A food-grade inkjet printer is specially formulated for the food industry and packaging companies to print their logo, ingredients list, nutritional information, and more on product packages. The printer should be easy to use and durable enough not only to meet your high-volume needs but also to withstand the unavoidable daily wear and tear that comes with a busy production line.
But what is a food-grade inkjet printer?
A food-grade inkjet printer is a type of printer that has been certified by an appropriate authority to be safe for use in printing images and text on food products package. The certification usually comes in a safety mark, such as the CE mark or FDA approval, indicating that the printer has met specific performance and food safety requirements.
A food-grade inkjet printer comes in both desktop and industrial models, with a wide variety of features and prices. Some common features found in inkjet printers include:
- Print speed (usually measured in pages per minute or ppm)
- Print quality (measured in dots per inch or dpi)
- Ink types (pigment or dye-based)
- Print head technology (thermal, bubble jet, piezoelectric)
- Memory capacity
Many printers also come with a wide range of software packages and support options to help you get the most out of your printer.
Factors to Consider When Buying Inkjet Printer for Food Packaging
When selecting a food-grade inkjet printer, it is important to consider both the quality of printing and the machine’s durability.
Look for printers that offer crisp, clear prints at resolutions up to 600 dpi for sharp text and images. Additionally, choose a printer made from sturdy materials such as stainless steel,iron or aluminum so it can hold up against tough industrial conditions.
So, what factors are you going to consider when purchasing an inkjet printer?
Quality of print is important for food packaging. Consumers must be able to see the product information. Thus, a good traceability system needs an inkjet printer with high-quality output.
Also, the packaging materials affect the final output. This means the printer’s quality is tied with compatibility and reliability. The ink type and cartridge should be compatible with the material you used for food packaging.
High DPI (dots per inch) printers can produce prints with high resolution that hold up well under different conditions. They can also be more expensive. Conversely, low DPI printers are often less costly but may not produce high-quality prints.
In the food industry, quick turnover is important. So, if you deal with high-volume orders, it is essential that your TIJ food-grade printer can keep up with your production. Choose a printer with high throughput so that you don’t sacrifice your business operations due to slow print output.
Desktop models are less expensive and slower, with lower maximum monthly duty cycles for continuous printing projects than industrial models.
On the other hand, industrial models have higher price points but print faster at high volumes. These models are perfect when you need large numbers of the same product printed over an extended time.
Each manufacturer’s model has slight features changes, so it is important to do your homework before selecting the best printer for your needs.
Inkjet printers are not all created equal. Some are specifically designed for compatibility with food packaging materials, while others are not. It is important to select the right printer for your needs to ensure that your food products are safe and compliant with regulations.
Many different types of inkjet printers are available on the market today. Here are some of the most common printer types used in food packaging:
- Dye sublimation printers are specifically designed for printing on food packaging materials. The dye sublimation process heats the dye until it vaporizes, then transfers it to the substrate material. This process produces high-quality prints that are resistant to fading and smudging.
- Solvent inkjet printers are designed for printing on various substrates, including plastics and vinyl. They use a solvent to dissolve the ink and produce high-quality prints with fast drying times.
- UV cured inkjet printers are similar to solvent inkjet printers, but they use UV curing instead of solvents to dry the ink. This process produces prints that are resistant to fading and moisture damage.
Inkjet printers are one of the most cost-effective among all the marking machines you might encounter. The price still varies depending on the features the printer has. One of the first things you should do is determine your budget. From here, find a printer that fits your business needs.
Today, there are many options out on the market when searching for an inkjet food printer machine. A brand name might level up your expectations and increase their price. It’s important to find the brand that best fits your budget.
But, remember. A popular brand may not necessarily mean quality output. Unknown ones can be as efficient as those expensive brands out there.
Size of Printer
A food-grade inkjet printer is usually smaller in size. However, some smaller printers may not be able to handle larger jobs.
When it comes to selecting the right food-grade inkjet printers, size matters. You need to make sure that you have enough space to print your labels and packaging in-house. Make sure you consider the size of the printer when making your purchase.
Compatibility With the Food
Printing with a food-grade inkjet printer is becoming increasingly popular. Many businesses are looking for ways to cut costs and boost productivity by printing on flexible packaging. But most find it hard to know if standard printers will work well enough. Part of printing your own labels means knowing how they’ll hold up in the packaging process.
Food is sensitive and needs to be handled with care, so if you want it to hold up in its package for consumers at home or in a store, it has to survive heat and cold without smudging—especially if they’re sealing metal containers (which can get hot) and plastic bags (which can get cold).
Ease of Use
Some printers come with built-in software that makes them easy to operate and navigate. Look for machines with features like these, so you don’t waste time learning how to use a difficult printer. Additionally, find models that are straightforward to cleanse between uses; an easy-to-clean printer will help keep your food production area bacteria-free!
Printers require periodic maintenance to keep them running at their best. This can include everything from regularly replacing print heads and cartridges to deep cleaning internal parts. Ensure that good customer service and technical support are available in case of problems, whatever printer you choose.
Printing Contact Type
Due to their lower cost and high-quality print, inkjet printers are typically the most popular inkjet printing on food package contact surfaces. They allow flexibility in design options since you can choose from various paper types and finishes. In addition, they offer fast drying times with a low risk of smudging, making them great for items package that need to be sealed immediately after being printed on.
Ink Cartridge Compatibility
Some printers only work with a certain type of ink, and if you’re not careful, you could end up buying a machine that doesn’t quite suit your needs. In addition, some printer companies have proprietary cartridges, which can be more expensive than the standard cartridge sizes. Be sure to research compatible ink types and prices before purchasing a printer!
Food Grade Ink Type
In the food industry, food-grade ink is important. It should dry fast and is formulated for different packaging substrates that your business needs. Again, safety is your top priority. So, it’s best to learn the different ink types with food-grade ink formula.
Dye sublimation food-safe printers produce vivid colors, while inkjet printers offer more muted tones but can use any color in a printer cartridge.
Pigment-based food-safe printers offer brighter colors. These printers can handle more complex designs than dye sublimation inks using special effects such as metallic, transparent, or UV inks to produce custom finishes on packaging supplies.
Some printers are specifically designed for certain types of packaging, such as metal cans. If you’re printing your designs on standard paper or cardstock and using them in conjunction with pre-printed packaging, then there are a few other things to consider.
Look for printers capable of printing on low-tack surfaces for pre-printed food containers such as yogurt tubs or takeaway boxes. Choose an inkjet printer that can handle thicker-weight papers if you’re using paper or stock boards.
Some printers are designed specifically for a certain type of printing, such as photos, textiles, or ceramics. If you are in the market for a printer tailored to meet your unique industry-specific needs, then do some research and find the machine that best suits your needs!
You can reach out to us if you don’t know where to begin. Our experts can help you with what printer to use for your packaging needs.
Once you have narrowed down your options, don’t forget to read the reviews before purchasing. The best way to ensure that you are getting a product is to research what others have said about it.
Are you ready to make a decision, or you’re still unsure which printer is best for your business? Either way, HeatSign has experts who can recommend the right solutions for you.