By means of industrial printing, or coding, you apply information such as text and numbers to a product or packaging. Multiple terms are used for this process, such as coding, printing or marking.
There are different ways of coding and printing has different applications and purposes. You can read more about these goals and applications below.
Information is transferred by coding. This makes it possible to provide information directly to the user. For example, the best before date can be printed, but also contact details on a shipping box, or user instructions on a product or box.
Products can also be made recognizable by coding. Barcodes, QR codes or type numbers can improve the recognisability of individual products, boxes or pallets. These can all be printed.
Making a product traceable is an important goal of industrial printing. Think of coding batch codes, production data and other track & trace information on products. This information is important for manufacturers, but it does not in itself provide information.
A high resolution inkjet printer can be used well when high print quality and ease of use are important. It is no problem to print 2D codes, barcodes, expiry dates (best before date), texts and logos in high resolution. Printing can be done on almost any surface with the right combination of printer and ink.
Continuous inkjet printers (or small character inkjet printers) are designed to code on almost any type of material, often at high speed. Printing is possible regardless of porosity, size, shape and texture. It is also no problem to print information such as best before data, text, batch codes and logos on individual products.
High resolution inkjet printers use standard cartridges and do not require additional solvents. Replacing cartridges is very easy, and generally wiping the printhead and cartridge is the only maintenance that the system needs. The printers work by heat in the printhead. The ink is heated when something needs to be printed, causing it to expand. The ink is then ‘ejected’ through the openings (nozzles) in the printhead. For best results, the printer should be placed close to the product due to the limited flow distance of the ink.
Advantages of the high resolution inkjet:
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Continuous inkjet printers use ink and make-up liquid (thinner). Both liquids are in a separate container / bottle and are mixed in the ink reservoir to achieve the correct viscosity. The ink is fed from the ink reservoir into the print head under high pressure via the print hose. This head contains a resonator, an electronic element, which causes vibrations in the ink jet. This creates droplets, which are necessary for printing, which then leave the print head. In combination with the movement of product or printhead, a legible coding is applied to the material. The unused drops are returned to the reservoir via a return line, so that no unused ink is lost.
The main advantages of continuous inkjet:
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Choosing the right printer is not always easy. Shape, print environment, speed, type of surface, what to print and the conditions to which the print is exposed play a role in making this decision.
We would of course like to help you with this! Please feel free to contact us for tailor-made advice.
When printing with a high resolution inkjet printer, two types of ink are used: solvent ink and water-based ink. Solvent ink is suitable for printing on non-absorbent or non-porous materials such as plastic, metal and glass. Water based ink is suitable for printing absorbent or porous materials such as paper, cardboard and wood.
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Click here for videos of our coding systems.