The concept of inkjet printing was first developed in the 1950s. Starting in the late 1970’s, inkjet printers that could reproduce digital images generated by computers were developed and marketed by HP, Canon and Epson.  Marketing efforts for these products were primarily targeted toward the consumer market since these products were very affordable to the home user.

Because of the high cost of ink, the commercial side of document copying and printing has been directed towards dry toner types of products.  The need for photographic quality color in the business world has always been a weakness to dry toner type products and inkjet printers have always addressed that market.

With the cost per page becoming more of a consideration when purchasing office equipment, inkjet devices have never been part of the mainstream when it came to choosing a copier for an office.  The cost to produce a monochrome (black & white) document is less than once cent ($0.01) per page on a commercial grade copier.  To produce a color document, the cost is currently less than six cents ($0.06) page.

Several manufactures are in the process of introducing their first production color inkjet copiers directed towards the business environment and will start replacing the dry toner technology that has been the primary copying and printing process for companies since the middle 1980’s

When you consider that a typical color copier incorporates up to 14 different components to produce a color document, the production inkjet will cost significantly less to purchase and operate than a dry toner copier.

Components used in the dry toner copying – printing process.

  • Toners – Black, cyan, magenta & yellow
  • Developers – Black, cyan, magenta & yellow
  • Drums – Black, cyan, magenta & yellow
  • Transfer Belt
  • Fixing or fuser unit (used to melt the toner to the paper)

Components used in the inkjet copying – printing process.

  • Toners – Black, cyan, magenta & yellow
  • Print head

Current inkjet printers have a very limited yield in the ink supply cartridges.  This new, innovative technology will allow for up to 75,000 pages per ink cartridge.  This larger yield in ink per cartridge is the primary reason for the reduction in the cost per page.

Copiers with speeds of 100 pages per minute are being released in 2017 and by the end of 2018, several manufacturers will be releasing a 200 page per minute model.   The overall cost to purchase and operate a copier is getting ready to change drastically.  This innovative technology is long overdue and will change the way we think of inkjet printing forever.