How to change your franking machine ink cartridges

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How to change your franking machine ink cartridges

About to change your franking machine’s ink cartridges for the first time but not sure where to start? 


Before you go ahead, make sure you follow the instructions in the product manual – or the on-screen instructions for more modern franking machines.

The process is usually straightforward. We’ve outlined the steps below but would recommend referring to your product’s manual for verification.

  • Press the menu button on your franking machine
  • Select ‘ink functions’ then ‘replace ink cartridge’
  • Open your franking machine’s top cover and locate the ink head
  • Press the ink cartridge latch
  • Lift or tilt cartridge towards you. Discard it afterwards 
  • Remove replacement cartridge from its packaging (be sure to remove the protective tape)
  • Slide the cartridge in and straighten it so it’s upright 
  • Push down the cartridge latch so the ink cartridge is locked in place 
  • Close top cover and then press enter on your franking machine’s display or menu
  • Test the ink cartridge

And that’s all you need to do to change your franking machine’s ink cartridges. But remember: check your machine’s instructions!

Find out more about inks and consumables here.

Why are the instructions important?

As every product (bar those from the same line) is different, how they are operated and maintained will be different, too. 

If you don’t follow the instructions when trying to change your franking machine’s ink cartridges, you run the risk of damaging the machine, wasting your ink or voiding your warranty. 

For example, if you insert the ink cartridge incorrectly it could get stuck and need to be forced out. In the process of removing it, you could damage the cartridge itself or other components in the franking machine – once again, voiding your warranty. 

Typically, warranty doesn’t cover wear or tear. This means any damage to your franking machine will be your responsibility. With this considered, make sure to follow the instructions step-by-step to avoid any problems.

And, if you really want to keep your franking machine in optimal condition, talk to us. We’ll install the machine (and your cartridges) so you don’t have to. We’ll also train your staff on how to use the machine properly. 

How long does franking machine ink last?

On average, ink cartridges allow between 15,000 and 40,000 impressions. How long the ink lasts will depend on franking output. 

In terms of expiry dates, most ink cartridges are designed to last at least two years after the purchase date. Past the expiry date, the ink may have dried out.   

It’s also worth noting that some ink gets used when preparing for a new job – or when ink is purged from the print head to prevent clogging and/or damage to the franking machine. 

Also, ink will sometimes leak from your cartridges or not be pulled properly by your franking machine’s print head. If you find that your ink is leaking, try the following.

Start by remove the cartridge from your franking machine
  • Wipe the cartridge down with a tissue or cloth until it’s clean
  • Inspect the cartridge to see where the ink is leaking from/if there are any punctures
  • If there are any punctures, don’t reuse the cartridge – call the supplier and ask for a replacement 
  • If the cartridge shows no sign of puncture, check for ink at the top of the print head – if there’s ink at the top of the print head, there’s no problem and it’s working as it should
  • Reset the cartridge if there are no problems; sometimes a reset can fix issues

If you still have problems after doing all of the above, please feel free to contact our support team who will be more than happy to help you resolve cartridge issues. 

What inks can you use? 

In the past, franking machine manufacturers claimed that other than their own ink cartridges – no other inks would work in their machines.

To make matters worse, manufacturers claimed that using anything other than the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ink would void the warranty on the customer’s machine. 

Luckily, the Office of Fair Trading intervened in 2005 and explained that manufacturers could not dictate that customers only use OEM inks or that use of third-party inks would invalidate warranty. 

As a result, the market has opened up significantly and there are loads of third-party inks for you to choose from. These inks are comparable to OEM inks, cheaper and more readily available. 

Sure, OEM inks might have the edge when it comes to quality but looking at the cost to performance ratio, third-party inks are an attractive option. 

Find out more about the ruling and choosing the right inks.

There’s just one requirement: the ink you choose has to be Royal Mail approved. If it’s not, your items will not be processed. 

How can DPS help? 

We offer a range of ink cartridges for all the leading franking machine models. All of our inks are Royal Mail approved so you can pick and choose the cartridges that suit you, enabling you to save money but ensure high quality. Check out our inks here

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