<img alt="" src="https://secure.insightful-enterprise-intelligence.com/784283.png" style="display:none;">
Peter Mayhew

HP SecuReuse: Reaching Out to Supplies Remanufacturers

Company launches its program at the ETIRA Conference in Belgium

May 28, 2024 8:00:00 PM


Sign up for The Key Point of View, our weekly newsletter of blogs and podcasts!


When the European aftermarket comes together at a trade show or conference, it’s like a family reunion. It’s the same faces, just a little older and wiser. When a formidable visitor arrives, nobody is quite sure what to expect. This was the scene on Wednesday morning, May 15, in a hotel conference room in the shadows of the European Union Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.


The guests were Steve Castle (an HP Technologist) and Daniel Chappel (HP’s Sustainability and Compliance Lawyer), who were here to address the European aftermarket with the launch of HP SecuReuse, a solution to empower the legal remanufacturing of HP cartridges in Europe.


What’s the Big Deal?

It’s a simple issue. Currently, if you buy a remanufactured cartridge (or a new build compatible) for some HP devices, depending on the remanufactured cartridge brand and device firmware used, the user may receive a message which tells them the cartridge may damage their printer and may not work. Why? Manufacturers would prefer users buy genuine, original supplies for their device to generate revenues to fund current production and future investments in technology and products. Arguably, this is a reasonable requirement that is changing as circular product lifecycles replace linear business models.  


If you are a remanufacturer of supplies, a constant stream of firmware updates to “maintain optimal performance and security of the device” is far more than an expensive operational cost.


If you are the owner of the device seeking the lowest possible supplies price with optimal quality and longevity, the market might not be as competitive as you might have expected—especially when you discover you have few choices of supplies vendor. Add in a desire to be more sustainable in your purchasing habits, and you have a problem.


Holding Out a Hand

For over 10 years, the European industry tried to voluntarily fix its problems. However, the efforts of EURAVAPRINT to find solutions with energy efficiency playing a leading role were rejected by the European Commission. Their Eco-Design ambitions exceeded those the industry could achieve. Regulation now ensues.


During the voluntary agreement process, OEMs proposed (and some started work) on solutions that would allow remanufacturing with an original OEM chip. When the European Commissions’ Joint Research Council published its Preparatory Study earlier this year, included was a proposal for chips to be able to be reset. Fortunately for HP, their program to find a solution to the remanufacturing problem continued after the failure of the voluntary agreement and HP SecuReuse is the first public announcement of the solution.


Much More Work to Do

HP is working with several European remanufacturers (e.g., Altkin, KMP, and Peach) to develop and trial HP SecuReuse. Remanufacturers working with HP hold toner and inkjet remanufacturing expertise, an indication that both technologies are in HP’s focus.


Chip resetting has been in the industry for many years. HP’s initiative makes tools available to facilitate resetting of genuine HP chips by authorized remanufacturers. Resetting fees have yet to be announced, but we are assured they will be reasonable and proportionate.


We also cannot ignore that New Build Compatibles have found markets in our industry. Current proposals exclude NBC’s from HP SecuReuse. This could be a tricky problem to solve as not all New Build Compatibles are illegal clones or counterfeits.


The remanufacturing industry had (and has) many questions regarding data-exchange and management between the OEM, remanufacturer, and end user—as well as how and when the solution may be rolled out. HP is still some way off releasing HP SecuReuse into the market. The outcomes of European Parliamentary elections, the roll out of the Eco-Design Directive, and industry regulation may all have an impact on the release date.


Toner cartridges are often remanufactured for reuse.


A Better Reuse Experience for Customers

Keypoint Intelligence survey data constantly tells us that customers would like the industry to make it easier to reuse supplies. This means minimal effort for empties to enter a reverse supply chain, whose endpoint is as local as possible. We also need to make it easier to knowingly buy and use a remanufactured cartridge that can perform to the same consistent and reliable, high-quality standards as an original.


The proposed HP SecuReuse solution would still inform end users that they are using a remanufactured product and provide information about the risks to their device of continuing with a remanufactured supply. But the experience should be less of a hassle, and the user would get the key information they need to know about supplies levels.


Proposed notification messages remain somewhat negative for something that could and should be a very positive environmental, feel-good, experience. What if the notification said, for example, “By buying remanufactured you’ve saved X CO2 emissions and planted a tree”?


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

The remanufacturing industry is divided about whether HP SecuReuse represents an opportunity or a threat. It is unfortunate that there is so much negative history and suspicion within the industry, but a first step has been taken and all credit to HP for starting to walk along a very difficult pathway.


This is the first of many challenges and changes the European Commissions’ Eco-Design proposals contain for our industry. This particular chapter is focused on chips and remanufacturing in Europe. Those in North America should take note, as some eco-label changes may necessitate similar initiatives.


Browse through our Industry Reports Page (latest reports only). Log in to the InfoCenter to view research on remanufactured supplies and the aftermarket through our Communication Supplies Advisory Service. If you’re not a subscriber, contact us for more info by clicking here.