Home:: CISS - Continuous Inkjet Ink Systems

CISS - Continuous Inkjet Ink Systems

Continuous ink systems were originally developed for large format inkjet printers. Due to the volume of printing and hence the amount of ink used in this type of printing, alternatives to small inkjet cartridges needed to be developed.

Some large format printers were supplied with large bag like cartridges that held 100-200ml of ink. These printers are household names and yet this option was not available to small business/home users.

Another development was where the ink was delivered to the printhead by a series of tubes. This was often the case where the piezo style printhead was used in the professional, large format printers. In this case, bulk ink was added to a reservoir and the ink was drawn by capillary action to the printhead.

Continuous ink systems for home users and small business were initially developed for the piezo printheads. They consisted of individual ink bottles, tubes that delivered the ink to a modified cartridge which sat on the printhead in the same position as a normal cartridge, a support mechanism for the tubes, and a priming apparatus to set the system up so that the ink was delivered to the printhead.

The addition of the continuous ink system now made inkjet the technology economical for a small business.

With the better continuous ink systems, the process was clean and painless (compared to refilling your own cartridges) and allowed printing to continue around the clock. By watching the level of the ink in the ink bottles, additional ink was added simply unscrewing the lid of the ink bottle, topping up, then securing the lid again.

Improvements over time meant that continuous systems were developed for the bubblejet technology over time as well.

The limiting factor now became the duty cycle of the printers. The duty cycle was the number of pages per month a printer was designed to handle. Continuous ink systems quickly printed the duty cycle volume and then some.

Funnily enough, it was the printers that became the consumable item where they would be worn out by continually printing and so once they began having problems, it was cheaper to replace the printer than repair it.

At the same time, inkjet printer manufacturers were aware of developments and appeared to be taking steps to bring back more profits to their bottom lines.

Peter Stroud has had a hands on role with the cartridge remanufacturing industry over a period of 10 years. The website continuous inkjet ink system reviews the history of inkjet printers, inkjet cartridges and the effect of the cost of inkjet cartridges.

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