What does blue ink mean on money

Where's all the ink?

What else do inkjet printers use ink for other than printing?

In our branches and in our customer service over the phone, the question arises again and again where all the ink in the empty cartridges has actually gone, you wouldn't have printed that much. So why is the specified range not achieved? The explanation is simple: firstly, the ISO standards according to which the range of printer cartridges is determined do not reflect the printing behavior of every user, and secondly, ink is not only used in inkjet printers when printing!

The ISO / IEC 24712 test standard for range measurement

The range or page yield is measured and specified by most manufacturers - including TONER DUMPING printer cartridges - in accordance with ISO 24712. A five-page test document with a mixture of texts, graphics, colored areas and photos is used. However, since the printing behavior of most users is by no means as balanced as the ISO document, there will be significant deviations in everyday life for this reason alone.

For example, anyone who uses their inkjet printer for business correspondence and prints a blue logo as the only colored part of their documents will of course use significantly more cyan than magenta and yellow.

Some of the ink is used for cleaning

Fine dust particles and paper fibers - mixed with drying ink residues - are deposited on the printhead of inkjet printers over time. Even if you do not explicitly start cleaning the print head via the printer menu, inkjet printers regularly pump a small amount of ink through the nozzles to prevent heavy contamination and to "wash away" particles before printing that could worsen the print result.

A cleaning initiated by the printer itself or by the user even flushes a significant amount of ink through the printhead.

In some cases you can 20-30 pages of the specified cartridge yield are lost in one cleaning cycle.

Those who print less use more ink

As absurd as it sounds at first glance, ink loss due to printer cleaning has to be noted: if you print less, you actually use more ink. The less often an inkjet printer is used, the more often it has to be cleaned or it cleans itself. And as described above, cleaning the printhead sometimes uses enormous amounts of ink.

There is always ink left in the cartridge

Most inkjet printer cartridges use a sponge to store and dispense the ink in a controlled manner. In such a sponge, as in other cartridge designs, certain amounts of ink always remain that cannot be used by the printer.

Some of the ink will evaporate over time

Printer cartridges are not hermetically sealed. Correspondingly, a small amount of ink is lost over time through evaporation. These are really only very small quantities, but the longer you have the same printer cartridges in use, the greater the amount of ink that is lost in this way.

More ink consumption through different print settings

Anyone who prints every insignificant document in the highest quality will always use more ink than a user who, depending on the document, also switches to draft or quick printing.

Each printer driver offers the option of one Quick print or economy mode to use by using less ink.

The quality disadvantages that result are in most cases, or with most printouts, meaningless - so give it a try!

Colored ink is also used in black areas

Colored ink is also used when printing black text and areas. This is by no means a trick used by printer manufacturers to increase ink consumption. Rather, the use of the additional color helps to make the black appear richer and deeper. In professional offset printing, for example, it is common to underlay black areas with 40% - 60% cyan in order to achieve a rich, deep black.

However, many printer drivers explicitly offer the option of printing only with black ink.

Conclusion - ISO values ​​only inaccurately reflect everyday life

The points mentioned make it clear why the range information for printer cartridges is not an absolute value, and the ink not only lands visibly on the paper, but is also used in other ways.
Depending on the printing behavior, the number of printer cleanings, downtimes, etc., the range can differ significantly from the manufacturer's information. Nevertheless, the information is important and useful, because - provided the same test procedure was used - it enables the ranges of different cartridge types and printer models to be compared.

About The Author

Daniel Orth

Daniel Orth is the founder of the company Tonerdumping and still today, together with Friedbert Baer, ​​managing partner of Tonerdumping Orth & Baer GmbH.