For both businesses and individuals, digital printing costs can have a big impact on your budget. The leading digital printing brands sell printers and inks as a package deal, but when it comes time to replace your ink, many are surprised at how expensive brand-name ink refills can be. While many businesses choose to continue to purchase OEM inks at the higher cost, putting a little bit of time into researching an OEM-compatible ink can pay off in the long term.
OEM vs OEM-Compatible
OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer – all OEM inks are created by the same brand as your printer. In other words, large format digital printing brands like Mimaki or HP create a line of OEM inks meant to replace the ink in their printers. The advantage of OEM ink is that they maintain the same high quality as your original set of inks after purchasing the printer. However, they often include a significant mark-up that is restrictive to businesses that rely on printing.
OEM-Compatible inks can be any ink meant to replace name-brand ink in a certain type of printer. Purchasing low quality replacement inks from manufacturers that claim to be OEM-Compatible can be risky because you could actually damage your printer or hinder its function. However, there are many OEM-Compatible ink manufacturers with experience that design and manufacture inks of the same quality or better than the original brand. Available at a much lower price point, these inks can really improve your bottom-line.
So how do you know? Here are some tips for how to find the right OEM-Compatible ink manufacturer:
Choose OEM-Compatible ink designed for your exact printer make and model
Large format digital printers are both expensive and complicated machines. Generic inks designed for different types of print heads and printer brands may not be as high quality as an ink that takes your specific printer and print-head into account. Look for ink that is designed exactly for that particular use.
Vet the ink manufacturer before you buy
How long has the ink manufacturer been in business? What is their experience in the ink industry and the digital ink industry? Many OEM-Compatible ink manufacturers have been in business for decades and they are a trusted ink provider to many businesses across different industries. Name brands, like HP or Canon, often communicate trust and longevity, but there has been a demand for OEM-Compatible ink manufacturers since the beginning of digital printing!
Contact the ink manufacturer directly
Before you invest in OEM-Compatible ink, call the ink manufacturer directly and ask them what type of ink is best for your printer and medium. This is also a good way to find out if they have good customer service in case a problem arises with your ink! As the designer and manufacturer, these companies should have representatives that can help advise you and ensure that you get the OEM-Compatible ink that is perfect for your application.
About Independent Ink
Independent Ink was established in 1939 as a custom formulator of government and military specification inks and solvents. With over 2 million gallons sold to date, Independent Ink designs custom aftermarket ink products for both industrial applications and digital printing. Contact us today to learn more about our OEM-Compatible digital inks and how we can serve your business.