Continuous Ink Systems - For Multiple Printer Types
CISS or continuous ink supply systems have been around since their creation in the early 90's but it wasn't until 2003 when they were optimised for ink-jet printers that their popularity began to increase. A concept created to cut the costs of printing, CISS (sometimes simply called ciss) is popular in many countries of the world and is constantly being redeveloped to become compatible with the most popular makes of printers. Described as profitable, convenient and efficient, CISS offers users the opportunity to complete large runs of printing jobs without the worry of running out of ink. A saving of up to 95% can be made over the cost of using cartridges and print quality is unaffected by the change in ink supply method. The full range of colours available in cartridges is also available in CISS units.
CISS is simply a self-contained unit, situated outside the printing device that feeds ink to the printing head through attached ink tubes. External bottles are clear, making it simple to visibly check when ink supplies are running low. Users can refill ink without opening the lid and with the external tanks having a higher capacity than regular cartridges, maintenance is not required so often. Eco-friendly due to dispensing with regular throwaway ink cartridges CISS is a one-time investment and the perfect alternative to original consumables. Each unit comes with an installation guide and most manufacturers will advise whether the unit is compatible with the printing device being used.
Some users have found it tricky to fit CISS especially when using older printing devices and there are a number of trouble-shooting tutorials available on the Internet in the form of small video clips or helpful articles. However with the larger manufacturers now offering their own continuous Ink Supply Systems the user can simply buy a complete device and unit, ready to set up within minutes. One such manufacturer, Epson, who has realized the potential of CISS, has created 'all-in-one' units as well as compatible units for the usual cartridge-fitted devices. Similarly, after grasping the importance of CISS, Canon has adapted newer models to accept this system. All-in-one units have the printer chips already programmed for their own ink supply systems, eradicating the occasional problem of the chip rejecting the unit as unfamiliar.
Small problems may still arise when using these cost-effective units but are usually due to human error. As the print head pulls out ink, a slight suction is created through the use of an air bubble. Keeping the bottom of the print head level with the top level of the ink ensures this vacuum method works correctly. The new CISS Epson and Canon cartridges maintain a constant and correct pressure through an internal arrangement of space ensuring a continual and accurate flow of ink.
The use of CISS has had teething problems in the past but global recognition of its potential has created a printing revolution and the days of fiddly and expensive cartridges could fast be coming to an end.