Third party inks

General chat on substrates, materials and inks
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James Wallace
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:37 am

Third party inks

Post by James Wallace » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:12 pm

I've used Roland Eco-Sol inks since I bought my machine a couple of years ago. I wondered whether it was worth looking at some of the 3rd party inks out on the market.

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Dennis Poole
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:37 am
Location: Clevedon, Bristol, UK

Re: Third party inks

Post by Dennis Poole » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:17 am


I am no expert on inks and obviously I have a certain bias towards Roland as I work here. However from what I have heard many customers try 3rd party inks and move back to Roland Eco-Sol inks very quickly. I have been told of a number of problems with 3rd party inks such as blocking your heads which requires downtime while you clean it out or have to get an engineer out.

I suppose it is similar to buying cheap or refill ink cartridges for your computer printer. They never last as long and you often have problems with them.

As I say I am no expert in inks, but I am sure others will also answer and give you their views and experiences.

Dennis Poole
Managing Director
RDR Global Limited

Hugh Ryckman
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:19 pm

Re: Third party inks

Post by Hugh Ryckman » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:31 pm

I heard it like comparing disel and pertrol. Disel costs a little more but goes much further. Don't be fooled by the headline price of the ink. Its about how much is needed to get the same vibrancy of colour and how much is used for output and how much goes into the waste bottle. At the end of the day the printer was designed and optimised to use original ink.

For most applications ink usually cost less than the media its printed on and both are far less than the labour. We all know the additional labor costs when the media doesn't perfrom well and its just the same with the ink.

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Steve Chappell
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Location: Bewdley, Worcestershire

Re: Third party inks

Post by Steve Chappell » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:50 am

Hi, you also need need to be aware your profiles will not be accurate - meaning your colour accuracy is compromised. As these inks are not OEM, your printer will clean more leading to higher ink wastage.

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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:06 am

Re: Third party inks

Post by DarrenK » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:12 am

James Wallace wrote:I've used Roland Eco-Sol inks since I bought my machine a couple of years ago. I wondered whether it was worth looking at some of the 3rd party inks out on the market.
Hi James, in contrast to previous responses at Allprint Supplies we have sold Nazdar ink for 2 years now for both Roland and Mimaki printers. The ink is designed to be 'plug and play' with both machine types and their OEM inks. We provide profiles for our media to support this ink. There is no requirement to flush or swap all cartridges at once and therefore no immediate loss/cost.
In addition all of our promotional samples and product testing is carried out with Nazdar inks in house and we have no issues with print quality or vibrancy - if we did we would struggle to sell our media on the back of our printed samples.
We ran this ink type for sample production for 6mths prior to introducing them to our customers to make sure that we were confident in their quality.
From a price perspective a considerable saving can be made, and there are associated extended warranties available if required.

I just wanted to offer you a different perspective. Please contact us if you need any further info.
Darren Kinsella, Sales Office Manager, Allprint Supplies.

Nathan Johns
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:40 pm

Re: Third party inks

Post by Nathan Johns » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:56 pm

Hi James,

I have always stuck with one ink type as well, mainly because of repeat jobs, we run several contracts and some are very colour critical, I've always heard horror stories from other companies complaining that they're new ink type doesn't allow them to match a colour they printed previously.

If you did change the ink type, more than likely you would have to change the media to one profiled with the new ink, because the ink limits would be incorrect with your current profiles, a couple of friends have changed ink types to different brands and the companies state that the standard profiles will work fine but the amount of ink going down is way to much or not enough.

I have also heard that you have to do a whole lot more maintenance on your machine, as it stands I do a manual clean on the machine once a month.

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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:00 am

Re: Third party inks

Post by ryan » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:14 pm

Just called to enquire about the ink, £13 per cartridge saving........not worth the saving .........not worth the thanks

David Hammond
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:12 am

Re: Third party inks

Post by David Hammond » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:16 am

I was getting calls about 3rd party inks.

So I decided to try them for myself and make my own mind up.

They claimed they were plug & play, odour free.

I loaded a magenta 3rd party alongside my genuine inks, and printed 6m of roll up banner material with a heavy coverage of purple.

The inks stunk to high heaven, even giving me a massive headache. I've done runs of 100m+ with 100% ink coverage using eco sol max, and never once had an issue.

I won't be using them again.

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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Third party inks

Post by TerryM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:36 am

I started my printing journey with a new sp300v around 4 years ago. After around 2 years and a steep learning curve I decided that I was confident enough to try a third party ink in my machine. I opted for inktec Inks after some research and advice. The ink was 'plug and play' and required no flushing etc and the price was certainly attractive.

The downside began immediately.

The ink was very smelly, did not adhere to the vinyl (simple rubbing with water would remove it) and then the heads started to clog up.

I contacted the supplier, who then put me onto the Ink manufacturer's technician. The guy blamed everything, from the heat settings, to the digital media I was using. He even told me that Metamark had had a fire in their manufacturing facility and that some of the rolls had been damaged and would not print correctly. I decided to call Metamark to check and got put through to a senior executive who denied this very strongly.

I sent the ink supplier some sample prints I had done and also some prints of the exact same file that a friend had done using OEM inks. They looked the same but the one's that I had done rubbed off easily. I never heard another word from the technician after this!

I had been using the inks for a round a month at this stage and everything that I had printed around that time had to either be reprinted or overlaid free of charge.

I quickly returned to using OEM inks and have never been tempted since.

For me, the whole experience was costly. The time I spent doing test prints, conducting experiments, telephoning different people and trying different materials would have been better spent doing work for paying clients.

I know some people have had good results using third party/bulk ink systems but for me it was a different result.

Tom Davison
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:45 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Third party inks

Post by Tom Davison » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:34 am

Hi there,

We made the switch to some third party inks a while back, never again. Since this occasion we have been acquainted with a brilliant independent technician who originally came down to repair our machine (We don't have warranty with Roland).

He is a Roland expert and has many customers using third party inks, however says that all inks irrespective of their headline or product description require a full machine flush before you even put them near the machine. This is advice we didn't heed the first time round and just slapped our new inks in. Within days the quality was greatly reduced and all manner of problems began to surface from dropout to clogging and so on.

The ink manufacturer, as per a previous post, also tried to blame the machine insisting it had a fault hence why we ended up with an independent engineer. He performed a full flush on the machine and reloaded with OEM inks, and we've never looked back. Yes, they're in some cases double the price of alternatives, but there is a reason why. Also our third party inks were only lasting 2/3 that of the OEM inks, making the saving more negligible. Factor in the downtime and rejected jobs it wasn't a cost saving experience as intended.

My advice is ignore what the ink manufacturers say and have a full system flush done before changing inks, it doesn't matter what the suppliers say as the chemistry is different in the third party inks, as I understand it has to be to avoid copyright. It isn't simply the same ink with a different sticker. If you effectively mix these 2 chemistries expect problems of some sort.

I firmly believe there are some very good quality third party inks out there for less than OEM inks, and with the right guidance and instruction can be implemented on your machines and the end result is a saving, however manufacturers and usually suppliers are all to quick to try and make a quick buck by selling a box of inks and not really caring about the after service.

A full flush is a must!!

Good luck.

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