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JoeS25
Posts: 2
Member Since: ‎12-21-2012
Message 1 of 10 (586 Views)

Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

[ Edited ]

Hewlett Packard prooduces what, over 100 different cartridges, all with similar shape and size. Their printers could be designed to work with existig cartridges but it seems like they design a new cartridge for new printers.  Don't they understand the principle of economy of scale?

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Bob_Headrick
Posts: 16,322
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 2 of 10 (575 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

[ Edited ]

The cartridges may look the same but have very different specification.  For example, the #41 cartridge released in 1995 had a drop size of about 30pL.  The similar looking #23 released a couple years later had 10pL drops.  A few years later the #78 was released, with 5pL drops, twice as many nozzles and much improved lightfastness.  Along the way there were various releases with ink fill levels and costs targeted for appeal to particular customers.

 

The cartridges evolve to address specific market needs.  HP has many hundreds of different cartridges with a variety of ink types, fill levels and page yields to meet a wide range of printing needs from small portable printers up through huge web press printers.

 

[I do not work for HP and certainly do not speak for them.]

 

It is kind of like cars - there are many different types of cars because there are many consumers with different needs.

Bob Headrick, Microsoft MVP Windows Expert - Consumer,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of Microsoft or HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

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giftefella
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎01-26-2014
Message 3 of 10 (454 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

so which type can i use for waterproof bottle label printing on hp 2515 ink advantage deskjet
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DavidOtazu
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎05-11-2014
Message 4 of 10 (355 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

I understand the need to produce different cartridges for different market niches.  However, trying to justify the current allotment of hundreds of different cartidges is grounded in BS. There are just too many different kinds to make sense.  

 

After doing a cursory count, HP offers 121 differnent types of ink cartridges.  Granted these include all the 3 colors and the black. So let divide this number by 4 to get a rough estimate of number of different models of ink cartridges. The answer is roughly 29 different models.

 

Now, this does not include the number of ink cartridges that are no longer being produced/offered. I don't know how to come up with a figure for those.

 

I have purchased 3 all-in-one printers over the years and each one used different models of cartridges.  OK, I'll grant the fact that as technology changes, printers utilize more efficient technology.  But let me also say that my brother also bought an all-in-one at about the same time, same manufacturer, similar characteristics as mine (home office type) and it used different ink cartridges. There is no need for use to have been required to use different types of cartridges. If the printers can't fit similar cartridges, they should have been designed to fit them.  Whatever the limitation, these printer manufacturors should design their products to use more standardized ink cartridges.

 

I can't accurately convey my frustration here, because I don't have all the solid facts to prove my case, but if I ever get angry enough to motivate the compilation of such facts, I will try to make heads roll.  I know someone has already been down this road and I'm hoping that I find such information so I don't have to reinvent the wheel.

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Bob_Headrick
Posts: 16,322
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 5 of 10 (285 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

Er...  "make heads roll" because HP offers different cartridges for different needs?  

 

This is not 1909 when you could have any color Ford you want as long as it is black....

 

I would be surprised if there are only 30 cartridge varieties - HP has been making printer cartridges since 1984 (and the original ThinkJet cartridges are still available thirty years later).  The typical lifespan for cartridges in newly introduced printers is perhaps five years, after that technology has moved enough that introducing new printers with the old cartridge would no longer be competitive. 

 

The original ThinkJet cartridge had 12 nozzles and printed at 96 dpi at a frequency of 1Khz.  I am glad HP did not stop there.

Bob Headrick, Microsoft MVP Windows Expert - Consumer,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of Microsoft or HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------------V

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DavidOtazu
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎05-11-2014
Message 6 of 10 (243 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

Really?!? Thirty different ink jet cartridges are not enough ?!? Will anyone seriously suggest that there are 30 different needs out there??? What are they? An inkjet printer for people who print 1-10 pages per month? Then another set for people who print between 11-20 pages per month? Another for people printing between 21-30, another for between 31-40, another for between 41-50.... That's ridiculous!!!!!
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DavidOtazu
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎05-11-2014
Message 7 of 10 (252 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

Keep in mind that I'm talking about ink jet cartridges for modern, in stock printers that are still being sold.
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Bob_Headrick
Posts: 16,322
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 8 of 10 (243 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

The HP SureSupply Site may be a useful resource to you for your research, as is the HP PageYield site.  The latter will allow you to enter a cartridge number and find the printers it is used in, for example the 564 cartridge introduced about 2006 is used in the following printers and more,  including models still offered today:

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Headrick, Microsoft MVP Windows Expert - Consumer,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of Microsoft or HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------------V

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DavidOtazu
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎05-11-2014
Message 9 of 10 (228 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?

Thank you for your response. But I'm complaining because I got a Photosmart 3310 in 2005 that worked until 2012. The page feed mechanism failed and the ink started streaking irreparibly. By the time I needed to buy another printer, I had about $150 worth of HP ink that I wanted to use for my new printer. But HP didn't have any equivalent printers that used that ink. So I ended up having to virtually throw all those good ink cartridges away.

 

I was happy with the print quality back then. If I had a choice, I would rather have gotten an equivalent printer that used the same ink.

 

Would anyone be able to tell me what exactly was the difference between the ink used for the HP Photosmart 3310 and the standard inkjet of today? I now have an OfficeJet Pro 8600.

 

More specific to my complaint, why can't printers be backwards compatible, meaning why can't they use older versions of ink cartridges even if they have fewer ink jet nozzles?  This would allow the consumer to deplete their previous ink supply, then could replace those old cartriges with new ones? What technically is the problem with this set up? And why can't it be overcome?

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Bob_Headrick
Posts: 16,322
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 10 of 10 (222 Views)

Re: Why does HP produce so many different cartridges?


DavidOtazu wrote:

Thank you for your response. But I'm complaining because I got a Photosmart 3310 in 2005 that worked until 2012. The page feed mechanism failed and the ink started streaking irreparibly. By the time I needed to buy another printer, I had about $150 worth of HP ink that I wanted to use for my new printer. But HP didn't have any equivalent printers that used that ink. So I ended up having to virtually throw all those good ink cartridges away.

 

I was happy with the print quality back then. If I had a choice, I would rather have gotten an equivalent printer that used the same ink.

 

Would anyone be able to tell me what exactly was the difference between the ink used for the HP Photosmart 3310 and the standard inkjet of today? I now have an OfficeJet Pro 8600.

 

More specific to my complaint, why can't printers be backwards compatible, meaning why can't they use older versions of ink cartridges even if they have fewer ink jet nozzles?  This would allow the consumer to deplete their previous ink supply, then could replace those old cartriges with new ones? What technically is the problem with this set up? And why can't it be overcome?


The Photosmart 3310 used dye based inks and had six colors - black, cyan, magenta, yellow, light magenta and light cyan.  These are excellent for printing on photo media.  The Officejet 8600 has pigmented ink which is not compatible with glossy photo media.  The Officejet 8600 uses four inks: black, cyan, magenta and yellow.  

 

While it may be technically possible to design a printer that could use a previous generation's cartridges this would be very difficult from a development standpoint and have very limited return. 

 

I have seen discussions in the forum about HP providing exchange cartridges, if you had called them when you bought the Officejet 8600 they may have exchanged unexpired, unopened 02 cartridges for the 950/951 cartridges used in the Officejet.  I do not have any details of the program, you would need to call HP.

Bob Headrick, Microsoft MVP Windows Expert - Consumer,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of Microsoft or HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------------V

If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"--V

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