• Weekly winner question: How is LD Products able to achieve such significant savings with new-build cartridges compared to re-manufactured cartridges considering the additional resource requirements needed to manufacture all components? - Jeremy B

    In a reman cartridge, between 30-50% of the total cost relates to the purchase price and labor associated with disassembly, cleaning and reassembly of the used core.  We don’t have these costs in Gold Line New Builds and that leaves plenty of $$ available to produce/add in the cost of components that Remanufacturers reuse from a used core and pass on most of the savings to our customers.  Incidentally, most of the components that a remanufacturer reuses, (while very important to the integrity and performance of the cartridge) are actually the lowest cost items in the cartridge.  The four highest cost components in a Reman cartridge have to be replaced 100% of the time, or else the product simply won’t work:  OPC, PCR, Chip, Toner.

  • From an energy resource utilization, how do new build cartridges impact the environment? Since new resources are used and they are not remanufactured, don't new build cartridges end up in landfills and use the Earth's natural resources to build more? - Brad G

    This is a complex question and not one that I think has been studied/concluded scientifically.  On one hand, the shells of Gold Line plastics are produced from a mix of new and recycled plastics in China and then shipped in bulk for distribution across America.  There is obviously a carbon and energy cost to this.  When the product is spent, we do not take responsibility for it unless our dealers choose to enroll in our Recycling program which provides end-to-end collection and R2 certified recycling of all the components.  Even within a recycling program, there is further carbon output from the collection and shipping costs to return the empty cartridge.  By comparison, in the Remanufactured model, empty cartridges have to be collected, shipped to producers and then sorted in order for the remanufacturer to actually have a product to sell in the first place.  From my previous experience about 1/3 are rejected as not being suitable for remanufacturing (damaged, not desirable models, not virgin cores, etc).  Then, most of the components and waste toner inside that used cartridge are discarded.  Some remanufacturers pay to recycle these materials – others do not.  Then the cartridge is resold and shipped around the country again.  Once it has been used, some dealers/remanufacturers pay to collect/recycle the cartridge, but most do nothing further and I believe a large percentage of spent remans also then end up in the Landfill.

    Which business model is most environmentally friendly?  I cannot say for sure, but both produce waste, use energy and emit carbon.  My belief is that the responsibility for recycling is a decision each dealer and end user can make by selecting a recycling program.  If this is an important consideration for dealer, they can add recycling of our empty products and depending on their choice of bulk collection, or including a recycling label inside each box, the cost is between $2 and $8 per cartridge.  We recently wrote an article on this – More detail is here:

  • What are the best mono and color HP printers to flip to based on hardware cost along with the expected cpc out of gold line carts? - Mike B

    The workhorse models – HP Laserjet 4250, P4015, M602 and M604 families.  We make a 30K extended yield for the 4250 and 40K extended yields for the others.  Typical dealer cost per page is less than $0.0018!  In color we make extended yields for several series including the CP2025, M351/M451 and CP4025 families that have industry leading cost per page too.  Not only is achieving yield very important in all MPS engagements to ensure you get the profitability you are forecasting, but reliability is equally important to minimize service costs – Color cartridges are more susceptible to failing compared to monochrome for a number of reasons and at the time of writing (9-26-18) we have not had a single Gold Line color cartridge returned in 2018.

  • Are there new build cartridges for the inkjet line of printers? - Colleen M

    Not yet, but we are very close to finalizing the development of the HP Officejet X451/X551/X576 series often referred to as the 970 / 971 series.  We expect to launch these in Q4 2018.

  • Do you use new or re-coated PCU's? - Philip B

    If I understand your Acronym correctly, Photo Conductor Unit?  We often refer to these as OPC drums (Organic PhotoConductor).  In our Gold Line we only use new OPCs & – In fact every component in our Gold Line New builds are brand new  – As nothing is reused or recoated you can expect consistent quality, yield and reliability every time because we have removed the inconsistencies typically found in a reman cartridge where several of the critical components are reused.

  • How do gold line cartridges compare to OEM units in terms of cost and compatibility? - Jason M

    We believe they compare very favorably as our manufacturing model and component selection emulates the OEM strategy:  100% brand new components and shells manufactured in highly controlled, clean and automated manufacturing plants.  We assemble our products in China (just like HP, Lexmark and most other OEMs!) to keep the costs low and our technicians do not have to worry about assessing empty cores, cleaning and disassembling them, or judging what components can be reused, versus needing to be replaced.  These arbitrary processes that rely on Human skill are the foundation of the remanufacturing business model and one the reasons why even the best Remanufactured cartridges incur about a 1% return rate.  In 2018, our return rate has been consistently 0.1% – ten times less!  Cost?  Our product is about 20% less than leading remans, so that puts our product at about 40/50% less than the deepest OEM discounts.

  • How is the tariffs being put in place going to effect your pricing? - Tom A

    At the time of writing (9-27-18), our product category has not been levied with a tariff in either of the two rounds the Trump administration has levied upon Chinese imported goods. 

    One of the reasons reported by Actionable Intelligence in September 2018 was the Lobbying undertaken during the consultation period by HP and other printer OEMs who also manufacture the majority of their cartridges in China.  Where the OEM and Aftermarket usually are fierce competitors, in this situation we are unlikely partners.  If the third round of proposed tariffs are implemented, it is understood that all Chinese imported products will have a tariff added to them (perhaps up to 10%).   If this happens, OEM products and our Gold Line will be affected and we already have plans in place to split the increased costs with our manufacturing partners so that we do not have to pass on any pricing increases to our dealers.  However many remanufactured cartridges will also be impacted as a lot of the components, toner powder, chips and even finished goods are manufactured by Chinese entities.

  • In the remanufactured industry as a whole. When we see a toner fail. Do you feel most failure is component related or a problem/defect in the assembly of the cartridge? - Jesse M

    According to our VP Product Quality, Matt Daniel who has 25 years experience in the Remanufactured Cartridge Industry, the split amongst the best remanufacturers is about 60% component related and 40% assembly related.  Choosing the highest quality new components can minimize failures, but sometimes it is the reuse of a used OEM component in the cartridge that can fail somewhere in the second cycle.  With our Gold Line New Build cartridges, every component is brand new so we have less chance of component failure than in a Reman.  In terms of assembly issues, the most common cause of failure is technician mistakes associated with the cartridge disassembly / reassembly processes that lead to leaking or components working themselves loose.

  • How do you prove yield on your cartridges? - Ron M

    (1)    All our cartridges are designed and tested using the same American Society for Testing and Materials Standards that OEMs use to establish their yields at 5% coverage – ISO 19752 for monochrome cartridges and  ISO 24712 for color.  LD Products is also a member of the International Imaging Technology Council (IITC) and all our products are produced in factories that have attained IITC Standardized Test Methods Committee (STMC) Certifications.

    (2)    Our customers can also independently verify our products meet their yields by pulling reports from most Remote Management Software like Printfleet, FM Audit, Print Audit, etc.  This software will verify the page yield attained by the cartridge at the end users average page coverage.  Our Gold Line is guaranteed to achieve its stated yield at 5% coverage and any cartridge a dealer returns to us that did not, will be replaced free of charge.

  • What processes and components set LD Golds apart from lower priced new builds? - Shawn M

    (1)    In a reman cartridge, between 30-50% of the total cost relates to the purchase price and labor associated with disassembly, cleaning and reassembly of the used core.  In our Gold Line New Built product we do not have these costs so we can spend more money on the highest quality components many of which are manufactured by Japanese and American companies like Mitsubishi, Fuji and Static Control. 

    (2)    Our cartridge shells are also easier for technicians to assemble because they don’t have to undertake the processes described above, so there are fewer incidences of assembly mistakes caused by technician error.

    (3)    Every batch of product is QA’d multiple times before it is sold – (A) all our cartridges are print tested at the end of the assembly line  (B) Random ‘pre-shipment’ samples are airfreighted to our R&D lab in Phoenix where they are fully life tested. Once these pass, the shipment is sent via Ocean freight.  (C) Upon arrival in the USA, ‘post shipment’ samples are also tested to life.  Once these pass, the inventory is booked in and can be sold.  If any of these processes are not successful, the batch is rejected and has to be manufactured again.

  • With New Build cartridges savings over 20% vs. Reman cartridges what is the number or % of customers switching to New Build, or more specially to LD Product Gold Line? - Neil M

    We surveyed hundreds of dealers in 2017 and 2018 and we found that nearly every dealer who use remanufactured cartridges in their business already purchase a small percentage of New Build cartridges.  What we found is that they tend to offer the low yield models (less than 2,000 pages) to mainly transactional customers – not MPS clients.  The reason is that small yield cartridges are quite technically simple and the failure rates of about 5-6% is absorbable.  However, dealers have steered away from larger yield cartridges as the low quality severely affects their profit margins and the number of failures causes complaints within their Business customer base.  Gold Line is the first series of Business class printer cartridges available to dealers that combine high quality, yield attainment and significant cost savings over Reman.  However, after spending most of 2017 in product development and fleet testing, we only launched the Gold Line into the market in January 2018.  Around 10 dealers per month are switching to Gold Line and we trust that as awareness grows and dealers test/ratify the performance of our YTD 0.1% return rate, our market share will grow.  

  • Will all your HP cartridges including color eventually be new build? What do you see as the timeframe? - Jim V

    Today, with the exception of two skus, (Laserjet 9050 and M806) all our Monochrome skus are New Build, but most of our HP Color is still reman.  The reason for this is the increased technical complexity of a color cartridge and the volume of units necessary to justify the investment in building new shells.  We have recently launched some Business class color Xerox and Brother skus that are New build and many of our Color HP skus are in the final stages of development and testing.  Our current forecast is that in Q1 2019, we will begin refreshing the Reman HP color models in the Gold Line range with New Builds.

  • How does the LD Gold Line product prevent leaking better than the Remanufactured products? - Shawn C

    The best way to visualize this answer is to think about an OEM cartridge – Because it is brand new like our Gold Line, the shells are manufactured to the same tolerances every time and the components and the shells fit together perfectly.  With a reman there are a number of areas in the re-manufacturing process that introduce the chance of variances (and therefore the chance of leaking)  The main ones are:

    (1)    The condition of the incoming core – Cores are dropped into recycle bins around the country and weigh down on each other.  Then they are sent and handled again at processing centers where they are visually inspected for suitability to be remanufactured.  From time to time some damaged ones make it into production

    (2)    The OEMs do not design their cartridges to be remanufactured so the provider has to break into the cartridge – Sometimes they use a large blade tool called a “Splitter” that literally cuts the cartridge in half.  If the plastics splinter, this can leave microcaps in the cartridge where toner can leak out in the future.

    (3)    The cartridges have to be resealed after they are refilled with toner and components – This is done with Glue, plastic welds, or application of a foam gasket and pressure clips holding the two sides of plastic together.  These three processes are undertaken by hand with most cartridges so you can understand how inexperienced, inattentive, or tired technicians could seal a cartridge badly from time to time.  When producers test the cartridge at the end of the line, they invariably just run a few pages and do not spend much time looking for leaks, many of which are tiny and only show themselves over time.  Therefore, if you inspect a printer that is using a reman toner compared to one that is using an OEM or a Gold Line cartridge, you’ll find a lot more toner residue inside the reman printer which eventually clogs the machine up and leads to print quality problems and a service cleaning call.

    (4)    Remanufacturers prefer to begin with what we call a ‘Virgin Core’ – a core that has not be remanufactured before – One the main reasons is that once a cartridge has been split / resealed with Glue or plastic welds, its difficult to reman a second time and properly seal the cartridge.  With the increased popularity of MPS, many older models are remaining in fleets longer than they used to.  For example, one of the most popular printer series (Laserjet 4250 / Q5942X toner) was launched in 2004 (15 years old!).    The OEM market share for new toner cartridges in this series is very low now, so there are very few virgin cores available.  As a result, producers are having to remanufacture a cartridge multiple times and many dealers are experiencing quality issues like leaking with these older series that they never saw previously.

  • Can LD Gold Line New Build Cartridges be co-branded for larger enterprise level customers? - Jim W

    Yes – The Gold Line contains no reference inside or out of LD Products – Each box is designed to include a wrap around label that displays the dealers logo, contact information and delivery to desk instructions.  See here for examples:

  • Are there some popular cartridges that are not available through the LD Gold Line at this time? - Ed D

    The Gold Line features most HP, Lexmark, Xerox, Samsung and Brother skus manufactured in the last 15 years.  There are still some older models that we have not invested in producing.  The market population of these really old devices is shrinking as dealers focus on replacing them with newer models.

  • Who created your awesome Gold Line packaging? - Amanda L

    We’re glad you like it – Our Goal is to project a professional image to end users on behalf of a dealer.  At LD Products we are fortunate to have a very talented in-house design team headed up by Fred Machuca.  Incidentally, Fred and the team just won a prestigious Silver medal design award from the globally acclaimed design institution Graphis – See here for more details: