Inkjet Printing on Plastic Bottles | CIJ, TIJ, Laser | InkJet, Inc.

Glass bottles are one of the most popular packaging substrates in the world. Used to house food, beverages, personal care products, and other popular goods, glass bottles maintain product freshness and indicate superior quality to consumers. 

No matter what type of products you produce or package, you must mark your glass packaging with certain codes to comply with federal/state regulations and distribution channel policies. Code requirements vary based on industry, location, product type, and other factors. 

Required codes frequently include:

  • Regulatory symbols
  • Serial numbers
  • Anti-counterfeiting codes
  • Sell-by/best-before dates
  • Packaging facility information
  • Traceable lot codes/batch numbers
  • Production date codes
  • QR codes/barcodes

Plastic bottles pose some very particular challenges for printing and coding systems. The printing surface is often curved, sometimes irregular, and possibly colored. Different plastic formulations may require different techniques, so you may find that you need to switch often between printing on polystyrene and polycarbonate plastic resins, each of which requires a different approach.

Finding the right printer and ink combination for your production line is key to cutting costs while preserving the quality of labels and codes. InkJet, Inc. offers printers and inks ideal for inkjet printing on plastic bottles, no matter what your business’s particular challenges may be.

Printers and Coders for Inkjet Printing on Plastic Bottles

Whether you're working in a high-speed, high-volume production environment with extreme humidity and temperature challenges or in a craft brewery with just a handful of employees and a tabletop conveyor pushing out a few dozen bottles per hour, you need a robust printer that can minimize downtime and maximize both printing quality and efficiency.

This table lists our various plastic bottle printing marking systems and their general specifications. Additional information for each option can be found further below in this post. Click the linked title in the table’s leftmost column to jump to a specific solution.

InkJet, Inc’s Plastic Bottle Coding and Marking Options

Coding Technology

Operating Method

System Options

Maximum Resolution and Print Height

Maximum Marking Speed

Cost Factors

Continuous Inkjet Printer

Propels pressurized ink droplets towards the substrate

DuraCode Touchscreen, Keyboard, & Pigment

70 DPI at 15 mm height

320 m/min.

Low to moderate unit cost, low consumable cost

Thermal Inkjet Printer

Uses heat to pressurize and eject ink droplets towards the substrate

Anser U2 Models

400 x 300 DPI (height varies by model)

76.2 m/min

Low unit cost, moderately consumable cost

Anser A1

600 x 600 DPI at 1” height (2” height with stitched print heights)

300 m/min with HP cartridges, 150 m/min with IUT cartridges

Moderate unit cost, moderate consumable cost

Anser X1

600 x 600 DPI at 1” height (2” height with stitched print heights)

300 m/min

Moderate unit cost, moderate consumable cost

Print-and-Apply Label Machine

Auto-prints and applies  labels to passing materials


300 DPI (height varies by printer model)

60 m/min

High unit cost, little to no consumables

Continuous Inkjet Printers: DuraCode Touchscreen, Keyboard, and Pigment

Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers are non-contact production line printing systems designed to mark substrates moving at 300 m/min and above. CIJ printers can operate up to 24 hours daily with zero downtime because they’re built with powerful ink circulation systems. The speed, wide ink compatibility, and versatile printheads of CIJ printers enable users to mark thousands of products daily with long-lasting, highly legible codes. 

InkJet, Inc. meets diverse coding needs by maintaining a comprehensive CIJ ink catalog with dozens of formulas designed for plastic bottle coding. We have over 30 years of experience producing ink and carry numerous formulations for special properties, including:

  • Superior substrate adhesion
  • Heat resistance
  • Alcohol resistance
  • Rub resistance
  • Ultra-quick dry times
  • Anti-transfer properties
  • Extreme temperature resistance
  • Soft and hard pigmentation
  • Oil/grease penetration
  • Condensation penetration

InkJet, Inc.’s superior product selection includes printer & ink options to suit your production environment, output demands, and substrate challenges.

InkJet, Inc. carries three CIJ systems:

  1. DuraCode Keyboard
  2. DuraCode Touchscreen
  3. DuraCode Pigment Printer


All DuraCode systems can mark porous and non-porous substrates at speeds up to 320 m/min. Equipped with an IP55 outer structure and able to operate in temperatures ranging from 41-113° F, the DuraCode CIJ can withstand potentially hazardous environmental elements to deliver consistently excellent results. 

The DuraCode Keyboard and Touchscreen offer the same specifications and compatibility with ink formulas. The only difference between them is their input medium. The DuraCode Pigment has identical specifications to the DuraCode Keyboard and Touchscreen but uses pigmented ink instead of dye ink.

See the chart below for a closer look at the DuraCode models’ most important specifications. 


DuraCode Touchscreen, Keyboard, & Pigment CIJ Printers


40, 50, 60, 70 μm

Print Height

1.2-15 mm

Maximum Print Speed

Up to 1,050 ft./min (320 m/min)

Print Distance

1-3 in. (25.4-76.2 mm)

Input System

Touchscreen or Standard Keyboard / WYSIWYG

Print Font

5x5, 7x5, 9x6, 11x8, 16x11, 24x17, 32x22

Operating Environment

  • Temperature: 5-45° C (41-113°F)  
  • Humidity: 0%-90%, no condensing

User Defined Field

Bar Code, QR Code, Logos, Clock, Counter, Classes, etc.

IP Rating

IP55 Industrial Protection

Gross Weight with Complete Package

45 kg / 99 lbs

Standard Features

Font library - Multi-language support - Traverse printing - 90-degree vertical printing - Special counter Counter replacement - Clock replacement - Encoder port - USB port - Ink recovery pump - Solvent flush pump - Micro print

Optional Add-Ons

Serial port - Network LAN connection - Positive air pump

Thermal Inkjet Printers: Anser U2, A1, and X1 Models

Thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers are smaller, lighter, and more cost-effective than CIJ systems. While CIJ systems typically weigh around 100 lbs and cost around $10,000, most TIJ models weigh only 5-10 lbs, with prices starting around $1,499.00. 

Although thermal inkjet systems are compact and lightweight, they offer impressive coding specifications. For example, the Anser U2 Smart can create 400 x 300 DPI codes up to 0.5” tall (1” tall with the Anser U2 SmartOne). Higher-end TIJs like the Anser X1 can create 600 x 600 DPI codes up to 2” tall with stitched printheads. 

TIJ printers are often designed for slower speed lines and intermittent coding tasks, but some TIJ models also offer high-speed capabilities. InkJet, Inc. carries numerous plastic-compatible TIJ printers of varying specialties and price points. Our current options include:

The Anser U2 Pro-S Thermal Inkjet Printer: Compact and cost-effective, the Anser U2 Pro-S is an excellent choice for inkjet printing on plastic bottles in applications that do not require CIJ-level marking speeds. The Anser U2 Pro-S offers a 76.2 m/min max printing speed, 400 x 300 DPI max resolution, 0.5” max print height, intuitive operation, and easy installation.

The Anser A1 Thermal Inkjet Printer: The first all-in-one TIJ that offers 2” printing and mid-message DPI adjustments, the Anser A1 is both powerful and affordable. Built with 2 cartridge slots, the A1 can create 2” tall markings with varying DPI elements (e.g., 300 DPI QR code with 150 DPI text). The A1 maxes out at 300 m/min for product marking applications with certain cartridges. Users control the A1 through a large touchscreen interface.

The Anser X1 Thermal Inkjet Printer: Even though the Anser X1 is a thermal inkjet printer, you wouldn’t know that from its spec sheet. With printing speeds up to 300 m/min, the Anser X1 is one of the most powerful TIJs on the market today. Beyond industrial speed marking, the Anser X1 offers a 600 DPI max resolution, a 3.87” max print height (with stitched printheads), IP66 protection, and the ability to control two production lines simultaneously.

See the chart below for a closer look into how our TIJ options compare to one another:

InkJet, Inc’s Thermal Inkjet Printer Options


Anser U2 Pro-S

Anser A1

Anser X1

Max Printheads





3.5” Color LCD with LED backlight

5” Color LCD Capacitive Touchscreen 480x800 (portrait)

7-inch Color LCD Capacitive Touchscreen (800 x 480 px)

Input Device

Pocket-sized IR remote keypad

Pocket-sized IR remote keypad

Pocket-sized IR remote keypad

Print Height


1” with single printhead, 2” with stitched printheads

1” with single printhead, 2” with stitched printheads

Print Resolution

400 x 300 DPI

300 DPI

600 x 600 DPI

Print Speed

76.2 m/min

121 m/min

300 m/min

Print Distance

0.25” (6mm)

0.25” (6mm)

0.25” (6mm)

Operating Temp.

0°C ~ 40°C (32°F ~ 104°F)

5°C – 40°C (41°F – 104°F)

5°C – 40°C (41°F – 104°F)

IP Rating




Dimensions and Weight

(L/W/H) 4.5” x 3” x 2.4” 

0.49kg (1.08 lb) – excluding cartridge and bracket

(L/W/H) 6.7” x 5.4” x 4.9”

1.8kg (3.97lb) w/o guide plate

(L/W/H) 11.5” x 5.6” x 2”

2.7kg (6lb)

Print-and-Apply Label Machine: Evolabel Systems

Print-and-apply labeling machines (PALM) streamline the labeling process by continuously creating and applying labels to passing products or shipping cartons. Predominantly used to label shipping cartons, PALM systems can complete primary, secondary, and tertiary applications with the right equipment. 

Users can customize their print-and-apply labelers to complete specific tasks. PALM systems are made of multiple components, with two of the most important being:

  1. The printer module, which prints labels on-demand
  2. The label applicator, which dispenses and applies each label to a product, carton, or pallet

By selecting the ideal printer/applicator combo, you can use a PALM system to label plastic bottles efficiently.

The Evolabel Print-and-Apply Labeler is InkJet, Inc’s PALM option. Evolabel systems are compatible with three different printer modules:

We offer numerous applicators to fulfill diverse packaging requirements. Available applicators include


Investing in an Evolabel system simplifies your bottle labeling process, reduces the risk of error, and maximizes packaging efficiency. 

Choosing the Right Ink for Inkjet Printing on Plastic Bottles

When it comes to inkjet printing on plastic bottles, you need ink that can stand up to a host of environmental challenges.

  • Condensation and aggressive washdowns can easily compromise standard inks that are not up to the task of plastic marking and coding.
  • Exposure to chemicals may also be a consideration in your ink selection, depending on the nature of the product you are bottling.
  • Abrasion is another important consideration because plastic bottles tend to be handled frequently by consumers—as they lift drinks to their lips, squeeze out soaps in the shower, or squeeze the trigger of their window cleaner of choice.

Our industrial-grade CIJ-compatible inks are temperature, rub, abrasion, and alcohol-resistant. We offer both soft- and hard-pigmented options to ensure high quality and clarity regardless of whether you are printing on light- or dark-colored plastic.

Need UV-readable ink for watermarks, internal traceability, and other anti-counterfeiting safeguards? We have a CIJ ink stocked to meet your unique production line needs.

Our wide range of inks is compatible with OEM printers, other manufacturers’ offerings, and our own printers like the Duracode and Anser solutions. In special cases where our premanufactured inks cannot quite satisfy your business's particular requirements, we are also more than happy to work with you to develop a custom ink specially designed for your printing needs and conditions.

Industrial Inkjet Solutions for Plastic Bottle Printing

Barcodes, nutrition facts, serialization codes, product labels—each use case requires a printer and ink combination that can deliver the best results on time, every time. For inkjet printing on plastic bottles, especially, you need a reliable and robust solution to continually deliver those results as products move from the production line to transport and, eventually, into consumers’ hands.

No matter how big or small your business and production line, InkJet, Inc. can help you find the solutions you need to succeed. Our experts will help you select the perfect combination—and if it doesn't exist yet, we'll create a solution just for you. We believe no problem is unsolvable; sometimes, you just have to develop a better answer.

InkJet, Inc. is a printer distributor and ink manufacturer with years of experience providing top-quality solutions for inkjet printing on plastic bottles for a variety of businesses, big and small. We also offer testing and validation services to ensure maximum success of your printing and coding. For more information on our products or services, contact us or call us today at 1-(800) 280-3245.