Chip Shortage Repercussions Continue
We all probably remember the headlines during the pandemic about supply chain issues and semiconductors — or chip — shortages. We may have experienced it personally if we tried to purchase any kind of vehicle or many consumer electronic products over the last few years. On the business side of things, we were also seeing delays in wide-format printer deliveries thanks to both the shortages in chips and the back-up in the ports.
But we’re well past the pandemic. These issues should have been sorted out by now, right?
According to an article by Graham Scott, Vice President of Global Procurement for Jabil, “Global semiconductor shortages are not ending yet, but there are some mixed signals ahead for 2023. Based on market data and conversations with our customers, we expect the market for components like analog, microcontrollers, FPGA, and discretes to be constrained well into 2023; lead times for basic semiconductors still extend past 40 weeks, on average, and high-end components are in excess of 52 weeks.”
In a briefing in May, Marc Aguilera, product manager, SureColor P-Series Printers at Epson America, explained that due to a continuing chip shortage, Epson UltraChrome HD and HDX ink cartridges of all sizes will transition to a different design with new part numbers starting June 1, 2023.
This change will impact the Epson SureColor P6000, P7000, P8000, and P9000 printers worldwide.
The ink cartridge SKUs impacted include: Epson UltraChrome HD/HDX Inks 150ml, 350ml and 700 ml which include T834100, T834200, T834300, T834400, T834500, T834600, T834700, T834700, T835800, T834900, T834A00, T834B00, T834D00, T824100, T824200, T824300, T824400, T824500, T824600, T824700, T824800, T824900, T824A00, T824B00, T824D00, T804100, T804200, T804300, T804400, T804500, T804600, T804700, T804700, T804800, T804900, T804A00, T804B00, T804D00.
With a change in the cartridge design for these printers, users will need to install new firmware BEFORE installing the new cartridges in the printer or running out of ink in the current cartridges. For that reason, Epson is recommending all customers update their Epson SureColor P-series printers to the latest firmware (January 2023) as soon as possible.
According to Epson, there is no chemical or formula difference between the old and new inks. The current ink cartridges have a chip that notifies the printer to send a low ink warning or to replace cartridges. The new ink cartridges will operate without that chip. Ink levels will instead be determined by an internal droplet count done by the printer. This measurement method may lead to an earlier indication of low ink levels than the previous cartridges. To compensate for this potential variance in ink level reporting, Epson is lowering the end user purchase price.
If the firmware update is not completed, the printer will not accept the cartridge once an ink cartridge with the new chip technology is inserted into the printer. This will include any new UltraChrome ink cartridge purchased after June 1, 2023. Older ink cartridges (purchased before June 1, 2023) will continue to be supported with the new firmware.
You can learn more about this change here: www.epson.com/pseriesink
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics and Wide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.