By COLE PERRYMAN
COPY CATS: Josh O’Leary and Jeremy Dodson outside the CartridgeSmart location in the Wembley Center at the southwest quadrant of the 71st Street and Mingo Road intersection.
GTR Newspapers photo
In today’s technology driven world, the use of printers, fax machines and copiers has become commonplace. These various transmitters of the written word have so inundated the lives of their users that life without them seems unimaginable for most. However, heavy usage of these machines can often cause operating costs to soar, many times resulting in bills for replacement printer or toner cartridges to become a serious financial drain. But not to worry, as one savvy mechanical engineer turned businessman has managed to give this common problem a cost-effective and hassle-free solution.
Josh O’Leary, owner of Applied Laser Systems and CartridgeSmart, offers consumers and businesses alike the opportunity to purchase high-quality, remanufactured toner cartridges and refill their printer cartridges with some of the most technologically advanced equipment available for commercial use.
O’Leary’s work with toner cartridges began rather unexpectedly in 1993 while studying to be a mechanical engineer at the University of Tulsa. For his senior project he decided to study wear-rates on the internal components of toner cartridges, sparking the interest of various professors in the department. In order to perform accurate testing he and his professors began to remanufacture the cartridges. Coincidently, around this very same time the TU chemistry department began work on production of their own toner. O’Leary was able to network with the staff in the chemistry department working on the project and learn the intricacies of toner production and its behavioral properties. Armed with the knowledge gained from his senior research project and that of the toner production process, he was able to begin selling his own remanufactured toner cartridges to a handful of clients, including TU. His client base continued to expand after graduation, so much so that he opened Applied Laser Systems, which specializes in remanufactured toner cartridges for laser printers and copiers. The cartridges are delivered to various small and large businesses throughout the area, including the United States Postal Service.
As demand for remanufactured toner cartridges increased, consumers began asking O’Leary about remanufacturing inkjet printer cartridges. He declined such offers noting that the technology and materials available to him at the time were substandard and thus incapable of producing quality results. In 2003 technology began to catch up and quality materials became more readily available, allowing O’Leary the opportunity to open up CartridgeSmart, where he and his staff, including manager Jeremy Dodson, provide superior quality refilled and remanufactured printer cartridges in an easy to access location.
Unlike its competitors, CartridgeSmart has unique equipment that allows for a longer-lived, better performing printer cartridge. The “Fluidix Workstation Six,” an ink stained piece of machinery slightly reminiscent of an oversized typewriter with hoses and dials in place of letters and numbers, allows for used black ink cartridges to be completely emptied of their leftover ink, cleaned with a special solution, and refilled with fresh ink without having to punch additional holes in the cartridge. The process is nearly identical to that in the original cartridge factory, only on a much smaller scale. By not adding additional holes to the printer cartridge, the structural integrity of the cartridge is preserved and the possibility of unwanted leakage is significantly lowered.
To clean and refill the more complicated color cartridges, they are first placed in a centrifuge to totally empty them of any unused ink. They are then hooked into a machine that fills and primes the cartridges. This machine, also exclusive to CartridgeSmart, pulls a vacuum on the cartridge, allowing the internal sponge to totally absorb the new ink, resulting in consistent ink flow in all refilled cartridges. The print head is then thoroughly cleaned, ensuring longer cartridge life, more refill potential, and higher quality printing.
CartridgeSmart, located at Wembley Center shopping area at the southwest corner of 71st Street and Mingo Road, offers supplies for nearly every personal printing need. Orders over $50 receive free delivery. For even more special savings, see the CartridgeSmart coupon in Valpack coupon booklets, or mention this article to receive $1 off the purchase price of a remanufactured cartridge.