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 user 2008-05-28 at 3:32:46 pm Views: 77
  • #20028

    Printer cartridges? One size doesn’t fit all!
    Hewlett-Packard broadens size, quality options for same model
    HP Senior Scientist, Dr Charles Dupuy, demonstrating accelerated ageing tests that show how photo prints will look after years of exposure to the air in Singapore on Tuesday.Singapore May 27 Customers of the same printer model may use it differently – even in ways the manufacturer never intended. So the concept of a ‘free size’ or ‘one size fits all’ which works well when selling some readymade clothing, may be all wrong when marketing printer consumables like ink or toner cartridges.It has taken the industry many decades to appreciate this simple fact of life – but having ‘seen the light’, the world’s printer leader Hewlett-Packard, is acting on it with a vengeance… and India is a key testing ground for this new found wisdom.Last year HP launched a cheaper option (suited for ‘draft’ quality copies) to its monochrome inkjet cartridge, type 27, in two trial markets China and India, calling it ‘Simple Black’ and pricing it at about half of the standard cartridge. Cost conscious lay users seemingly liked the ‘paisa vasool’ idea – and helped HP increase sales for this printer cartridge by some 7 per cent. Now it has announced that it will add another popular monochrome cartridge – type 21b – to the Simple Black family in India.
    For other popular cartridges, it has created higher capacity versions in an XL range that offer savings of nearly 47 per cent – but the larger size fits only the newer printers. Users of legacy machines are being offered double packs and combos of colour and monochrome with discounts of 15 per cent over the single unit price, explained Mr Puneet Chadha, HP’s Director for Imaging and Printing Supplies Business in India.For customers who wanted quality, special ‘red’ packings for professional grade work were also offered. “The click-a cartridge” option where customers could order a cartridge online and have it delivered the same day at no extra cost, was a concept pioneered by HP in India, he added.These announcements, made at its annual printer supplies seminar held in Singapore on Tuesday, seem tailored to wean customers in price conscious markets like India from the lure of cheaper refill and re-manufactured options.

    But on the principle that finally quality is what counts, HP also unveiled a slate of technological improvements aimed at extending its leadership in the twin streams of inkjet and laser printers. Patented ‘ColorSphere’ technology has seen the gloss (shine) and the colour gamut (range and number of shades) of laser printer output, dramatically improve over what was available even four years ago, R&D Engineer Ms Stephanie Wicks said.

    Dual drop tech
    Senior Scientist for R&D in Inkjet design, Dr Charles Dupuy, announced new dual drop technology, where the same cartridge sported variable-sized nozzles: some delivering 5 picolitres, others 1.3 picolitres. This would allow even an entry level inkjet printer like the Deskjet 2560, to deliver good quality photos for which a special photo-quality cartridge was used – till recently.The finer nozzles will now kick in when the job required the superior quality demanded by a photo job. Dr Dupuy also demonstrated the ability of scientists to accelerate the ageing of prints due to exposure over years to the ozone of the air. This enabled them to predict the fading after 5, 10 or 15 years… a key parameter to support competitive claims of print longevity.Improvements like dual drop and colour sphere had led to a continuous improvement in print quality that had almost wiped out the distinction between laser and inkjet out for many applications. Singapore-based Vice-President for Supplies Business in Asia-Pac, Mr Leong Han Kong, told this correspondent, who was supported by HP to participate in this event, that for small and medium enterprises, a colour inkjet would still turn out to be some 30 to 50 per cent cheaper to operate than a colour laser for typical office runs.