I apologize for not responding sooner, we just returned to the office after being closed during holiday vacation.
We have considered different possibilities for how to best handle the battery life issue. The cartridge manufacturer actually didn't know or inform us of the limited battery life, and fact they are always "on" when connected to the chip, but we discovered this after experiencing errors after about a year, and after working with the manufacturer, have determined the chip batteries have a limited life of about a year.
Originally, we thought about adding plastic pull tabs between the batteries, so they wouldn't have connection with the chip and be "on" until the user removes the plastic strip, but the cartridge manufacturer didn't want to do this, and we feel it would need to be done in the beginning manufacturing process (for many reasons, we can't do that step here). We also considered having the batteries and chips packed separate, and instructing the customer to install the battery before using the chip, but there are some concerns about this, and we need to find a solution that will work best for all of our customers. I can inquire about modifying the plastic chip base to be easier to replace the battery, but expect it will be expensive to have a new mold made, and we haven't had customers report problems replacing batteries, so although the current situation isn't ideal, we're trying to find a good solution, but expect remaking the mold is not possible.
Did the new chips resolve the errors you were experiencing?
Please let me know if you have questions or there's anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana