Inkjet Printer Introduction
Industrial inkjet printers, despite the introduction of newer methods, are a go-to method for marking in the industry today and will remain so in the foreseeable future. Date printing machine on plastic bags is a necessity today, especially as online market places grow exponentially. This article will shed light on some of the best machines from the most reliable manufacturers in the market.
Before diving into the equipment discussion, it is a bit important to set the stage. Hence, the following is a brief breakdown of the core inkjet technologies driving the industrial inkjet printing industry.
Continuous inkjet coding (CIJ)
A non-contact printing method, continuous inkjet printing (CIJ) is where expulsion of electrically charged droplets of ink from a print-head nozzle takes place. With expulsion of up to 120,000 droplets per second, the biggest advantage of continuous inkjet printing technology is the speed. This allows for high-speed production lines to maintain their efficiency without compromising on marking quality.
Thermal inkjet coding (TIJ)
A thermal inkjet (TIJ) printing comprises an ink cartridge that also houses resistive elements. Electrical current energizes the resistive elements that then heat the ink. An ink droplet forms at the nozzles at the face of the cartridge and then ejects out precisely onto the substrate. This action is happening at millionths of a second and the ejection method allows for a greater throw distance. Hence, TIJ technology is extremely fast and can print exceptional quality at high line speeds.
Large character drop-on-demand (DOD) inkjet printers tend to be used for more demanding industrial applications, such as printing onto timber and hardware, plasterboard, metals, concrete, plastics, foam, and packaging products.
Each print-head contains several individual valves (typically 7, 16, or 32) that print dots at regular intervals. Arranged in a single column, the valves open and close independently to form ink drops “on-demand”. As your product moves adjacent to the print-head, it results in printed characters.
High-resolution inkjet printers
High-resolution inkjet printers have come a long way in the last decade. The latest generation uses piezoelectric technology to create super-crisp images, with print heights up to 100mm from a single print-head; these can also be stacked together to achieve over 900mm. These industrial inkjet printers are ideal when you need the highest quality print on corrugated boxes and other porous materials.
The piezo method was the first impulse jet printing method to be developed. Ink is fed into the nozzle with little pressure, so it is only kept in the nozzle by means of surface tension forces. If a drop is required, the piezo crystal is energized. The crystal then expands, which reduces the volume in the cavity and a drop is ejected from the nozzle.
The Industrial Inkjet Printers Machines:
Without further ado, let us have a look at some of the machines that are helping drive the industry. The prices can vary for these devices and various vendors and sub-vendors have made available their contact information for getting a quote. As these devices can need configuring to meet user needs and can include after-sales services as well as customer training, inkjet printing machine prices can vary significantly.
Leibinger is a global specialist for marking systems and numbering machines with headquarters in Germany at their plant in Tuttlingen. They focus on user-friendliness, reliability, speed, and quality as the four primary criteria that their industrial inkjet printers and numbering machines meet. Moreover, a worldwide network of dealers enables them to deliver high-quality service to its customers.
The problem with continuous inkjet printing is that the ink has to dry fast. So any pause in production often results in dried ink and blocked nozzles. Leibinger’s unique Sealtronic technology allows the nozzle to retract and close the ink loop, preventing it from drying out. To start again, the nozzle extends out again and carries on printing without the need for cleaning or rinsing cycles. This reduces operational costs as there is no need for cleaning solvents and additional operational procedures for cleaning.
Jet3up is the top-of-the-line offering from Leibinger. It is an advanced, feature-rich printer for the most complex and challenging applications.
It has over 800 user-friendly functions such as pre-defined job list, Product jam detection, Autostart function, Prompt field (fast edit) and, Database/server access. Moreover, it can print up to 5-line texts can be printed at up to 403 m/min. The print height of fonts can be 5-32 drops.
Domino, based in Cambridge, UK, a leading global manufacturer of coding solutions based on a comprehensive range of products and technologies. Through our extensive global network, Domino provides customers with reliable, innovative and cost-effective solutions and enjoys an outstanding reputation for customer service and support.
The latest high-performance CIJ printer from Domino, the Ax350i builds on a strong global reputation for outstanding OEE and reliability. The Ax350i is an ideal choice for modern coding applications.
The Ax350i features printheads from their i-Pulse range which are for high-impact text printing, bar codes, and QR Coding. The extensive i-Pulse ink range includes MEK-free and high-pigment options, as well as specialized inks for direct food contact, cable marking, PCB production, and other industry-specific requirements.
Moreover, the i-Techx electronics platform and provides a class-leading user experience on a range of touchscreen sizes. It is fully compatible with Industry 4.0 standards, with Domino Cloud & Domino Automation systems and third-party production systems.
Domino Cloud features:
Remote diagnostics – printer performance information at your fingertips and on-demand Helpdesk remote support
Intuitive customer dashboard – Secure access anywhere to real-time information on your connected printer systems at all times
Remote monitoring – Pro-active service and support from Domino Helpdesk
The Videojet 8520 and Wolke m610 touch thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers are high-resolution printers that use HP® technology.
The machine comes with an 8.4-inch color touchscreen interface. Genuine HP cartridges eliminate spills and mess. Moreover, simple code selection and customer selectable rules prevent human error.
As there are no replacement parts, apart from the ink cartridge, which can be done in less than one minute and requires no specific training. This implies significant uptime advantages leading to monetary savings.
TIJ printers offer high speed and resolution printing from 600 x 600 dpi high-resolution codes up to 50.8 mm (2 in) in height. Furthermore, the printing of a wide range of bar codes including DataMatrix and stacked symbologies is possible. This model has a maximum line speed of up to 75 m/min (250 ft/min) when printing at the print quality of 600 x 240 dpi (faster speeds available at lower print resolution.)
The device’s small footprint and industrial design are easy to integrate into existing production lines making it highly adaptable. Moreover, users can integrate the printer via web server functionality for remote control from third party HMI displays. Data interfaces include TCP/IP, RS232, USB, ZPL and Text communication.-
The Linx 8940 industrial inkjet printer is the top of the line coder in the 8900 series there to make your coding life easier. With its IP65 rating and highest printing speeds, the Linx 8940 is designed for the most challenging coding applications. This datecoder makes date and batch coding easy with the large touch screen interface, and downtime is reduced with the self-servicing module, unique system monitoring and click-into-place fluid cartridges.
For ease of use and quick setup, it has multiple features in its arsenal. It can store up to 50 named line settings, for quick retrieval at product changeovers. Furthermore, the settings are transferrable between printers with a USB flash drive.
Moreover, keeping ease of use in view, it has a large, icon-driven high-resolution touch screen, with a customizable top screen, one-touch operation for common tasks, and, the on-screen message prompts for a faster and accurate code setup. Similarly, an on-screen wizard guides operators through the service module and cartridge change process for quick, engineer-free service.
It has nozzle sizes of 62 µm and 75 µm and lines of print can go up to 5 lines. The character height can go from 1.8 to 20 mm. Furthermore, it has a maximum speed of 9.10 m/s for a single line print. The maximum recommended distance can go up to 20mm (which can go up to 45mm carton coding)
With service intervals up to 18,000hrs/ 24 months, users can code for longer without interventions. As the issue with CIJ printers of ink spillage exists, Linx 8940 has a quick, clean startup every time. It has a robust and completely sealed printhead, along with an autoflush feature ensuring continual reliable operation. Similarly, it comes with a seasonal shutdown mode where the printer is ready to print the first time, even after extended shutdown, with no need for expensive printer flushing.
Among the major players of industrial inkjet printer manufacturers, HeatSign has been focusing on Direct Marking Technologies and Marking Machines for over 10 years. They offer a variety of high-precision marking machines, traceability, and turnkey process automation solutions, using the latest in technology for benchtop dot and portable dot peen marking as well as laser marking technologies.
Features of Industrial Inkjet Printers:
Some salient features of HS-1050 include variable printing direction adjustable within 360 degrees meeting all kinds of production needs. Printing materials include package case, board, carton, cardboard box, stone, fiberboard, light steel keel, pipe, metal, porous, plastic product, electronic, aluminum foil, wire and, cables.
The machine has a maximum printing speed of max 70 meters/ min. Moreover, this model offers a maximum resolution and accuracy of 600DPI. HS-1050 has a maximum message length of 2000 characters for each messaging or coding. Similarly, the printing height ranges from 2mm to 12.7mm. However, this can be customized to 50mm. Furthermore, the printing distance between the spray nozzle and the marking surface can be between 2 to 5mm.
This equipment from HeatSign has an intelligent touch screen integrated with software that allows for easy machine configuration. Also, inks in multiple colors are available and a 42ml can of ink will print 300,000 characters of 2mm height.
RN Mark Inc is a Canadian Manufacturer based in Richmond Hill, Ontario. They have been designing and manufacturing affordable, high performance, easy to use, maintenance-free, industrial inkjet printers for product coding and marking since 2002. With RN Mark printers, customers can mark and code variable data, lot/batch number, production date, barcodes, logos, and images on practically any surface.
The RNJet 200 is a dual head, small character, high-resolution, high-speed industrial printer, which offers high product coding and marking performance.
The print heads can have a position in any direction so you can print in any direction. Also, with the numerous mounting options of the flexible print heads, production line integration can be easily done. The RNJet 200 can connect to a network through its USB or RS-232 port. Hence, control and operation from anywhere in the production facility is possible.
RNJet 200 uses the Piezoelectric drop-on-demand method of printing. Each printhead contains densely arranged rows of these sets, with each one firing precisely the right amount of ink at precisely the right place. The Xaar printhead can consistently pump out 42 million drops of ink a second. Furthermore, it has a print speed of 540 mm/s, a print height of 36 mm, and a print length of 1000 mm. A high resolution of 180dpi and a 360-degree print orientation option allow it to be a highly versatile inkjet printer.
The machines discussed above are the heavy-duty load lifters of the industrial world. However, there are instances where portability is of more significance and fixed solutions can play no role in the marking process, such as a handheld expiry date printer. To this end, HeatSign also offers a portable handheld inkjet printer.
This HeatSign inkjet printer can act as a handheld expiry date printing machine and has a total weight of less than 1kg. Its ergonomic design allows for easy use. It comes with an integrated 4,3-inch touch-screen making the device extremely user-friendly. This is a High Definition printer with a marking resolution of 600dpi. Moreover, line numbering is adjustable from 1 to 8 lines. The printing height can range from 2 to 12.7mm and at a maximum of 80 m/min. Furthermore, printing distances between 2-5mm are achievable. It houses a 45ml ink cartridge which means 300,000 characters of 2mm are possible. Its lithium battery allows for up to 12 hours of marking work.
Above is a rundown of some of the best machines available in the market today. Diverse technologies are available from a plethora of manufacturers. However, users must note that having a good brand is also critical to the reliable operation of their machinery. Hence, these carefully selected machines will best serve their customers.