Epson has recently announced some newly developed ink cartridges with a unique design and many new features. The cartridges are designed to bring out the full potential of the printer, to maintain stable operation, and most of all to ensure the highest levels of print quality.
Two types of ink are used in inkjet printers; water-soluble dye-based inks and insoluble DURABrite (pigment-based) inks that consist of extremely fine particles of colorant dispersed and suspended in a solvent. When a droplet of dye ink lands on a piece of paper, the ink penetrates the paper, dyeing the fiber. In contrast when a droplet of DURABrite ink lands on a piece of paper, the colorant adheres to the surface of the paper to reproduce the color.
DURABrite ink is currently featured in many Epson inkjet printers. It is ideal for printing on matte and plain paper, and has incredible light resistant and water resistant properties. But to bring these benefits to the user, Epson has had to overcome several technical hurdles. One of these hurdles is the tendency of particles of pigment colorant to settle if left untouched for a long period of time. That is why Epson adopted its unique foamless cartridge.
Epson's new ink cartridges need only to be subjected to slight agitation for the settled colorant particles to re-disperse. Moreover, the ink is restored to its fully dispersed state by the high-speed flow induced by the initial filling action for head cleaning. Users are therefore always able to print with ink with a uniform concentration.
For its latest range of DURABrite inks, Epson has developed a foamless mechanism that facilitates the agitation of the particles in the ink. In addition, the company has introduced a system known as Smart Valve Control Technology to prevent the delivery of an excess of ink to the print head. As more ink droplets are fired, a higher volume of ink flows to the head from the foamless cartridge than could flow from a conventional foam type cartridge. A conventional foam-type cartridge cannot supply pigment ink at this rate.
But this is not the only thing that has improved the usability of printers. Epson's Intellidge ink cartridge system allows users to swap ink cartridges at will. Each cartridge is fitted with an intelligent chip that passes essential information on the status of the ink cartridge to software in the printer.
The chip is responsible for passing on data such as whether the cartridge is installed properly, whether it is functioning correctly, and how much ink remains. The latter is important, for example, when printing a high volume of material that uses a lot of any one color. Users can remove a half-used cartridge and replace it with a new one to prevent the ink running out midway through printing. Then when the print job is finished, the old cartridge can be reinstalled. The Intellidge system gives users greater freedom in how they use their cartridges and allows them to replace cartridges anytime they want. This is especially useful when different work groups share the same printer. Each group, for example classes in a school, can use its own cartridges for the shared printer.
It is true to say that Epson's new ink cartridges do not look very different from other ink cartridges. Despite appearances, however, these new cartridges are packed with various new technologies designed to ensure the highest levels of performance from an Epson printer.
Epson does not consider an ink cartridge to be just a part that supplies ink. The company believes that the mission of an ink cartridge is to render the maximum benefit to all users who have named Epson as their printer brand of choice. And that is why Epson has continuously engaged in the development of new ink and ink cartridge technologies.