A Digital Printing Network
I am looking to see if anyone has any first-hand experience with STS inks. They claim to be 100% compatible where you do not have to flush the lines and can switch back and forth between their ink and OEM with no issue. We have always only used Roland OEM, but man, what a price difference. We have the CMYK+ Lc+Lm+Mt+W configuration, but would, of course only be looking at non-OEM for CMYK+ Lc+Lm portion.
Are there other brands that are good or should be avoided like the plague? MAybe avoid them altogether? I hate regret!
Thanks a lot.
All inks not created equal....
Most white inks contain titanium dioxide as the pigment, as rutile and anatase in tetragonal crystalline form. However, growing concerns over the known toxicity of heavy metals have led to the replacement of many inorganic pigments such as chrome yellow, molybdenum orange and cadmium red with organic pigments, which offer better light fastness and reduced toxicity. Furthermore, carbon black now replaces spinel black, rutile black and iron black in nearly all black inks. In fact the ink industry is the second largest consumer of carbon black.
Other inorganic materials such as clays serve as fillers or extenders, which primarily reduces the cost of pigments, though some also improve ink properties. Metallic pigments like aluminium powder (aluminium bronze) and copper-zinc alloy powder (gold bronze) are used in novel silver and gold inks. Miscellaneous inorganic pigments provide luminescent and pearlescent effects.
Bob's got a very good scientific explanation for it. We're also working on removing nickel from the ink pigment compounds. Finding pigments and supernatants that obey strict environmental regulations in Europe and the U.S. are forcing OEM manfucturers to provide better and safer ink, which adds to cost. Third party ink suppliers often use lower amounts of the harsher pigments Bob refers to with more supernatant to offer higher quantities of ink.
This leads to misting and degradation of the seals present in the plumbing system such as the o-rings in cartridge bays and the rubber seal around the captops. Messiah is correct that warranty is affected, but also the general operation of the machine is affected over time calling for more repairs.
For owners that have the production to justify the built-in cost of replacing parts, this can be a significant investment, but you'd have to be going through two sets of 440s per month, at a minimum, before you realize any cost savings.
Another point to consider: Yes OEM inks are more expensive BUT they are quality controlled to garuntee the same gamut (output) color range every time. It is expensive to quality control inks like this and that cost is refelected in theprice we pay. This assures that if you use the same process in printing, you will get consistant results.
With third party inks, you will not only need to create custom profiles for your printer and medias (kind of costly in either equipment or sending it out) and then perform reoccurring quality checks and calibrations to ensure that you get consistent results. I do not think it really saves you anything int he long run.