The Clickinks Blog | All posts tagged 'print industry'

MICR toner, What is it and Do you need it

Have you seen or wondered what MICR toner means? What are the benefits of a MICR laser system? Should you be using MICR toner for your business or accounting needs? And what MICR toner cartridges are available?

  

 MICR is a Magnetic Ink Character Recognition technology used primarily by the banking industry to facilitate the processing of checks.  MICR characters are printed in special fonts with a magnetic toner containing iron oxide. As a machine decodes the MICR text, it first magnetizes the characters, and then the characters are passed over a MICR head, a device similar to the playback head of a tape recorder.  As each character passes over the head it produces a unique form that can be easily identified by the system.  Banks and Institutions rely on this MICR technology to read the account numbers and other codes in the bank line on checks and other negotiable documents with electronic bank processing equipment.

  

Most users cite the following benefits as a reason for converting to MICR printing:

  • MICR Laser check processing provides a much higher level of security.
  • Cost reductions by eliminating pre-printed checks
  • Creating a MICR Laser check is a single step process that adds payee data, signatures, logos, bank identification, and the MICR line to the check.
  • Increased flexibility to add, change or delete new bank accounts on demand, without ordering new checks.
  • Decreased exposure to check fraud.

So if you are in banking, accounting, payroll or accounts payable or are printing checks, you should use nothing less than MICR toner.  Clickinks MICR remanufactured laser toner cartridges guarantee that all checks are printed properly and will clear the financial institutions check clearing systems, adhering to ANSI readability standards.

 

Clickinks.com offers the best value, quality and price on MICR toner cartridges for all your check printing needs. We offer MICR toner for Canon, Dell, HP, Lexmark, IBM, Samsung, Toshiba, Xerox and even Source Tech printers, with more brands to come.  

What is Toner

What is Toner?

Toner is an electrically-charged powder used in laser printers and photocopiers.  It is used to form text or images.  In its early form it was simply carbon powder.  Later the manufactures added polymers to improve the quality of printing.  The two main ingredients of toner powder are now pigment and polymer. The role of the pigment is fairly obvious, it provides the coloring (black, in a monochrome printer) that fills in the text and images. The use of polymer varies by manufacturers and even by printer model.  Some of the most common polymers are styrene acrylate copolymer, polyester resin and styrene butadiene copolymer. 

The formulation of toners can also vary in granule size and melting point. The particle size of toners has reduced from a 14–16 micrometers to 8–10 micrometers (600 dots per inch resolution) to improve resolution.  The smaller the particle, the more accurate the color reproduction and efficiency. Uniform shapes are also a great factor when talking about improving the quality of the printout.  Further reductions in particle size producing further improvements in resolution are being developed through the application of new technologies.

In earlier machines, this low-cost carbon toner was poured by the user from a bottle into a reservoir in the machine. Current machines feed directly from a sealed cartridge. To save money and keep cartridges from piling up in landfills, empty cartridges can be refilled or even better, remanufactured.  Remanufactured cartridges refill the empty toner cartridges and the quality remanufactured cartridges like found at Clickinks.com also replace all used or worn parts. 

What is ink

28. June 2011 08:00 by Danielle in   //  Tags: , , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

What is ink?

Ink according to the Oxford Dictionary is: “a colored fluid used for writing, drawing, printing, or duplicating.”  According to Wikipedia: “Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design.”  Britannica Concise Encyclopedia defines it as a “Fluid or paste of various colors (usually black or dark blue) used for writing and printing, composed of a pigment or dye in a liquid vehicle (solvent).”  No matter where you look for a definition, all of them have something in common; the purpose of ink is to deliver a visual image.  Inks are found in almost every aspect of human activity.

The first inks used were made of fruit or vegetables juices; blood from some types of animals and bark from trees.  The first man made inks were made from animal or vegetable charcoal mixed with glue and it appeared in Egypt about 4,500 years ago.  Older style writing inks, such as in fountain pens, use a fluid water-based dye system. But in the 1950s, when ballpoint pens became fashionable, the writing ink industry shifted to paste like oil-based dye systems. The thick consistency allows capillary action to keep the ink flowing well, and the inks generally are no smearing and quicker drying than water-based systems.  Dyes tend to be preferred over pigments for writing inks because pigments can't be dispersed minutely enough and tend to clog the pen tip. Water-based dye or pigment systems are still used for markers, highlighters and rollerball pens. A few pen manufacturers, such as Bic (which sells about 3 million pens per day) make their own ink, but most pen manufacturers buy their ink.

There are various types of inks available today, all used for different purposes in the printing market.  Newspapers, magazines, photo and book publishers are just a few examples of the paper base industries that use inks in a daily basis.  Even the governments use ink to print money.  But there are a lot more industries that depend on inks to deliver a message; apparel, beverage and paint industries are some good examples.  In today’s developed nations, most residences and businesses have a printing capability and having an inkjet printer is very common in most countries.  At home ink is used to print homework, reports, bills or just to print some drawings to keep the kids busy doing some coloring (I’m guilty as charged). 

Today's inks are divided into two classes: printing inks and writing inks. Printing inks are further broken down into two subclasses: ink for conventional printing, and ink for digital nonimpact printing, which includes ink-jet and electrophotographic technologies.  Inks also contain additives such as waxes, lubricants, surfactants, and drying agents to aid printing and to impart any desired special characteristics.  An average size magazine issue of 80 pages requires a total of only about 68 gal of ink to print just more than 150,000 copies.  The advent of personal computers, personal electronics, and the Internet may one day replace libraries full of printed books and periodicals with electronic products.  Look how many e-books are already in use. But the great paperless society hasn't fully shown itself yet, many industries still rely on paper. And as long as there's paper, then there must be ink.

How Does a Printer Work

No matter what type of document you are printing, whether if it’s a letter, spreadsheet, PDF or a photo, and no matter what type of printer you are using there are some similarities in how your printer works. The software is responsible for sending the data to the printer; this software is known as the driver. The driver translates the data from the application into a format that the printer understands, the driver also checks to see if the printer is connected, turned on, and functioning properly.  There are two major types of printers, the laser printer and the inkjet printer.

How a Laser Printer works:

For the laser printer there is a basic principle which is static electricity. A revolving drum which is known as a photoreceptor which is made out of conductive materials that sends light photons, as it revolves it receives an electrical charge from a wire that is called a charge corona, while it spins a tiny laser beam shines across it surface to discharge at various points to create the image on the drum.

Once the image is set, the printer puts a positively charged toner on the drum. The toner then will only stick to the negatively charged areas.

After the toner is adhered to the image on the drum, the paper is moved into position. The paper encounters the transfer of the corona wire and receives a negative charge. The negatively charged paper has a stronger pull than the static electric charged toner that is holding to the drum, the paper pulls the toner powder from the drum transferring the image to the paper once the image is transferred from the drum; a detac corona wire zaps the paper to remove it from the drum.

Finally the paper is ready for the fuser. The fuser permanently bonds the image into the paper. The paper passes threw the fusers which are just heated rollers.  As the paper passes threw the fuser heats up the toner powder and bonds it with the paper, then the fusers sends the paper out of the printer.

How an Inkjet Printer works:

For the inkjet printer, it uses miniscule droplets of ink to create the image. The ink comes from an ink cartridge that is placed in the print head assembly, inside the print head assembly there is actual print head which has several nozzles that spray drops of ink. An Inkjet printer also contain a print head stepper motor which a mechanism that moves the print head across the paper.
There are two types of inkjet printers:

Bubble Jet Printer:  The resistors create heat, which the heat vaporizes the ink into tiny little bubbles and the bubble is pushed out onto the paper. The bubble jet print head can contain 600 nozzles and they all can fire a drop of ink simultaneously.

Piezoelectric printer: Piezo crystal is found at the back of the ink reservoir which vibrates when it receives an electric charge. The vibration from the crystal will force the ink out of the nozzle.

This is a quick and simplistic view on how the most common printers work.  Do you have questions on your printer? Just let us know!

3D Printing To Provide Custom Manufacturing

11. April 2011 06:00 by Danielle in   //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)









Have you heard the buzz on 3D Printing?  Maybe you read about the evolution of printing devices lately. More and more 3D printers are coming out on the market, and are ingenious for "printing", or manufacturing, a wide variety of products.  With 3D printing you can mass produce custom or personalized products without incurring a significant price increase.  We are talking about significantly lowering the cost and risk of manufacturing, transforming many sectors of the manufacturing industry. 

Many more sectors are able to utilize 3D printing as we progress; new materials like stainless steel, glass, and in the last month, silver are added to the Shapeways line, an online marketplace offering personalized production via 3D printers spun out of of Royal Philips Electronics.  Looking for more fun? FigurePrints, a Seattle company, makes 3D replicas of Xbox Live avatars and World of Warcraft characters.  Larger manufacturers are also coming on board, including Clark’s, the British shoe brand, which this month began using Z Corp’s 3D printers for prototyping.  More than 20% of the output from 3D printers is actually final products, according to Terry Wohlers, who runs a research firm specializing in the field, and this number is sure to grow substantially.  3D printing is also used for quite remarkable production, like medical implants that are more likely to stay put than conventional ones. 

One day I am sure you will own something manufactured by a 3D printer, whether it is a custom made shoe, a replica of your avatar, or a femur implant.

Modernist Cuisine Weighs in at over 4 lbs of ink

25. February 2011 06:00 by Josh in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

We are going off script here today with something a little different. While this might be considered a book review, I look at it as a tribute to modern printing and publishing. This is what can happen when money, imagination and curiosity collide. With a release date of March 7th, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking might be the most highly anticipated book of this millennium.

Modernist Cuisine is a six-volume, 47-pound epic collection (list price $625) that could easily pass for a graduate level science text, dispelling many of the myths that exist in the food world. Its release has been delayed for months because the one of a kind Plexiglas case that houses the volumes was cracking and breaking under the astonishing weight. The ink used to print the text and pictures weighs in at over 4 pounds; that’s more than the average book weighs, paper and all.

“Every one of the traditional publishers balked at the scope of this project,” says Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, the multi-millionaire author and inventor, “which is why I had to found my own publishing company to get it done.” Fortunately, he was the former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft and the current CEO of Intellectual Ventures, a 5 billion dollar patent portfolio development company. Myhrvold had the resources to bankroll his own publishing company, which he named The Cooking Lab.

A comprehensive, well-researched book is one thing, but what's the appeal for the everyday home cook? Simply, this is the most useful cookbook you'll probably never cook from. Oddly enough, that does not make the books inaccessible. There might not be a recipe you will make in every chapter, but there is something to inspire and learn from on every single page.

With its sizeable price tag, the book may not be for most, but Myhrvold insists there is something for everyone. “Chefs will certainly be interested," he said. "The book contains a lot of techniques that it would be really difficult to learn any other way. You would have to work at a dozen different restaurants around the world." It's also appealing to those with an "intellectual curiosity," claims Myhrvold. "People who love books say this is really an extraordinary object."

This release is going to be a turning point as to how people think about food and technology. If Myhrvold would have added a chapter or two about football, that would cover just about everything that interests me. I’ve already started printing excerpts I’ve found online, but I’ve used up my black inkjet cartridge. I’m not going to find all 2,438 pages online, nor would I want that many loose pages in my kitchen, so I’m going to have to stop soon. The good thing is that I know that I can save up to 86% by buying remanufactured inks from Clickinks.com. So now you know what to get me for my birthday, it’s in June if you were wondering. It’s your pick, inkjet cartridges from Clickinks or Modernist Cuisine, I’ll take either one.

Pressing Forward: The Evolution of Printing Devices

9. February 2011 06:00 by Josh in   //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

What would Johannes Gutenberg think of today’s modern laser printer? Would he even recognize it as an evolution of his invention that changed the world? Most historians believe that the printing press was the single most important invention of the Middle Ages. Gutenberg conceived the idea of a movable type and the first printing press. It should be noted that the printing press is not the result of a single invention, it is the aggregation of three different technologies that were in existence centuries before Gutenberg was born.


• The adaptation for printing of the wine or olive oil screw-type press that had been in use for hundreds of years, throughout Europe and Asia.

• The adaptation of block print technology, known in Europe since the return of Marco Polo from Asia at the end of the 13th century.

• The development of mass production paper making techniques. Paper was brought from China to Italy in the 12th century, but was thought too flimsy for books.

The first few books to be printed and sold at print shops were religious texts and bibles. There was very little to no printing of new ideas taking place. Most people entered the printing business and then quickly left it. The main reason was the distribution of books was not organized. The potential for improvement was there, the market was there, and the demand was definitely there, but the control and transport were poorly organized. To add to this, the literacy rate in Europe was still very low. Most people did not even know how to read. However, this situation was improved by the Frankfort Fair, which was a center for printing and drew hundreds of booksellers, scholars, publishers and collectors from all over the world.

Printing encouraged literacy amongst the population and eventually brought about a deep and lasting impact on many people’s lives. The majority of the first books made by hand were typically the Bible. The print shop on the other hand, responded to demand with medical, travel and practical manuals. Printing also provided a platform for scholars and prevented the corruption of their texts during hand copying. By giving everyone the same texts to work from, the printing press had brought about progress in science and scholarship in a faster and more reliable way.

The main effects of the printing press however, was to multiply the supply and cut down the costs of books. Thus, it made information of all kinds readily available to larger segment of the population. Libraries were then able to store more information, and at a lower cost. The printing press also facilitated the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. This was very important for the advancement of science and technology. The printing press certainly fueled the start of the ‘information revolution’, which is on par with the Internet of today. The printing press allowed the spread of new ideas and information quickly, and with much greater impact.

Initial success with automatic printing was found with the steam printing presses of the early 1800's. This was the next major step for the printing industry. Gutenberg's original design had remained largely unchanged until then. The steam press, constructed of cast iron, allowed double the print size and required 90% less force to print properly. It could produce 250 prints an hour, an amazing feat for the era. Compare that to today's fully automated digital printing presses, which are capable of handling any color, font and print size at a printing rate that makes the steam press look like a snail.

So in the span of five centuries, we have witnessed human expression evolve from the spoken word, to the hand written word, to printed word. Now with today’s electronic mediums, our communication has evolved to what has become the digital information age. The internet’s effect on communication is causing us to rethink text itself. It has almost come full circle and returned to a state much like it was in its infancy of the spoken word. I am confident that if Johannes Gutenberg were alive today and needed toner for his laser printer, he would web-surf over to ClickInks.com. With the purchase of Clickinks remanufactured printer cartridges, you help reduce the amount of cartridges that are disposed of into landfills and save yourself money at the same time!