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Thread: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by Syphadeus View Post
    Ah yes “significant development costs” - we have dismissed this claim.
    When? How? You say "claim" like it's speculation. It isn't.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    Tbh, a lot of that is sounding like over engineering so it can lead to failure, therefore replacement and more RoI. That's the cynical side of myself, obviously there could be an extremely valid reason (quality etc) that they are heating the ink up that excessively without an easy way to replace the print heads and therefore require a complete replacement of the unit...
    In the era I'm talking about, it was about quality ... image quality. And speed. It's about droplet size, therefore nozzle size, and about how you get their using whichever underlying tech (i.e. thermal or piezo) gets you there, and how you have to do that.

    It's also about reliability in production. For intance, Epson cartridge manufacturing lines are almost entireoy automated, and run in a clean room environment because the slightest dust or dirt in the ink will likely clog the heads, especially on pigment inks. So, particle size is important.

    So is the exact rasterisation pattern used in the driver, and the exact chemistry of the ink, and how they work together if you want to get halfway accurate colours. This process took years to perfect, getting all the elemens right. 3rd paty manufacturers don't have any of that to worry about beause it's already done before they start trying to make something that works in a given cartridge. They start after the hard work is already finished.

    Even that manufacturing process osts a fortune. Outpou parameters ar tsted at just about every stage (by which I mean every machine) and if they drop (or rise) outside acceptable tolerancs, the line stops within a cartridge or two until the eason is found and the issue resolved. Result? Far lower waste and far greater cartridge reliability than would otherwise be the case.

    But to do that, Epson had to design and manufacture just about the entire robot production line. You can't jut buy that stuff rom a cartidge machine manufacturer and get the tolerances required. They are, after all, a specialist in precision manufacturing, as part of the Seiko part of Seiko Epson. 3rd-party ink manufactuerers don't have to invest in deisgning and building that kind of manufacruring line.

    One of the larger UK cartidge refillers was started by a friend of mine, and I remember seeing his initial "line" .... in his kitchen, with a refilling machine designed, IIRC, by his Dad. I'm also probably one of a pretty small number of people that's been round Epson's relatively small development production assembly line/clean room in Japan, and seen the line itself in operation, and spoken to product managers and engineering managers out there. Believe me, they're very different levels of investment.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    snip
    Everything you have said is utterly wonderful but then why do i have inkjets from 20 years ago that still spit out superior/equivalent quality paper and photo prints yet printers in the past 5-10 years drop like flies.

    So you're telling me it was an R&D byproduct that they "increased" print quality while cut longevities/resiliencies legs off at the ankles?

    In a totally automated environment where little maintenance is need to run off a million units of your products, costs are low & QA rejections will also stay low meaning margins can be played with as much as you want. The printing market is another segment where they will put a price as high as the customer will bear.

    I do believe you that you've been there and seen it and it's wondrous. But i think you're being naive thinking that the COGS cost of the cartridge line hasn't been recouped in record time. There's a reason why inkjet printers suddenly got very cheap for the consumer about 10 years ago and the cartridge costs doubled/tripled. It wasn't r&d or production lines (the lines came after this realisation), it was "why sell a printer that doesn't get replaced often at 50% margin once every 2-3 years and make small margin, high volume amounta on cartridges when i could sell a printer at 15-30% margin, get them in my ecosystem they'll need cartridges so sell those at 50-80% margin and maximise my recurring profits."

    I saw the flip flop of printer/cartridges end customer prices from a reseller perspective. It was immediate, sudden and from every business, almost like it was a collusion.

    Epson, HP, and the lot of them can get stuffed, i hooe this suit succeeds and prepares a well earned market shake up.

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    I think one of the most successful bits of EU legislation was to say that consumers have a reasonable expectation that a car lasts 150000 km. Printers need something similar.

    I don't use 3rd party inks, and don't buy the low end printers, but they all seem to fall apart way too easily.

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    wow! if you support HP/EPSON for their absurd costs of R&D what about silicon IC fabrication? If its true that designing cartridges is expensive then there would be no budget 4g capable smartphone. I mean buy a £100 smartphone and compare that to a cartridge, the phones has tech with thousands of patents that have to be paid.

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubarb View Post
    I stopped using inkjets ages ago now, I make do with a laser, yes it's only black and white but it cost so much less to run and if you don't use it for a year ...... it still works.
    That's where I eventually got to. Years or replacing inks or even whole printers prematurely led me to just say forget it. Laser has lasted years on its initial toner, the only colour stuff I need to print is the occasional photo which can be done for circa 20p a go at a local stationers/print shop (as we're lucky enough to still have one,) or for a cheaper price but poorer print at the local Boots.

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    I also went with a laser, was the best move I made. Its not going to print glossy photo's as well as inkjets but I don't print photo's anyway. I have a colour HP laser printer and the toner lasts for a very long time. Even using non-genuine toner. It doesn't stop the printer working just says non-genuine toner inserted.

    Though it has taken me trying a few different toner companies to find one that has been ok, I won't deny that you can get some cheap toner that is complete rubbish.
    Jon

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I think one of the most successful bits of EU legislation was to say that consumers have a reasonable expectation that a car lasts 150000 km. Printers need something similar.

    I don't use 3rd party inks, and don't buy the low end printers, but they all seem to fall apart way too easily.
    Agree with all of that. Add to the existing "white goods need part availability for a minimum 10 years" legislation to printers and add cost requirements to that to prevent them from using prices to keep "availability" without actually having to sell anything.

    Apart from the "I don't use 3rd party inks" bit. My reasoning for that is further up the thread.
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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by badass View Post
    Apart from the "I don't use 3rd party inks" bit. My reasoning for that is further up the thread.
    Which is fair enough. The kids used to have their own cheap printer which I filled using an ink refill kit that Morrison's used to sell (no idea if they still do) because they used to print things to crayon in etc and I wanted to keep it cheap. Actually worked quite well.

    The main printer does actually print pictures though, and the proper inks on decent paper is pretty good. The downside is that three colours, black, pigment black and grey inks in their individual cartridges comes to about £70 in total, but that's about once per year so I just suck it up for those occasional "I need a picture in 10 minutes time" moments.

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Which is fair enough. The kids used to have their own cheap printer which I filled using an ink refill kit that Morrison's used to sell (no idea if they still do) because they used to print things to crayon in etc and I wanted to keep it cheap. Actually worked quite well.

    The main printer does actually print pictures though, and the proper inks on decent paper is pretty good. The downside is that three colours, black, pigment black and grey inks in their individual cartridges comes to about £70 in total, but that's about once per year so I just suck it up for those occasional "I need a picture in 10 minutes time" moments.
    There's some really good (and cheap) cartridges on Amazon I found, the brand 'supricolor' works brilliantly with my canon printer. For the price of one official cartridge I can buy the whole set of 5 (!) for the same price.

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    All the bigger manufacturers (at least) do some variation of that. My most recent AiO (Epson) has what is effectively a built-in CIS (continuous ink system). I don't buy cartridges at all. Instead, I buy bottles of ink and top up the tanks, which are connected to the heads via tubing.
    There still junk in my opinion keep in mind you can't replace the print head that easy which can be a pain in rear to get clean out so I stick to color laser printer as my Brother Multifunction Printer had been trouble free for 9 year

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by SHSPVR View Post
    There still junk in my opinion keep in mind you can't replace the print head that easy which can be a pain in rear to get clean out so I stick to color laser printer as my Brother Multifunction Printer had been trouble free for 9 year
    Epson printers aren't designed to have user-replaceable heads. It's a service centre job, if economically feasible at all. They're designed to last the life of the machine. The piezo technique is 'cold', unlike thermal heads so they don't suffer from anything like the thermal stresses of thermal inkjets.

    The reason 'thermal' inkjets have heads built in to the cartridges is that they do have those thermal stresses and much shorter life, but as most such printers have the head built into th cartridge, every time you replace the cartridge, you replace th print head.

    Of course, where that falls down is if you choose to go outside the manufacturer's recommendations and refill cartridges with an unknown quantity in the ink. It might be good, and you might manage to refill without introducing either dirt, or airlocks, but you might not. If you don't get away with it, and the manufacturer declines to honour a warranty because unknown ink was used, it can't come as much of a surprise. On thermal inkjets, even if the ink is good, you still have that head damage because the print head is being expected to have a far higher duty cycle than it is designed for.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dashers View Post
    Disgusting. I did a bit of reading on printers a while ago, and Canon are currently on my short list as I think you can fill up the colours individually on some models, and not have to insert a disposable plastic cartridge.

    Arguably, if you never intended to use the print function, you could fill this with any liquid (although cheap after-market ink probably makes sense).
    All the bigger manufacturers (at least) do some variation of that. My most recent AiO (Epson) has what is effectively a built-in CIS (continuous ink system). I don't buy cartridges at all. Instead, I buy bottles of ink and top up the tanks, which are connected to the heads via tubing.

    CIS solutions have been around due to cost/ml of ink, for a couple of decades, at least, especially on 'photo' printers that drink ink, but until relatively recently, were 3rd-party devices and warranty-risking. Major manufacturers have effectively jumpe on the bandwagon.

    As for the cost of inks being high, that's self-evidently true but .... again, for a couple of decades, you've been able to buy printers that are far cheaper to run in ink cost/ml but you'll pay a lot more for the printer. All you needed to do was look at the high pagecount business machines. Ink cartridges were much larger and cost per ml comparatively (and that word is important) cheap.

    It boils down to a choice - expensive printer, cheaper ink, or cheaper machine, very expensive ink. The optimum choice depends on how much per month, or per year, you print.

    The practice that does wuind me up, unless it's very clearly stated in marketing/advertising, is "starter" cartridges. That's borderline deceitful, if not very clearly explained.
    I have an older printer. Canon. I use *cheap* cartridges where I pay the same for 7 sets of dirt cheap ones as I would for one set of OEM. It will allow run low and run dry. It will cease printing and alert that the print tank is empty and allow a user override. The cheap ink is awful, there's no doubt It fades very quickly and is washed out even when fresh. But, it serves my purpose which is mostly text, documents and the occasional bespoke birthday card. I used to do a lot of photo printing which made it worth buying either OEM or higher quality third party ink. Now, not so much and I question the need for an inkjet on that basis. These days we just get photos we want properly printed done at a shop and it's far better value than buying expensive cartridges for the rare occasion when they're needed. Also, these days I have a digital photo frame that we dump our photos onto which is far better than printed for everyday use.

    The hardest part of having an old printer is getting 10 year old software to function on newer operating systems but, they have no idea how far I'll go to avoid buying a new printer for the sake of software obsolescence. I'll use a VM with an old version of Windows or a Pi print server if I need to. Just try me you utter ba....

    With an older printer, I can run it dry if I want, or I can open and remove a cartridge, inspect the ink level and make my own decision. It scans if I want it to whatever the occasion.

    I did use refillable tanks a while back but I found them far too messy. I shake a bit anyway and the potential for mess was too great for me. I think what I have represents the best balance.

    What I will NOT be doing is buying Canon now. I used to prefer them as certain models allowed replacement of the heads. I will not reward this kind of nonsense and I'll be likely replacing with a tank printer if the refill methods are less hazardous to carpets. Or a dot matrix. I quite fancy a dot matrix for the nostalgia value.

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    The piezo technique is 'cold', unlike thermal heads so they don't suffer from anything like the thermal stresses of thermal inkjets.
    I raised this about the tech involved in the various manufacturers (BTW, I can absolutely validate everything Saracen has said about the various technologies with the one difference that Canon print heads for the printers I have bought from them haven't been built into the cartridge as I've purposely not bought those models. Just consider, for a second, how an inkjet works. The speed at which it works. They are precision engineered witchcraft and are clearly more expensive to build than we pay for them. The technology has been around for quite a while, yes, but I doubt anyone here could replicate that in their garage or even with a million pounds. It's an extraordinary set of technologies and they do require serious investment to exist and advance. That is not the question, it's whether their greed is taking over.) and got a reply from an Epson serivice engineer. I was told that they still can't safely print dry and the firmware will avoid it at all costs. This is because there is significant heat production from the piezoelectric effect (as someone who deals with this professionally, I can certainly agree there) and so the ink is still used as a coolant to some degree. albeit not to the levels of the thermal ink jets. More importantly, the heads are designed to operate with ink present. Without this, there will significant excess energy wich should have been lost to the liquid, which will manifest as excess vibration and cause mechanical damage to the heads.

    I argued that I'd run my older Epson's dry routinely with no obvious ill effects and that certainly didn't cause their demise. I also argued that a service engineer is going to be working on high volume, high quality, long life systems which are totally different beasts to the home gamer ink jet systems where it would be perfectly reasonable to warn of low ink, state it'll invalidate the warranty to run it dry and allow a user override which is recorded.

    I think, like you, I come from a time where quality and precision of such machines was paramount as you used them to replace photo developing / printing. Nowadays, I just brutalise the things with cheap ink and foul language.
    Last edited by philehidiot; 20-10-2021 at 08:48 PM. Reason: MOAR RANTING!

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    Everything you have said is utterly wonderful but then why do i have inkjets from 20 years ago that still spit out superior/equivalent quality paper and photo prints yet printers in the past 5-10 years drop like flies.

    So you're telling me it was an R&D byproduct that they "increased" print quality while cut longevities/resiliencies legs off at the ankles?

    ....
    Nope. I'm not telling you that. In my opinion, print quality reached it's peak many years ago. Round about, or shortly after, the introduction of 200 dpi 'resolution'. The individual droplet reached a point where each printed 'dot', which by the way consists of a collection of droplets, was to all intents and purposes, invisible. The 'dot' is just about visible but with the naked eye, not the droplet. It's that resterisation, inside the driver, that then forms the 'dots', and that is the result of a lot of work manufacturers do, and most ink manufacturers don't. That is one example of the costs manufacturers bear, that thrid party ink manufacturers don't. One of many.

    It goes further. Whe nyou us a givn ink, and select the paper type, the rasterisation can change, to match the ink to the characteristics of the paper. Why? Different papers have different characteristics, not to mention the different characteristics of the and pigment based inks. For instance, to what extent does a given ink 'wick' along the fibres of the paper. That will be very different, with different papers. Some inks are designed to absorb, others to sit on the paper plasticised coating and dry. Gloss papers ardifferent to satin, and very different to 'photocopy' paper. To a much lesser extent, that's even true of lasers. A good quality laser paper drops a lot less dust over the internals of a printer than a high qiality paper.

    My point was that manufactrurers face costs 3rd party manufacturers don't, and that one way or the other, you pay for it. If you want the reliability you are more likely to get from original inks, it costs. With really cheap printers, you pay in ink cost. In higher throughput units, the ink is a lot cheaper but the printer sure isn't. By "really cheap" printers, I've seen colour inkjet printers for as little as £30. They're aimed at light use low-volume users, but I have also had £1000+ inkjets with much higher capacity cartridges, and MUCH lower cost/ml of ink. They suit heavy users, either printing lots of photos, which drink ink, or 'workgroup' business class printers, often shared among multiple users and printing large volums of pages.

    Either way, the cheaper the printer, the more expensive (per ml) the ink is likely to be. And vice versa

    As for lasers, the same applie to dust in paper, but more so. The same principle applies to cost/page, on printer at different price levels but you lso have to be aware that some lasers (like most HPs) replace all the consumables every time you replace the cartridge, whereas others separate the three or four main components and those are replaced at the expiry of varying lifetimes. The only true way to compare running costs is to take all those components and their page life into account, and their cost, and then calculate it out over the entire life of th printer based on your average pages printed per month. Which one works out cheaprf, overall, depends on your usage pattern.

    There are differencs, of course. You are far more likely to get away with not using laser for months at a time, then having it just work when you do use it, than with an inkjet. But it isn't certain. It also depends on what you print, nd the standards you expect. I have yet to see a laser that will do as good a job of photographs as a decent inkjet, but they're far better for most business printing needs.

    They also vary a lot in both up-front costs, and toner costs. Generaly, they're more expensive to get started with, especially for colour, but much cheaper per page. The cheaper colour lasers tend to get you on the toner cartridges, not least on the very cheaper end of the market, with 'starter' cartridges that run out very quickly, and then cost more than the original printer for a 'full' set.

    In short, manufacturerswill either get you for the machine, or the consumables. Third party inks/toners can save a lot of money, in part because they don't have the same development costs. And whether to do that or not is a personal choice, and print quality varies a lot from one thrid party ink to another, as do costs. But if you choose to ue thrid-party inks, there is a risk that they will not provide the same colour accuracy (though some are very good indeed) but you certainly can't complain and expect the manufacturer warranty to cover you if it goes wrong and damages the printer. There was a time when they would, for the sake of PR, but they've become more hard-nosed about that as more and more users opted for cheap inks.

    Finally, just for the record, even I will not defend a manufacturer that prevents an AIO from scanning when an ink runs out. But then, with one exception, I don't buy AIO's. The one I do have wasn't especially chap, but has 'free' ink. Is it really free? Yes, and no. You pay up-front, in the costof the machine, up to a point, It's a gamble. If you don't print much, it's 'expensive' free ink. if you print loads, up to the rated print duty cycle at least, you get free ink .... for two years. Cartridge size? Well, no cartridge size. It comes with ink tanks, and refill bottles, with 70ml bottles for each colour, and 127ml for black (two supplied with printer). he tanks getlow you refill from the bottles. i.e. it has a built-in CIS (Continuous Ink System). But the printer itself isn't cheap.

    And if you do buy an inkjet, it's not a good idea to leave it unuesed for extended periods. If nothing else, print a test page every week or two.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Canon sued over AiO printers that won't scan when ink runs out

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    I raised this about the tech involved in the various manufacturers (BTW, I can absolutely validate everything Saracen has said about the various technologies with the one difference that Canon print heads for the printers I have bought from them haven't been built into the cartridge as I've purposely not bought those models. ....
    I was pretty careful to say things like "most", and "tend to have". There are exceptions, but that generalisation is true for the large majority. Certainly in those Canon/HP that I've seen that don't, they tend to be either relatively recent, and/or at the higher end. It again generally has an impact on the printer price, and those with permanent heads tend to be those aimed at heavier use, either for photos, or heavy business use. And, of course, a single A4-sized photo uses far more ink, and fires way more droplets, and virtually any business letter, or even reports with colour photos in i, or charts/diagrams.

    But yeah, there certainly are exceptions to the general rule.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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