Printer and Cartridge Manufacturers

Manufacturing is the use of materials, equipment and labour that follows a defined production process to produce a finished product that complies with all defined standards. According to popular opinion, the manufacturer of a particular printer is the same as the company brand but the reality is very different. In the majority of cases, subcontractors are used to manufacture in high volumes as working on tight profit margins is a speciality of the area, a practical example is Apple’s use of Foxconn (a Taiwanese subcontractor) to manufacture their products.


Subcontractors are vital to the entire electronic industry (including printer production) and offer a cost saving service to clients, a service that includes following all defined criteria from material and component selection to a complete logistics solution. They also have to follow all required safety and compliance standards relevant to the industry and destination country. Apple openly discloses their contractors but many do not as the consumer does not need to concern themselves with these issues. In practical terms, a brand typically reflects the owner of the patent or IP (intellectual property) but does not indicate the company who actually manufactured the product. In addition, ODMs (own design manufacturer) provide designs that are ready for sale and companies such as Canon and Xerox regularly purchase these options, placing their branding on produced items and saving time on development.

Ink and Toner Cartridges

Once again, the brand of your ink or toner cartridge does not necessarily mean that you have identified the actual manufacturer; subcontractors are used also. Being an expert in printer and consumable innovations does not mean that high volume manufacturing is also required. The constant requirement for new equipment (as new components are developed) makes it an unattractive option for many. It saves both time and money to outsource this process to those with experience and ongoing investment in the area. In recent years, due to the highly competitive nature of this market, several have pulled out and licensed their consumable business to other companies in order to support existing customers – Agfa, for example. Other large corporations such as the Ricoh Group have a number of printer brands and a cartridge may be compatible with multiple brands.

Therefore, if you select a HP printer, for example, it will be an excellent product that meets all of HP’s exacting standards but the reality is that several companies will have been contracted to manufacture the PCBs, assemble the printer and package it for shipment to a destination country.