Remanufacturing the Sharp 2214/Xerox 5614 Series Copier Cartridges
- By Ira Seaver
- Nov 01, 1998
New opportunities abound for remanufacturers as toner containers change. The Sharp 2214/Xerox 5614 series is nothing more than a glorified bottle and waste container that lends itself well to remanufacturing.
Before we get into the instructions, as simple as they are, I'd like to discuss the economics.
This series of copiers was first introduced in 1994. Both Xerox and Sharp have placed numerous units in the field, creating a substantial potential market. Although earlier models have been discontinued, including the Sharp 2214, new Xerox 5614 series units are being sold.
Xerox retails its cartridge for substantially more than Sharp (Table 1). However, Sharp does not sell direct and from the information we've gathered, Sharp dealers generally offer their product for $50 or more per cartridge. The relatively high Xerox cartridge retail price combined with the ease
of remanufacturing procedures makes this an attractive product. These cartridges are fairly inexpensive to remanufacture. The price per refill bottle with seals is about $11. That leaves a healthy profit margin compared to the Office Max price of $129.99 for two Xerox cartridges.
Picking up one or two cartridges and then returning them to the customer, even at the Xerox pricing, is not the best approach to this opportunity. I suggest you make an effort to source a stock of empties before offering this service to existing clients and prospective new customers. I believe you
will have greater success approaching clients with the message that "We have these in stock on an exchange basis" than with "When yours is empty call me."
The Sharp and Xerox cartridges are slightly different and are not interchangeable. The toner for each is also different. If you were to use the Sharp toner in the Xerox unit, you will experience low page yields. Although the units are all made by Sharp, Xerox takes some liberty with the process
and employs a different OPC drum and developer.
The system uses what is called "trickle in developer." This means that developer is mixed with toner in both the new cartridge and the refill bottle. Used developer and toner continuously drops into separate chambers in the waste section of the cartridge. The developer is continuously replaced
to maintain a consistently high quality copy. This technology previously has been successfully used in copiers.
The OPC unit for the Xerox copier sells for about $400 and is preset to last for 18,000 copies. With a small amount of cleaning and the installation of a replacement chip, the OPC unit will be good for an additional 18,000 copies. Drums, wiper blades and intelligent counters are all available for
Xerox Extended Warranty
Xerox offers a three-year warrantee if the consumer uses Xerox brand supplies. Some customers have already surpassed the warrantee period. Many consumers quickly figure out that the high price of Xerox supplies makes the extended warrantee cost prohibitive. In any event, many customers
will still call Xerox for service. You may encounter a service technician who will deprecate the customers' use of non-Xerox supplies and attempt to charge them for the service call.
There are alternative service opportunities available. I am not discussing this subject to discourage you from this great opportunity. On the contrary, being informed is helpful. If you encounter a Xerox technician disparaging the aftermarket industry, you will now know why. Dealing
with the problem will be on a case-by-case basis. Keep in mind that most customers probably are not happy with the price of the toner and are even more disappointed with Xerox when forced to pay $400 for a new drum unit. The customer will most likely be on your side.
Remanufacturing is something of an overstatement for this cartridge. The procedure is quite simple. Even the sealing process, which can be skipped if the cartridge is hand delivered and installed in your customer's copier, is very easy and fast.
The only supplies needed are a flat screwdriver, pair of needlenose pliers, and refill toner. If you are going to use a seal, you'll need a small heating iron in addition to dry adhesive coated Tyvac tape.
1. Empty the waste developer and waste toner from the two cavities in the waste cartridge. The waste section is the black molded plastic container attached to the bottom of the toner cartridge. In Photo 1, the hole on the left is the developer and the hole on the right is the waste toner. Pour out
and then vacuum the developer waste section. The waste toner should only be removed by vacuum.
2. Remove the fill hole using needlenose pliers as in Photo 1. Vacuum out the toner cavity.
3. Sealing will require that you use a home iron or a smaller version, which is called a hobby iron. I prefer using a hobby iron because it is a bit easier to handle, but a standard iron will suffice. Hobby irons are available in most craft stores for about $40.
4. Reach through the fill hole with your finger and pull the inside agitator away from the gear end of the cartridge. At the same time, use a pair of needlenose pliers to squeeze the two black prongs in the center of the gear (Photo 2). You can now remove the black gear from the cover. Next,
remove the cover to expose the small toner exit hole (Photo 3).
5. Clean all of these components.
6. Focus your attention on the black gear end of the cartridge with the exit hole. Place the cartridge so that it is flat on the workbench with toner cartridge on the bottom. The gear end should be on your left (Photo 4). Apply a short strip of dry adhesive coated Tyvac™ with the adhesive side down
to the area surrounding the exit hole as shown in Photo 4. The adhesive is activated by applying heat. Use an iron set on medium to affix one end of the Tyvac seal to the area surrounding the exit hole. Be certain that you affix the seal fully around the hole to avoid toner leakage. Leave several inches of seal
hanging loose. Fold the seal toward you and affix with a small sticker (Photos 5&6).
6. Shake the bottle of replacement toner. Pour the replacement toner into the cartridge and reinstall the conical shaped plug removed in Step 1 (Photo 7).
7. No testing is required. Check for cleanliness and leakage if you used a seal, and pack for delivery or storage.
For further information, contact Ira Seaver at (800) 869-8464, (805) 384-1600, fax (805) 384-1616; or Raven Industries at (724) 539-8630 or fax (724) 539-2264.
This article originally appeared in the November 1998 issue of Recharger.