   1.2 years
WeCare refilled HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper   2.1 years
Ink Tec refill kit used with HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on Ink Tec Premium Photo Paper   0.4 years
Ink Tec refill kit used with HP 57 & 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper   2.3 years

About the WIR methodology
WIR’s test methodology is widely recognised as the de facto industry standard in the absence of an applicable ISO standard.2 In this latest study, WIR tested refilled inkjet print cartridges from several leading European refill brands. They were verified to be printing correctly using the WIR test target and, wherever possible, brands of photo paper were matched to the same brands of inkjet print cartridge. They were then subjected to an accelerated light fading test that predicts years of display before noticeable fading will occur. The test uses a standard display condition for prints framed under glass with a light intensity of 450 lux for 12 hours a day, at a temperature of 24oC and a relative humidity of 60%.

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2006, HP revenue totaled $88.9 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

1 HP 57 and HP 58 inkjet print cartridges with HP Premium Plus Photo Paper.
2 For more details of the testing methodology, visit http://www.wilhelm-research.com.
3 Tesco refilled HP 57 and 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on Tesco Premium Photo Heavyweight Glossy Inkjet paper achieved a WIR Display Permanence Rating of 0.1 years, compared with 73 years for original HP 57 and 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper.
4 KMP refilled HP 57 and 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on KMP Photo Paper, and WeCare refilled HP 57 and 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on WeCare High-Quality Photo Gloss Paper, both achieved a WIR Display Permanence Rating of 1.2 years, compared with 73 years when using original HP 57 and 58 inkjet print cartridges printed on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper.

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