TRINIDAD & TOBAGO’s….PRINTING PROWESS
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO’s….PRINTING PROWESS
2007-11-06 at 10:55:00 am #19189
November 2007 trinidade & tobago :Every year, over 300 million inkjet printer cartridges end up on landfills where they take 300 to 1000 years to break down . The high number represents 95 percent of the cartridges used in any given year.LJR Technology Limited, Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna, is one of the many companies globally who are reusing the other five percent and is encouraging people to reuse them, so much so they are guaranteeing a new printer or photocopier if a refilled cartridge damages the machine.“The offer of the new printer or photocopier is to take away the risk of using the remanufactured cartridge,” said Shara Jagroop, one of the company’s directors and Purchasing Manager.“The remanufactured cartridge will not destroy any equipment but because of what is written in printer and photocopier manuals – that there is no warranty or guarantee on printers if refilled cartridges are used. As a result, many people are scared to try the remanufactured product, she said in an interview last week.This, she said, was due to several other businesses who refill cartridges but do not replace the parts. “Other businesses refill cartridges but are giving the business a bad name because, more often than not, cartridges do not work. People are skeptical because of failed experiences in the past,” she said.She asserted that so far, they have never had to enforce their guarantee. “We spend a lot of money in research and development. I go to expos in the United States which showcase new processes, equipment, classes and training which explore problems and ways to counteract these snags and return to share this knowledge with our employees,” she said.
LJR Technology Limited, she said, was officially incorporated in 2001 and is involved in the refilling, remanufacturing, replacement and reinking of Inkjets, Bubble Jets, Lasers, PC Copiers and ribbon cartridges. They process brand names such as Canon, Epson, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Xerox, IBM/ Lexmark, Okidata, Panasonic and Sharp.Jagroop said laser cartridges are reusable as long as the cartridge remains intact. With regards to Inkjets, black ink cartridges can be reused seven times, while coloured cartridges can be reused five times. Inkjets take about 30-45mins to remanufacture, she said, while lasers take about an hour.Parts are brought in from associates who do research and develop the parts which are sometimes superior to the original manufactured product, she claimed.In addition to remanufacturing cartridges, they also supply new Inkjet, Laser, Photocopier and ribbon cartridges, Media/Data Storage Devices such as DVDs, CDs, Flash Drives, Specialty Paper, Copier Paper and photo paper.“We give the customer the option to purchase new cartridges, but we also urge them to try the remanufactured version,” she said.The idea of remanufacturing cartridges, although big business in other countries, is unique to TT. “We are the only company locally that remanufacture cartridges professionally,” she said. The over 13,000 remanufacturing companies worldwide represent billions of dollars yearly while the industry has been around since the 1980s.Using remanufactured cartridges is a win-win situation for the customer, in terms of the environment and savings, she said.Environmentally, it decreases the amount of plastic, steel aluminum and rubber sent to landfills and burned in incinerators, Jagroop said. There are plans to open up a branch in Tobago.She added, toner cartridges are considered to be one of the least biodegradable waste products. “Purchasing remanufactured toner and inkjet cartridges and recycling empties helps to strengthen the local economy, by throwing away people are actually wasting money,” she said.On the financial side, she said, remanufactured and re-filled cartridges can save consumers up to 50 percent of the Original Equipment Manufactured(OEM) cartridge price.
“The demand for remanufactured cartridges would be larger if more people are informed about the process,” she said. This process includes pre-testing the cartridges, cleaning and replacement of parts, refilling/re-inking with original inkjet inks/toner, sealing to prevent leakage and post testing to ensure quality.“Most other companies have not gone beyond refilling, parts have to be changed because the toner is made for a specific amount of use,” Jagroop said, adding that just refilling would significantly reduce the amount of copies one can get from the photocopier because of the wear and tear of parts in the cartridges.The inks used in printer cartridges are also important. “Every cartridge have its specific ink and if we do not have the ink for it, we would not do the job,” she said.Jagroop explained that some companies sell ink and refill kits, but there is no guarantee in this do-it-yourself project as there is no guarantee it will work.The company’s clientele range from large companies like Trinidad Hilton to small businesses and associations like College Health Foods, All Pro Security, Eastern Football Association, DVD clubs and schools. Jagroop said there are also walk-in customers and customers from neighbouring Caribbean islands.Although there is only one branch, staffed by four employees, Jagroop said, there are plans to expand once the word gets out there. “Right now we are trying to get people’s attention and show them the benefits derived from using remanufactured cartridges,” she said.