OEM inks have very high levels of color accuracy and precision, as they are made by the manufacturer of the printer themselves. Manufacturers also say that third party or remanufactured inks can damage the printer. This may be true of some types of cheaply made non-OEM inks, but there are many high quality options. The two common options that exist are either remanufactured or replacement inks. Remanufactured inks use empty cartridges from the printers and are refilled with ink.
Makers of remanufactured ink make it by refilling old ink cartridges of OEM ink and reselling them. The quality in remanufactured ink varies widely, high quality cartridges are taken apart and all the pieces are cleaned individually. Lower quality cartridges simply have a hole drilled in them and refilled with ink. It is very important to make sure that you are receiving a cartridge that has been made with quality manufacturing.
These cartridges are made by third party vendors that aim to match the color quality and precision of the manufacturers inks. Some of the better producers have made ink that rivals or even exceeds the color accuracy of the original ink. The cartridges are designed to work without any problems, with the chips making the electronic signature of the original cartridges and ink being chemically analogous, so as not to cause any damage to the printer head. Damage to the print head is understandably one of the main concerns for printers when using non-OEM inks, but many of the current products on the market are proven to be completely compatible with both the physical and electronic components on large format printers.
For example on our site the Canon PFI-702 ink cartridge, which is designed for printers in the imagePROGRAF series, is sold for 189.99 and the retail price for OEM ink is 299.99. The printer has 12 possible colors it can use, so by purchasing all of these ink cartridges from ProInk USA, a company would save upwards of a $1,000.
If money wasn’t a factor OEM ink would be a fantastic choice for all users, but paying 300 dollars per cartridge for a commercial printing shop can quickly add up. Replacement inks are usually around half the price and the reputable companies have no compatibility problems with the ink. Many commercial printers have started to switch over to replacement inks as they can create the exact same image and significantly reduce their operating costs.