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Why is reliability so important?

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Remember, what you toss always ends up somewhere.
It's no surprise that customers consistently give Hewlett-Packard the highest ratings for service and reliability. HP is a company whose reputation for quality products is legendary. According to PC Magazine's annual "Service and Reliability" surveys, HP has consistently offered the best service and reliability in the printer industry, receiving a #1 ranking for 14 years. (HP printers for home and business users were included in the survey.)

But is reliability the first thing that comes to mind when you decide what printing supplies to purchase? It may not be. You may think that buying the lowest-cost supplies will give you the best value for your money. What you may not be aware of, however, is the role that reliability plays in the cost of printing. This article explores the real-world impact of print cartridge reliability on costs and addresses why reliability is so important.

» Impact on cost
» How HP ensures reliability
» QualityLogic research
» The problem with refills and remanufactures
» Don't just focus on price
» Hear from our customers


Reliability has a measurable impact on costs

Reliability is important because time is valuable, and reliability problems can consume a lot of your time. What is your time worth? If you're running a business, reliability problems can take up a significant amount of your employees' time and technical support time, with a direct impact on your productivity and operating costs. If you're printing at home, reliability is important because wasted time keeps you from your family and the things you enjoy.

How much do remanufactured cartridges really cost? Wasted printing supplies and staff wages can end up costing your company over 80 percent more than if you'd used reliable HP colour LaserJet print cartridges.2 If your business prints a lot, that could add up to thousands of dollars or more per year.
Every time you have to deal with problem cartridges, printer problems and reprinting unacceptable pages, it costs you money - because wasted time results in real costs. In fact, wasted staff wages and wasted printing supplies can really add up. Depending on the size of your business and the amount of printing that you do, problem cartridges can end up costing you thousands of dollars or more per year.

If you're a home user or own a home business, problems may be even more aggravating and costly, since you don't have a technical support staff to turn to. It isn't worth your time to deal with problem cartridges and printer problems - not to mention the extra money you spend on cartridges, paper and special media when you have to reprint poor-quality pages. When you buy reliable print cartridges, you can spend more of your time doing the things you want to do.

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How does HP achieve unsurpassed reliability?

Genuine HP print cartridges are designed and tested with HP printers as part of a complete printing system to deliver consistently outstanding results. HP demonstrates its commitment to reliability through substantial investments at every step of the product development process, from design through manufacturing, with exhaustive testing throughout. For example, HP conducts tests on HP Colour LaserJet and inkjet print cartridges to ensure consistent results after long periods of not using your printer or when print cartridges are stored prior to use. This helps ensure that every page is clear and sharp.

Reliability at each step

Design — To ensure precisely controlled print quality and reliability, every element of the print cartridge, including inks and toners, is designed to perform optimally and reliably with printer hardware and HP papers.

Manufacturing — HP inkjet print cartridges include sophisticated printheads with hundreds of tiny nozzles, some capable of firing ink faster than 36,000 drops per second. To ensure reliable performance from such complex technology, HP analyzes each cartridge to ensure that it will deliver the precise size, shape and placement of ink drops.

Testing — HP conducts comprehensive testing on print cartridges during their manufacture to ensure that they meet or exceed design specifications. For example, HP tests a sample of more than 5,000 inkjet print cartridges per week, to the tune of 100,000 pages per week.
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Research examines real-world impact of reliability

Third-party reliability tests confirm that original HP inkjet and colour LaserJet print cartridges offer unsurpassed reliability for HP printers.1 After all, quality and reliability are the foundations upon which HP has built its business and for which HP has been recognised worldwide.

QualityLogic Inc. (QL), a large, highly skilled, independent quality assurance organization, has performed truly rigourous studies of print cartridge reliability. HP recently commissioned these studies, which focus on the real-world impact of reliability, to better understand the full scope of cartridge problems customers face, including cartridges that print poorly, stop working prematurely or require ongoing support.

The bottom line is that while many remanufacturerers claim the same or better quality print cartridges than HP, the QL research shows that original HP print cartridges offer better print-quality consistency and higher reliability than the worldwide remanufacturer brands tested.1

Independent reliability tests confirm that original HP print cartridges offer unsurpassed reliability for HP printers.

On average, the results showed that for the leading worldwide remanufactured brands tested, HP cartridges outperformed remanufactured cartridges in all categories:

Nearly one out of every six remanufactured cartridges was dead on arrival or failed prematurely; dependable HP print cartridges worked every time.1

HP cartridges worked consistently and produced over 25 percent more client-ready documents and frame-worthy photos than remanufactured cartridges.1

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Problems caused by refills and remanufactures

The QL research also found that these are the common problems that occurred with refill inks and remanufactured toner cartridges:

  • Ink/toner leaks from cartridges
  • Leaked ink/toner stains/contaminates printer parts
  • Power failure in the printer
  • Printer is unable to print
  • Inconsistent page yields

Refill inks

Photo 1: Brand F — black print cartridge arrived in a pool of ink Photo 2: Brand H — print cartridge leaked black ink into the printer

Remanufactured toners

Photo 1: Brand D — yellow toner leak Photo 2: Brand K magenta — severe leak discovered when sealed envelope was opened upon receipt

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Focusing on cartridge purchase price is a short-term view — choose HP for true value

When you choose a remanufactured cartridge because of lower initial purchase price, you may think you're saving money. But the recent results of the QL study raises concerns — are you really saving money over the life of the printer when you use remanufactured cartridges? Focusing on price alone is a short-term view that doesn't take into account print quality, printer downtime, wasted staff time, wasted supplies, support costs and even costs you may not notice. For example, with a shared printer, you may not realize that a print cartridge is failing prematurely. It's just pulled out, thrown away and replaced, without anyone really knowing how many pages it has printed. Such expenses may be invisible, but they definitely cost you — often more than buying a more reliable print cartridge in the first place. Dependability is also key, especially when customers and clients are waiting for documents; the cost of letting them down is incalculable. Results from the QL study show that using remanufactured cartridges can often end up costing you more than original HP print cartridges.

Choose the unsurpassed reliability of original HP ink and colour toner cartridges, and avoid reliability problems that cost you time and money.

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Customers trust HP's reliability


ADEC Solutions

More and more customers are looking at the big picture and recognising the value of choosing the most reliable print cartridges. "Efficiency, productivity and high standards are critical to our business, that's why we use original HP printing supplies," said Arnel Esguerra, Managing Director of the Philippines office of multinational ADEC Solutions.

In the past, the company made use of non-original HP print cartridges. Esguerra recounts his experience with toner leakages, poor print quality, fuser error, paper jams and noise. "We thought we could save money by using non-original HP printing supplies since they are 70% cheaper. We realised that it actually created more problems for us, incurring loss in productivity and higher expenses for services and supplies, said Esguerra. With the use of original HP print cartridges, printing has become a stress-free operation. "Our production levels and print quality are now outstanding."

» Read the full story here

Marks & Spencer

Customers like Sergio Laborero, Marks & Spencer's Operations Service Manager, value making fewer technical support calls, changing cartridges less frequently, and seeing more consistent print quality "We have been using the HP original cartridges for about four months now and are delighted with how quickly we are seeing the benefits," says Sergio. "The overall service of our printers has improved with less problems reported and a general improvement in quality of output."

Looking at the costs associated with reliability - as well as all the time and frustration involved in dealing with printing problems — the value of HP original cartridges is clear. Our business and consumer customers tell us they choose HP print cartridges for quality and reliability. It's clear why.

More customer stories:
» Gulliver's Travels
» APS Swim School
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For more information

» Reliability Comparison Study for HP Inkjet Cartridges vs. Remanufactured Cartridges, QualityLogic Inc. 2005.
» Reliability Comparison Study for HP Colour Toner Cartridges vs. Remanufactured Cartridges, QualityLogic Inc. 2005.

1Based on average results of brands tested in the 2005 Inkjet Cartridge Reliability Comparison Study and the 2005 Toner Cartridge Reliability Comparison Study, both by QualityLogic Inc. and commissioned by HP. Testing performed on HP 45, HP 78, HP 56 and HP 57 Inkjet Print Cartridges and the colour toner cartridges for the HP Colour LaserJet 4650 (Q3668A) printer. Test results provided by QualityLogic were performed under laboratory conditions and actual performance may vary.

2Cost calculation based on average reliability results in QualityLogic Colour Toner Reliability Comparison Study, 2005. Calculation includes cartridge-replacement expenses and estimated labour costs, assuming customer reprints three out of four unusable pages. Labour cost based on Mercer 2004 Global Pay Summary for Secretary. Purchase price for HP colour toner cartridge set estimated at $765 U.S. with an 18% price difference for a remanufactured cartridge set. Actual prices, costs and savings may vary.
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