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can anyone tell me what is the shelf life of inks please?

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Peter Edwards

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:04 pm

can anyone tell me what is the shelf life of inks please?

Hi All,

I've just had to order my first change of inks for my Roland SP-300v which takes the EcoSol Max stuff. It just so happens I fell into a conversation with another local sign writer and were comparing inks prices etc (he got different equipment). He asked whether my inks were limited at all time wise to which I answered, I don't know! With his kit the chips that are part of the cartridge are apparently coded to stop working after date X.

Anybody know if this is the same with the Roland EcoSol Max cartridges? I looked on the new ones and see 'JAN' followed by the part number so I'm a little worried because I don't use a lot of ink at present and bought the 440ml carts to save in the long run!

Any advice/answers welcome, cheers!!

Pete
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Chris Wool

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:14 pm

Anybody know if this is the same with the Roland EcoSol Max cartridges


not to my knowledge but they are dated as best used by. if you are a low user i would have recommended you stick to 220 carts anyway.

it is generally recommended that you give them a gentle but prolonged agitation before fitting if been sitting around a long time.

chris
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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:15 pm

are you talking time limited, as in they are unusable after a date, or just they have a use by date?
Mimaki have a use by date, but that is because inks do deteriote,
the machine will tell you the use by date has been reached, as a warning. but it doesnt stop printing.

Peter
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Chris Wool

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:22 pm

just a recommended use by date these cart are not intelligent. thank heavens.
chris
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Peter Edwards

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:25 pm

Cheers Guys!

Chris, any ideas were I see the 'use by' date as all I can find date related is the letters 'JAN' which could be 2030 for all I know!!! :)

Any ideas how long the inks will stay descent after that date as well?

Ta

Pete
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Chris Wool

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:28 pm

cant remember never looked for it for ages.

whats the other nos on there

chris
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Peter Edwards

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:31 pm

Just the part numbers so with Cyan I see....

JAN ESL3-4CY

...a barcode and then the standard blurb.
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Shane Drew

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:35 pm

Peter Edwards wrote:Cheers Guys!

Chris, any ideas were I see the 'use by' date as all I can find date related is the letters 'JAN' which could be 2030 for all I know!!! :)

Any ideas how long the inks will stay descent after that date as well?

Ta

Pete


Peter

I think most manufacturers expect the ink to be used within 12 to 24 months of manufacture.

They could sit on the shelf for 6 months although I'd imagine Roland turn over their inks pretty fast., so realistically you should expect to use them within the year.

Speaking to ink suppliers here, they tell me that the use by date is pretty important, and that after that date, the ink is expected to deteriorate. It will also void any claim you may make on the ink if the job was done using expired inks.

not sure that it helps, but the actual use by date should be on the packaging?

Chris's advice is good. If you are a low ink user, you should consider the smaller carts until you increase your usage levels.

Shane
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Peter Edwards

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:42 pm

Thanks again all.

Yes I think I may have made a bad choice with the 440ml carts then!

I've just picked up my cleaning carts that came with the machine and they to have no specific dates on them just the 'JAN' letters followed by a part number, v odd!
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Karl Williams

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:13 pm

Peter Normington wrote:the machine will tell you the use by date has been reached, as a warning. but it doesnt stop printing.

Peter


Oh yes it does!!!
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Peter Edwards

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:15 pm

Which machine are you referring to Karl?[/quote]
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Karl Williams

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:38 pm

The Jv3 mate. I bought quite a bit of ink when I first bought the machine which had short dates. Problem is the supplier would not take them back.
As for the ink going off?? Maybe after a few years but 6 months. My opinion......Just a money making racket to get you to buy more.
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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:51 pm

Karl Williams wrote:
Peter Normington wrote:the machine will tell you the use by date has been reached, as a warning. but it doesnt stop printing.

Peter


Oh yes it does!!!

beg to differ Karl, but my mimaki did not stop printing after the use by date on the carts, it has only happened once though, I ordered extra cyans as I though i would use more than normal on a particular job, but used far less than anticipated so ended up with 2 carts that weren't empty by the use by date. The printer still carried on for a week till the carts were empty. and I suppose its a bit like food, they cover their backsides by a shorter use by date than is actually needed.

Peter
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David Rowland

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Post Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:59 pm

yep, the mimaki will stop printing... remember karls thread

looks like i am wrong with regards miamki being the only printer with restrictive dates then, i thought the rolands didnt have it.

the problem is shipping, if a supplier has them stuck on the shelf for ages, then the end user gets a less date.
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:02 am

Dave Rowland wrote:yep, the mimaki will stop printing... remember karls thread

looks like i am wrong with regards miamki being the only printer with restrictive dates then, i thought the rolands didnt have it.

the problem is shipping, if a supplier has them stuck on the shelf for ages, then the end user gets a less date.

sorry Ddave my mimaki did not stop printing. and that is fact, I seem to remember some relative of Karl changed the date on the machine though, which may have had an effect.
Peter
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Chris Wool

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:03 am

my ink supplier has the inks sent direct from roland thats what i like about them

chris
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Pauly

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:00 am

It could be firmware differences, but in my experience, the Mimaki certainly will not work with expired carts. Same as the Seiko and the roland too I believe?

If I was running such a small amount of ink through my machine that I could not use a 44ml cart in 12 months or even 6 months, I would be more concerned that my machine would have internal issues that would cost a lot more than throwing out a little ink. Solvent machines are not meant to sit idle for too long. I have seen machines of similar age, and the one with 12000m on it is still going strong where the one with 1000m has all sort of issues to do with ink lines etc.

Cheers,

Pauly
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Bill McMurtry

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:43 am

The normal JV3 auto-cleaning routines should see the 440ml carts empty into the waste container in at least 12 months, without doing any actual printing at all :o
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:16 am

Maybe there are firm ware differences and that would explain why Karl's stopped printing, Or perhaps if you load a cart that is already out of date,it will not work? In my case the carts had about 20% left when the warning appeared on the panel saying the expiry date been reached.
I will give Hybrid (uk Mimaki importer)a call later to get the definitive answer, and report back

Peter
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David Rowland

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:42 am

Well i am on the early firmware, but the latest is what Karl was on.

I have moved my date on the JV3 to stop the limit, but I know someone else who has a JV-SP who had a date lock on a cart so I helped them.

I think there is a expiry message and then a lock out after that. I cant be sure.
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:53 am

Dave Rowland wrote:Well i am on the early firmware, but the latest is what Karl was on.

I have moved my date on the JV3 to stop the limit, but I know someone else who has a JV-SP who had a date lock on a cart so I helped them.

I think there is a expiry message and then a lock out after that. I cant be sure.


Dave I have emailed Hybrid for their advice, it is far better than assuming things, will see how long they take to reply.

As for messing with dates on printers, although you may think you are helping, maybe you are invalidating warranties by doing so?
There must be a reason why there is an expiry date on a cart, and I cant see it being just to make more money for mimaki or its dealers. Anyway lets see if I get an answer fom Hybrid


Peter
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David Rowland

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:01 am

Peter, the reason why their is dates on the cartridges is so Mimaki can make money on the printer by buying more ink, this is why the Mimaki's have never really been excessively priced. I am surprised to learn the Roland has dates as I was told they didn't have it. I also have been told that ink doesn't have problems anyway by a couple of people who do/used to work for two known Mimaki agents. However White UV Ink is a beast!!
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:17 am

Dave Rowland wrote:Peter, the reason why their is dates on the cartridges is so Mimaki can make money on the printer by buying more ink, this is why the Mimaki's have never really been excessively priced. I am surprised to learn the Roland has dates as I was told they didn't have it. I also have been told that ink doesn't have problems anyway by a couple of people who do/used to work for two known Mimaki agents. However White UV Ink is a beast!!

Dave I am sorry but that argument doesn't really wash with me.
I just bought a complete set of carts and they have about 6 months before expiry more than enough time to use them. and if you hadnt used them in that time then you are hardly going to increase hybrids profit margins very much are you? they overall revenue from the inks sales is probably tens if not hundreds of thousands, and I dont thing they would be to bothered by selling an extra set of carts to a very low user.

just my opinion, lets see what Hybrid say?


I asked the question about Rolands ink when we visited to see the versaart, Im almost certain I was told that they DO NOT have an exoiry time, But again it would be better to ask them for the correct answer.


Peter
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Martin Grimmer

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:48 am

I have a mimaki and I have had a similar problem in the past. The printer will warn that the ink is about to expire - it seems to give you an extra month or so on top and will then stop.

This would explain Peters position whereby the limit had been reached, but could still work a week later before cartridge was empty.

When I bought the machine I was encouraged to get extra inks at the same time at a bit of a discount. Had assumed that after the use by date they couldn't necessarily guarantee same colour match etc. but as most of my stuff is not reliant on matching specific pantones etc. didn't think this would be a problem. Had I known the cartridge would stop working, I wouldnt have gone for the 'special offer'. I lost 4x cartridges. Less than impressed. To be fair supplier of my machine tried to offer whereby I could swap a couple of those that had yet to expire to another (high use) customer, albeit at 50%. For timing reasons didn't work out.

Was told that hybrid would guarantee that cartridges sent have minimum 3 months life - OK for those who have a massive output, but not for me. Six months life would be fine (in fact getting through ink a lot faster at the moment), but three months pushing it. Have changed ink suppliers (still a hybrid reseller) to one that will check their stock and only send those with at least six months - even though I am paying more.

Am getting good use out of my machine (which BTW am really pleased with), and love the print quality etc. but I don't think the mimakis should be marketed at those with a smaller print runs for that reason - guess the roland eco-sol machines better suited.


Martin
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:17 am

I have had a rply from hibrid as follows.

Hi Peter

First of all I would like to thank you for choosing Mimaki. To answer your question-

With the Mimaki SS2 solvent ink for the JV3 series, upon reaching the date stamped on the cartridge the warning 'time limit' will appear on the LCD display for that cartridge. It then gives you a period of one month from the end of the calendar month on the cartridge before timing out. At this point the firmware writes the ink chip off and the LCD reads 'cartridge' for that particular cartridge, as if there is no cartridge inserted.

Shortly after this time the ink will start to 'go off', and it is for this reason that the printer will not allow it to be used after the determined point. Solvent ink does have a relatively short 'shelf life', and users are strongly discouraged from attempting to get around this in any way, as it could cause damage to the machine which may not be covered under the warranty.

The firmware version will not change this, it has always been the case.
However, if you let me know your firmware version and there are any updates available which may be of benefit to you we will gladly connect to your RIP computer with your permission and upgrade you to the latest version.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the team here at Hybrid.

Best regards



Andy Lewis
Hybrid Services Ltd
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Peter Edwards

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:39 am

I contacted Roland to see what the situation is regarding my SP-300v and the EcoSol Max inks.

I've been told that the inks have no shelf life and are not time limited in any way. Whats more the SP-300v doesn't even read the chips on the cartridges as they are only of use to the large machines.

Obviously there's some differences in the fact that these are eco-solvent inks but its still interesting..
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Karl Williams

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:54 am

Peter, They stop running after about 15 days after the expiry date. The clock on the machine.......well that's another story i'd rather forget! :wink:
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Steve Morgan

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:59 am

I had the same answer as Peter (Edwards). The date on Roland carts is the production date, although it shows a month but no clue to which year.

Steve
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Vic Adair

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:03 pm

JV3 carts do stop working after update they usually give you about a month or two grace.
Regarding changing time on the printer to fool the chips. You can forward the clock but not reverse it, unless you have the proper code which they don't give you in the book.
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David Rowland

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:36 pm

Hybrid being the distributors of the machine will only tell you what Mimaki tell them, again the dates are there to prevent you from printing from an expired cartridge, this *should* be a user choice and prevention within the machine. If ink is +1year then I would be worried about solids or air in the ink.

Shelf life of food is similar, it goes manky when it goes out of date so you could consider ink like that.

At the moment, after looking at all the printers in the UV market, I haven't had anyone telling me about shelf life of inks, considering they are bottled.

Firmware, well I understand that new firmware routines may help preserve the carts better and better 'print' but they never release the 'release notes' when I have firmware updated. So I only hear from the yahoo Mimaki group news about the printer. If you are on the latest firmware and wish to go bulk ink then this option is harder as the firmware blocks you and also is a struggle to get it back to firmware that will allow chips that work. (although i could be corrected here)
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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:28 pm

Dave they give you up to two months to use an expired cart,
and of course Hybrid they will only tell you Mimaki says, why would they tell you different? And like you say food goes mankie after a time so yes it is a user choice, so why would I want to eat mankie food? I will eat it shortly after but not weeks after the use by date. and that is what mimaki are saying. If I eat an out of date sausage and get the squits I would then not expect Tesco to pay my medical bills!

At the end off the day why are you so adamant against doing what the manufactures recommend?

I think it usually is a good idea,

If you decide on which uv machine to buy will your first project to find 3rd part inks that are cheaper? and then expect the makers to uphold the warranty on what will more than likely cost 50k plus?
Peter
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Shane Drew

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Post Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:56 pm

I've been following this discussion with interest.

I see Daves argument, as I see Peters.

I believe the chipped cartridges are there purely to lock you in to their inks, which is where the real profits are. They are doing everything in their power to stop you going to bulk inks, other than their own, if they have one, and/or buying a cheaper sourced ink from the many suppliers that have cropped up. Not a bad thing in some cases as some ink out there is crap, and they could argue using them will compromise the output of their machines..

End of the day, its a good indication of the profits that stand to be made from the supply of their inks.

Use by dates though are a given, because that also gives them some control for the sake of warranty and quality control.

I'm pleased I have stayed with the Rolands that don't have the chipped systems. My bulk ink TECHink has been very successful and price competitive for my situation, and I'm going through over a litre a month as a minimum at the moment, so its paying dividends in that respect.

The use by dates are well in advance too, so I don't have too many issues there either.
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:40 am

I'm not convinced either about "use by" dates being applied to inks. Certainly B&P cartridges don't have expiry dates at all.

When you think about it, expiry dates really only apply to organic products (i.e food, beer etc.) . Are inks organic? The solvents used certainly are (being derived from oil) but do these chemicals have a shelf life in the same way as food products do? I think not, (Petrol and diesel fuel don't - even though they are organic products, given that they contain molecules based on Carbon) and I tend to agree with Shane - these expiry dates are only an excuse to sell more ink.

I suspect that the deliberate "crippling" of ink by the use of expiry dates is every bit as illegal as the crippling of software by the use of dongles.
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David Rowland

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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:50 am

I understand the solvent does go off over a year or so, but the pigment still remains good. I am not clear on the subject but I don't want mimaki dictating what I do with my printer, especially considering what happened to Karl! expensive toys .. not!
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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:07 am

Phill wrote:I'm not convinced either about "use by" dates being applied to inks. Certainly B&P cartridges don't have expiry dates at all.

When you think about it, expiry dates really only apply to organic products (i.e food, beer etc.) . Are inks organic? The solvents used certainly are (being derived from oil) but do these chemicals have a shelf life in the same way as food products do? I think not, (Petrol and diesel fuel don't - even though they are organic products, given that they contain molecules based on Carbon) and I tend to agree with Shane - these expiry dates are only an excuse to sell more ink.

I suspect that the deliberate "crippling" of ink by the use of expiry dates is every bit as illegal as the crippling of software by the use of dongles.


Petrol certainly has a shelf life,
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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:11 am

Dave Rowland wrote:I understand the solvent does go off over a year or so, but the pigment still remains good. I am not clear on the subject but I don't want mimaki dictating what I do with my printer, especially considering what happened to Karl! expensive toys .. not!


mimaki do not dictate any more than Ford dictate how to take best car of their machines,
put inferior oil in your car dave, if you want to, its your choice. you do not have to use the recommended consumables anyway.
but if you feel you know better than the manufactures, again thats your decision

Peter
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:15 am

So what you're saying is, that after millions of years underground, when the oil is finally brought to the surface and refined, we have only 12 months to use it or it's no good :roll:
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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:16 am

Phill wrote:So what you're saying is, that after millions of years underground, when the oil is finally brought to the surface and refined, we have only 12 months to use it or it's no good :roll:


yes Phil
the petrol will stay OK, but the additives will deteriorate so making in not advisable to use it in a modern engine

:D
Last edited by Peter Normington on Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:25 am

:lol1: :lol1: :lol1:

Okay - I accept you are right in this case - but couldn't the "chemists" with all their brilliance design an ink that lasted indefinitely?

Water lasts indefinitely (providing it's sterile) so why not ink? It's surely not beyond their ability to design something that lasts a bit longer - just as there is no reason why the manufacturers of light bulbs could design bulbs that lasted much longer.

Stop defending these robbing (oh i swore !) Peter :lol1: :lol1:
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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:34 am

Phil am not defending them anymore than
any business that wants to make a profit.

When you sell a piece of vinyl that you paid 2quid for, for £50, I'm sure you justify it by the time effort and capital expense you have put into it.

why should any business be any different?
dont like it, dont buy it
but if you sell print at a good price why not expect your supplier to get a good return from their product, the same as you do?

Peter
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Bill McMurtry

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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:02 am

When you buy ink for $25 per litre from a manufacturer and then see it offered at 10 times that price from retailers (more if you buy it in carts), you might wonder what defines fair profit. What must ink actually cost to make when a manufacturer can make a decent profit selling it at $25/litre?
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Shane Drew

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Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:45 am

Peter Normington wrote:Phil am not defending them anymore than
any business that wants to make a profit.

When you sell a piece of vinyl that you paid 2quid for, for £50, I'm sure you justify it by the time effort and capital expense you have put into it.

why should any business be any different?
dont like it, dont buy it
but if you sell print at a good price why not expect your supplier to get a good return from their product, the same as you do?

Peter


Point is peter, if you buy a Ford, once it is out of warranty( or even in warranty if you don't mind voiding it), you can use whatever oil, brand of fuel, tyres etc you like. Ford do not bind you into an arrangement that makes you buy Ford goods forever.

Chipped ink sets do. For the unwary, the buyer is not told at purchase that you will be obligated to buy mimaki, in this instance, products for he life of the machine. Your rights have been removed... that is the right to source better, cheaper ink. It also reduces the need for mimaki to be competitive in the market, because you have got, literally, a captive audience and market already locked in.

I've had this argument with Roland for years. Printer manufacturers would get better results if they gave users more options rather than none.

100's of Roland users have changed over to techink bulk systems in oz alone. Thats sales that roland are missing because they don't provide the option.

Thats why Ford started selling the LPG vehicle in oz. They could see the millions 3rd party companies were making converting their cars, so they finally got the message and tapped into that market.

Printer manufacturers should take note.

I have got no problem with any manufacturere making a profit. Roland, Mutoh, Mimaki are selling very well around the world. I can't imagine that they are not making a decent profit on the machines, based on the sales I see in Oz alone.

At our recent sydney sign show, the sales taken for printers and associated equipment was reported to be around $20mil over the 3 days.

One of the busiest stands were the companies selling bulk inks, and techink didn't even bother showing up.

I understand what Phill is saying though.

Imagine how far you got if you made a client sign a document that he had to deal exclusively with you for any sign he got done for the life of his business. It would be deemed illegal, and rightly so.

Only thing I disagree with is Phills comment about the dongle.

I don't have an issue with that at all, but coming from a software industry background, we went the dongle route with our software as it was the only way we could fight software piracy with any success.

We developed one of the first dongles for the C64, after being robbed blind by software pirates out of hong kong. We lost our house because so much money was stolen thru piracy. Once the dongle came into play, the pirates moved on to easier software to steal.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like the idea of a dongle getting fried and I'm at the mercy of the software company to get it replaced, but I also understand it as a necessary evil given the dishonest world we live in.

I have a dongle on my aging sign wizard software. Heaven knows how much it will cost me to get replaced, especially as its an lpt port, which are getting pretty rare on PC's these days....

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