State of the Union: I-ITC and Remanufacturing in North America
It’s been yet another tough year as a member of the North American cartridge remanufacturing industry, but a robust one for imaging supplies dealers overall. That’s why membership in the Int’l ITC is more important than ever, so the challenges and opportunities can be worked on together.
For more than 20 years, the Int’l ITC has built a reputation for providing its members with accurate and timely information. From ongoing interviews with National Public Radio to the briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, Int’l ITC has given the cartridge remanufacturing industry a voice.
But we’ve also listened. In 2018, for the first time ever and working with Actionable Intelligence, the Int’l ITC did an in-depth survey of the aftermarket. There are less North American cartridge remanufacturers than ever before, however, the ones that remain are, often, thriving.
There are many indications of the strength of the North American imaging supplies industry. One is money. Several key industry members have sought strategic financial partners for help in building or rebuilding, and their calls have been swiftly answered. (The money is not coming from Beijing either.)
When seeking to make financial investments in the industry, the Int’l ITC is often called to give information about the industry, and its members, positions. And the Int’l ITC has been called upon to do that more in the past 18 months than in any other period in its history.
The Int’l Imaging Technology now has a roadmap to help them continue to thrive and be an attractive place to invest, driven by strong communication and a network of outside “friends” in the government, academics and private sector. The Internet, for example, will be monitored routinely for dubious cartridge sellers and infringing cartridges. And the OEMs, as Epson proved last month, are willing to strike out against illegitimate sellers on that platform.
So much of the news that affects our marketplace is coming out of China. The Chinese are manufacturing more and more new-build cartridges. Ninestar broke ground in October on an “intelligent manufacturing project for laser printers,” an industrial park that measures 9,687,520 square feet, roughly the equivalent of 170 football fields.
The meteoric rise of the Chinese cartridge industry eventually must and will slow. And just as the North American industry before it, it will consolidate and downsize in numbers. The development of the Asian marketplace is one to be carefully monitored. Luckily, with the Int’l ITC’s partnership with RT Media Group, this is happening.
Since the partnership began in 2016, RT Media has provided us with an excellent communications’ platform in its RT ImagingWorld magazine, as well as its online news programs. This has given Int’l ITC outstanding new membership benefits in its award-winning publication and has allowed ITC members to take part in major international events, like the global showing of “the Great Debate: Reman versus New-builds” at the global Summit in Zhuhai in October. The debate, seen by several hundred in attendance, was broadcast via Facebook around the globe and has been watched by more than 1,000 people.
Int’l ITC’s partnership with RT Media allows it to provide relevant stories from the U.S. and Canada but also gives it access to read about industry news and stories from China, India, South Africa and all corners of the globe. And it has alternatively provided access to these marketplaces. Times are changing here and over there, and they are changing fast. From the unique vantage point provided to the Int’l ITC and RT Media, all frontiers are under surveillance.
All this has led to an interesting year. What has happened? A lot.
The Int’l ITC keeps the OEMs, the Chinese manufacturers and Internet sellers honest
Recent reports from Germany and the European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association have found unacceptable levels of the flame retardant decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE) in some Chinese-made new-built cartridges. Although Static Control recently stated that it has remedied that problem in its cartridges, more DecaBDE has been found in cartridges from other manufacturers. More will undoubtedly be forthcoming on this matter as the Int’l ITC and others scrutinize the findings further.
From responding to bogus quality and environmental claims to defending legitimate aftermarket products to customs officials, the Int’l ITC has helped keep public opinion about remanufactured cartridges positive. Moreover, it has worked with the OEMs and the major Internet sellers to keep illicit products out of the hands of consumers.
Int’l ITC administers the STMC certification program.
Int’l ITC administers the quality testing program that sets apart legitimate remanufacturers from drill-and-fill internet exploiters. In the U.S., China and around the globe, this is seen as a definitive stamp of a quality cartridge.
STMC must now grow and change with the times as well. Under the direction of newly-minted STMC Chairman Mike Josiah, the committee hopes to reinvigorate and find new methods to employ. Standardized tests for inkjet and color are both available, and could soon be reduced to a new testing protocol. STMC is the cartridge sales of quality, and it will become more important than ever as more cartridges employ “workarounds” or other fixes to patent challenges and technological impediments.
As a founding member of the Council that brought this day to life, Int’l ITC enthusiastically aided its members that took part. And those that did saw consumers and business customers respond to the event. It was the first time ever that the remanufacturing industries, from aeroplanes to inkjet cartridges, came together to promote their members and products. John Deere, the heavy equipment behemoth, led the way with events hosted around the globe. The automotive sector had events from coast to coast, and in faraway lands like Romania.
The cartridge clan boasted events from Brooklyn to Cairo. It isn’t just a day to wave a flag. Beneath the fanfare is a real coalition of associations, including the Int’l ITC, that is pushing both public and private sector to buy more remanufactured products, and putting real qualitative science behind those efforts.
What if John Deere, Boeing and Ford’s offices decided to BUY more remanufactured products in addition to selling the ones they produce? That’s more than a half-million people! This year, Reman Day will be an even bigger event, as the gathering of remanufacturers in Rochester that drive the event, held last September, was twice the size of the same event in 2017. The event, and remanufacturing as a sales concept, has momentum.
But we could do more!
A strong Int’l ITC creates more opportunities for its members. Because of Reman Day and its council, we are working closely with several other remanufacturing associations, and looking for ways to capitalize on our joint efforts in the areas of advocacy, social media and even meetings.
We have more on the agenda for 2019. We hope to once again be able to hold a regional meeting or two to set goals for the future. We plan on working with our sister associations to capitalize on their programs and look for more ways to grow our programs and our membership.
State of the Union I-ITC and Remanufacturing in Nth America. What can the Int’l ITC do for you? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tricia Judge has served as the executive director of the International Imaging Technology Council—a not-for-profit trade association serving imaging supplies remanufacturers and dealers—for 17 years. She was the executive editor of Recharger magazine for five years and a lawyer for 30 years. Judge’s work has been published in Recharger, Imaging Spectrum and several other industry magazines. She has won critical acclaim for her writing and industry advocacy. She prides herself in having assisted with the preparation of six friend-of-the-court (amicus) briefs and has presented the position of the industry to the US International Trade Commission. Since 2017, Judge has been the Senior Consulting Editor of RT Imaging World magazine and speaks at regional RT VIP Summits and RemaxWorld Expo in China.
Her feature articles include:
- Intelligent Office Solutions: cartridges workflow and more
- Static Control Continues to Set High Industry Standards
- Brewer Reveals Impact on Imaging Supplies by COVID-19
- Aftermarket Scores Another Win – Canon loses: zero degrees is not an angle
- How Trade Associations Help Protect the Environment
- The U.S. Department of Energy Scores High with Remanufactured Cartridges
- Clover Imaging Ready to Take Remanufactured to the Next Level
- Uninet’s Mike Josiah Awarded Diamond Pioneering Award
Her Judge’s Ruling opinion blogs:
- State of the Union: I-ITC and Remanufacturing in Nth America
- Dastardly Killer Chips Used for Good as Well as Evil
- Gunning For Free Speech or Rights to Bear Arms
- OEM Trademark Usage Leads to US Products Seizures
- New Builds Threaten to take Reman Share
- Election and Business Results Are In
- The Latest Dongle Gear Actions: Canon’s Checkmate
- Mobile Apps that Rule for This Judge
- 2017: There Will Never be Another One
- The Aftermarket Scores a Big Savory Win
- The Aftermarket Right That Shouldn’t Be An Afterthought
- Supreme Court Leans Towards Aftermarket
- Pivotal Patent Case has Support on Both Sides
- Council Presents its Issues to the US Supreme Court
- The Trump Presidency: Good or Bad for the Aftermarket
- US Supreme Court to Hear Lexmark Impression Products Case
- Election and Business Results Are In
- Canon’s Latest Dongle Gear Actions: Canon’s Checkmate
- Mobile Apps that Rule for This Judge
You can add your ideas and thoughts on this article, “State of the Union: I-ITC and Remanufacturing in Nth America,” below or directly with Tricia Judge by email