Marking and coding is used for several applications such as the printing of batch codes, serial numbers, QR codes, expiration dates, part numbers, sell by dates, and other industry-regulated markings that must be included on parts and products of all kinds.
The evolution of industrial inks and inkjet technologies have helped enhance the process of marking and coding. What are the technologies that go into marking and coding?
CIJ – Continuous Inkjet
CIJ printers use a non-contact type of high-speed printing method in the marking and coding industry. Logos, tracking codes, product names, UPC numbers, and other types of necessary text and codes are some of the printing performed by CIJ tech.
The popularity of CIJ technology is mostly due to its versatile, fast, and efficient operation across a variety of materials. High-speed applications are ideal for those fast production lines in factories, which is one of the capabilities of continuous inkjet printers. Another application that is ideal for CIJ is small character printing.
Continuous inkjet printers eject a continuous, uniform stream of high-velocity ink via a nozzle component. Then the industrial ink stream is divided into precise beads at 80,000 dps (drops per second). These droplets are charged and deflected, which is how dot matrix characters are made.
Drops that aren’t used in this process are automatically returned to the appropriate storage tank until it’s needed again. This technology reduces waste in that respect. Not all CIJ printers are designed the same way, but all use the same technology.
DOD – Drop-On-Demand
DOD printing technology is one of the most reliable printing methods available for marking and coding today. They are ideally suited for printing extra-large logos that can reach several feet in size, while maintaining high-quality graphics.
Extra-large logo printing is the primary application for DOD technology, but it’s also used to print smaller marks for date and batch codes, grade marks, and other important marking. It is considered one of the most cost-effective printing methods that uses only the ink that is needed with minimal waste.
Thermal Inkjet – High-Resolution Printing
Thermal inkjet (TIJ), also referred to as piezo-electric printing, is a high-resolution method of printing used for very high-quality small and large character printing applications. Logos, text, and traceability data information is how TIJ is primarily used.
One of the appealing factors of TIJ is that the industrial inks used for this printing tech are formulated to be Eco-friendly. However, due to that fact, they are also limited in the colors they can print.
Soundwave technology is what drives piezo-electric printing. The sound waves make the ink move from the ink nozzle to the substrate. TIJ technology works like an injection that takes vapor bubbles to transfer the ink from an orifice, then droplets are ejected out of the printhead to the material.
That covers the basics of the three main types of printing technology used in marking and coding. They are all effective for their intended applications and help industries maintain compliance to the rules and regulations that govern what codes and information must be imprinted on various products.