An inkjet printing system is a powerful tool for a coding solution in manufacturing and aerospace part marking. It allows users to quickly mark up what they need to do, keeping them on track with their production lines.
This system is useful when you have a lot of work and not much time to finish it. Engineers can use it in creating high-quality codes for parts without having to invest in expensive prototyping equipment.
Inkjet marking is seen as a cheaper option for this work, because you don’t need any special tools or materials that your company might not have.
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Types of Ink Jet Labeling System
Inkjet marking machine is a non-contact method of applying a mark to a wide range of products, materials, and uneven surfaces. You can modify the software options to produce the desired sequential numbering and appropriate ink.
The most common type is thermal inkjet which uses heat generated by the print head to fuse the ink into the material. Since there is no contact with any moving parts, thermal inkjet systems are suitable for marking fragile or hygienic articles such as food packaging, medical equipment, and other sensitive products. However, this type of system is often unsuitable for marking thick materials like metal.
The other main type is chemical inkjet. Using special types of high-quality inks and printing paper, this type of system can print onto a broad range of different materials and some non-planar surfaces such as curved glass and plastics. Although this system is more complex than a thermal inkjet, it has some important advantages over thermal systems.
Thermal Inkjet Printers
Nowadays, most ink jet marking machine heads are based on thermal technology employing resistive heating elements. The choice of materials for ink development is an important factor in the success of thermal inkjet printers.
The ink needs to have high chemical resistance and good water solubility to achieve a high-resolution print and process a wide range of materials. Remember, standard paper-based print media contains substrates with different physical properties. Some are stiffer than others. Different kinds of coatings can be applied to the paper.
The ink can work with all of these variable substrates and coatings by modifying the software options. To achieve the best print quality using a thermal inkjet printer, you need three things:
1) High-quality ink.
2) A printhead that is up to the task of delivering it.
3) Print media that can accept and hold the ink, which must be released from the head without smudging.
Inkjet Marking System Vs. Laser Marking Systems
There are many choices when it comes to choosing different marking technologies. Laser marking and inkjet printing systems provide a cost-effective way of marking products for other purposes. They increase productivity. However, there are differences between the two methods that you should consider before making a decision. These differences will influence your choice.
Perhaps the most notable difference between the two methods is their speed of operation. Ink jet marker machines have a much faster throughput than laser engraving systems.
Ink jet printers operate using tiny ink rolls that eject small droplets of special ink onto a material at extremely high velocities. The ink quickly dries, leaving behind clear, legible high-quality marks with minimal damage to the surrounding surface.
On the other hand, laser systems use high-intensity beams to create the desired mark on the product in question. These beams need time to etch into the material, making them much slower than their ink jet counterparts.
Ease of Use
These two are generally simple to use, requiring few adjustments or settings. However, the number of variables involved in using an ink jet system makes them more troublesome to set up and maintain than laser marking systems. These variables include temperature, pressure, time spent on one mark, and time between each print.
Still, TIJ or CIJ can help maximize production processes for non-porous substrates in secondary packaging. We mean bar codes, variable data, serial numbers, logos, and other readable marks necessary in establishing traceability.
Durability of Marks
As with the speed of operation, the longevity of laser markings is much greater than inkjet marks. As the printing way is only stay in product surface, the laser takes a while for laser beams to etch into the surface, So printing result is far less likely to withstand wear and tear or harsh environments than their laser counterparts.
Inkjet printers can mark a much wider range of materials, including but not limited to plastics, metal, wood, and glass. On the other hand, Different Laser engraving systems can only effectively mark corresponding materials such as fiber laser work on metals, CO2 laser work on non-metals.
Versatility in Production Line
Both laser part marks and inkjet part marking machines can be applied to a wide range of surfaces, but ink jet printers can mark more than one item at once. Ink jet printing systems use advanced techniques such as color separation and vector imaging to achieve this goal.
Price is a major consideration when deciding between laser-marked and inkjet-marked items. Laser marking systems tend to be pricier than inkjet printers. This higher cost comes mainly from the specialized laser diodes used and the increased labor costs for adjustments and repairs.
Comparatively, an inkjet printer can begin at USD 350, but you’ll need to keep buying ink cartridges. On the other hand, laser marking machines start from USD 2200, but they don’t have ongoing consumable costs.
Both methods have different risk levels involved. There are risks associated with laser use that are not present in inkjet marking systems. However, laser marking technology is generally safer than ink jet printing technology when utilized in the correct settings.
The compact size of laser markers and their lack of liquid components produce far less waste than ink jet printers do. This means that there are fewer harmful chemicals released into the environment.
On the other hand, ink jet printers require large amounts of electricity to operate. This is a significant drawback in terms of environmental impact.
The color range available for marking with inkjet printing systems is much greater than with laser system. Several colors are available for marking with inkjet printer, while lasers are limited to your marking products materials.
Laser marking systems are highly specialized printing systems that you can effectively use for the intended purpose of marking an object or product. On the other hand, ink jet printing systems have a much wider range of applications. You can use these printers/markers for printing, mailings, artistic endeavors, and more. This makes them more flexible than laser systems.
Laser markers generally do not allow much customization of the mark on the product or object in question. Inkjet printers are capable of applying different types of marks depending on the user’s needs. This includes but is not limited to printing. TIJ or CIJ markers can print small characters or large characters at high speed.
However, when it comes to direct part marking, manufacturers prefer laser marking systems, especially for production line marking jobs because the laser machines no consumables. The ink part marking machine generates a certain amount of consumables.
Industrial Applications of the Inkjet Marking System
Industrial inkjet coding and marking system have a wide variety of primary package coding applications in consumer goods of a supply chain.
Its marking goes beyond simply printing text or bar codes on flat materials. Specialized marking, such as security application and product identification, is very important in certain fields of industry. The following are technical classes of products where inkjet marking can provide significant benefit over conventional methods:
1. Timing products
A timing device, such as a wristwatch or another form of timepiece, is an item that must be accurate and precise. Accuracy and precision can be improved by inkjet marking the components with serial numbers or lot number information to keep individual devices through production and distribution.
2. Access control
Identification of individuals is important in many controlled applications, such as the access authorization to a computer network. Inkjet marking can be used to add security measures by including serial numbers and human-readable information on identification badges, employee ID cards, or other identification documents.
Banknotes are an area where inkjet marking can improve security features. The counterfeit detection is easier with specific inkjet marking applications by printing serial numbers or watermarks on each banknote.
4. Product identification
Visual product identity is important in certain areas where parts are combined to form larger assemblies, such as automobiles and other types of mechanical devices, and electronics components installed into control panels. Inkjet marking can provide an effective visual identification scheme by printing product identification such as part numbers and nameplates.
How to Select an Inkjet Printer Machine
Users of thermal or continuous inkjet systems should take into account several factors when selecting a marking machine:
1) Component Weight
Some materials used in the manufacturing process may be too heavy for certain inkjet printers. The type of ink used in an inkjet printer may also affect application feasibility on a particular material.
2) Surface Texture
Some surfaces may be too rough to apply ink from an ink jet printer without causing damage to the finished product’s surface. In addition, designs that require intricate patterns may not be suitable for printing by inkjet marking systems using standard inks.
3) Abrasion Resistance
Materials that are highly abrasive or used in harsh environmental conditions may not be suitable for marking by an inkjet printer. The use of more durable materials and other marking methods, such as metal and laser engraving methods, may be required to provide the necessary abrasion resistance needed for the application.
4) Application Environment
The temperature and humidity of the environment where a product will be used should be considered when selecting this marking machine. Some inks, such as thermal wax-based inks, can become soft and smear during high temperature and humidity periods.
5) End-Use Requirements
Design considerations for a finished product should be taken into account when selecting a marking system. Inks that may be too difficult or time-consuming to remove from the finished product’s surface, such as solvent-based inks, may not suit certain applications where rework is probable.
Inkjet systems provide a variety of benefits over other types of industrial marking systems. Inkjet markings have a lower cost. The resulting mark is more practical for a wide range of applications where other machines may be impractical or costly to implement.
In addition, inkjet printers are much less expensive than other industrial marking equipment, such as lasers and engraving machines. Inks that inkjet printers can apply can also perform various applications, such as barcodes and security marks.
Inkjet printers can print directly onto various materials, such as paper and plastic sheets used in product identification labels. However, because solvents and other chemicals can remove these inks, they may not be suitable for applications where they will be easily damaged or removed. To maximize uptime, make sure you select the best for your business. Also, take note of the technical support of the supplier.