History of Hewlett Packard and Ink

by: John Sollars

Hewlett Packard’s tryst with ink took off when it acquired a company named F.L Mosley based in California in 1958. Mosley was manufacturing recorders and plotters for industrial applications such as continuous process monitoring systems, data loggers and the like in the 1950’s.

Hewlett Packard was the pioneer in imaging and printing technologies. It was the first in the market during the 1980’s to come up with inkjet and laser technology used in printers until date. Its first printer was the “ThinkJet” in 1984 based on the inkjet technology and later the “DeskJet” printer also based on inkjet technology and the “Laser” printer as the name suggests based on laser technology.

The Ink

Today inks are not just gooey fluids filled in cartridges to give you images on your print media. Specially engineered ink gives high quality prints-it has specially designed active agents and colorants that give rich color and fade resistance.

There is a difference between printer ink and toner - printer ink is a liquid that is applied to paper by pressure. Toner is a fine powder that is burned onto the paper through heat and laser guidance.

There are two types if ink - dye based and pigment based. The rest are a variation of these two basic types.

The Ink Cartridge

The printer cartridge nowadays is not only an object that holds ink but also a highly technical one that has an integrated circuit to control the quality of printouts. The printer ink cartridge is by far the most important consumable as far as its cost, type and replacement is concerned. Every printer model has its own specific ink cartridge.


The inkjet cartridge is a combination of speed and precision. Each ink nozzle in the cartridge fires up to 36,000 drops of ink per second to deliver crisp text and sharp images.

The Inkjet and DeskJet printers use this cartridge. They are ideal for home and personal use.


The Laser Jet cartridge comprises up to 70% of the total imaging system and therefore plays a key role in delivering quality prints. It uses a precision laser to draw the image giving clear sharp and precise prints. These are ideal for home as well as small to large businesses and workgroups.

Design Jet

These cartridges give uniform fills, sharply defined lines and crisp clear text across a wide range of durable printing applications. These cartridges are used for large format printing media such as trade show and event displays, posters and presentations, photo enlargements, architecture and engineering applications such as CAD/CAM.

Color Layering Technology

In color layering, a number of microscopic droplets of colors ranging from three to eight colors are combined and managed through hundreds of small nozzles in the cartridge. The result is a print of high quality with vibrant and realistic true to life images. This technology gives a wide range of colors up to millions.

Available Cartridge Options

1. OEMs

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridges are the same ones that come with your printer. The company that makes the printer generally manufactures them. For example, HP laser printers come with HP toner cartridges. OEM laser printer toner cartridges are the most expensive type. You can save money by choosing remanufactured cartridges, compatible cartridges or refill kits.

Benefits of OEM Cartridges

Many manufacturers recommend only using OEM cartridges with their printers to achieve the best results. However, they are also trying to get you to buy their product. Again, if you require optimum quality then it is best to use OEM cartridges. They also prove to be economical in the long run because remanufactured or refilled cartridges may fail 70 to 80 percent of the time in their first attempt or they usually don’t give as many prints as the original or as promised by the remanufacturing company.

2. Remanufactured

A remanufactured cartridge is one that has been disassembled and its worn parts replaced. A new print head is then fitted onto the cartridge, is refilled with ink, and is tested in the factory to guarantee print quality. Remanufacturing is considered more comprehensive than refilling.

Your printer's print head cleaning utility (described in your printer's operating manual) should always be run 1-2 times after inserting a remanufactured cartridge. They are thoroughly tested to ensure quality, and their performance is generally equal to new cartridges.

Just because a cartridge ran out of ink, does not mean the print head and electronics are not still in perfectly working order.

To view a wide range of HP ink cartridges visit http://www.stinkyinkshop.co.uk/acatalog/hewlett_packard_printer_supplies.html

3. Refilled

Refilling your cartridge means cleaning the cartridge and refilling it with new ink. Now, either this can be done at home using a refilling kit or you can ship your cartridge to a refilling company in your area.

Some refilling companies claim that Refilled Cartridges are environmentally friendly and provide a high quality output, which meets or exceeds consumer expectations and that they are:-

Ultrasonically bathed to ensure a clean print head
Filled with top quality inks using state of the art equipment
Tested to ensure high quality printing
Sealed and packaged in vapor resistant material

It is best to refill your Cartridge within 15 days of the cartridge becoming empty.

Empty cartridges have a certain life span and this can range from between one refill to five refills on average. However, cartridge circuits have been known to fail on the 1st attempt of refilling / remanufacture and in contrast, cartridge circuits have been known to last up to 10 refills, the latter being exceptional durability.

Once a cartridge circuit has failed, the ink cartridge is unusable and a new or serviceable cartridge has to be purchased.