With the variety of industries and substrates today, the industrial printing field must be diverse. Soda cans need lot numbers, shipping cartons need barcodes and logos, and pharmaceutical products need to be outfitted with fully traceable data markings, just to name a few high-profile applications.
As all marking applications vary in print form and substrate makeup, it stands to reason that no printing solution can adequately perform every coding task. For instance, while a continuous inkjet printer may be able to apply lot codes on thousands of beer cans every day, its operating mechanics prevent it from being able to create a colorful company logo on a cardboard box. Consequently, it’s essential to have a full understanding of a printer’s capabilities before you purchase—especially when the desired application requires a high DPI resolution.
While some printing applications can be completed at low resolutions, others require resolutions above 300 DPI to succeed. Barcodes and data matrices, for instance, are only useful if they are printed at machine-scannable resolutions. If they are printed at a lower resolution, it can cause complications across the supply chain and violate both coding requirements and traceability policies.
To avoid the penalties associated with non-code compliance, many companies turn to high-resolution inkjet printing technologies to create their DPI-rich codes and markings. In this article, we examine two different types of high-resolution inkjet printers, view their application specialties, and consider their unique benefits.
Thermal Inkjet Printer
Thermal inkjet printing (TIJ) is one of the most versatile industrial marking technologies on the market today. Released to the public in the early 1980s, TIJ printers are known for their compact size and diverse application capabilities.
When TIJ printers first arrived on the market, their application possibilities were initially restricted by factors like limited ink options and slow printing speeds. However, TIJ technology has come a long way, and the latest models are pushing the boundaries of what TIJ technology is capable of.
Just look at the Anser X1, for example. Not only is this TIJ capable of creating high-resolution markings up to 600 x 600 DPI, but it’s also able to print lower-resolution codes and text at speeds up to 300m/min—a speed that rivals many high-speed coding machines, such as continuous inkjet printers. In addition to high code resolution and fast printing speeds, the Anser X1 also offers:
- A max print height of 1.97 inches (with stitched printheads)
- An ingress protection rating of IP66
- The ability to control two production lines simultaneously
- Compatibility with both porous and non-porous materials
For users who don’t require the fast printing speeds and extra features of the Anser X1, TIJ models like the Anser U2 SmartOne and Anser U2 Pro-S 1/2" are still able to create markings up to 300 x 300 DPI at a more accessible price point.
High-Resolution Case Coders
Also called drop-on-demand (DOD) piezoelectric printers, high-resolution case coders are the go-to printing technology for secondary packaging applications.
The term “piezoelectric” refers to the piezoelectric printheads that are built into every case coder. Inside of every piezoelectric printhead is a crystal or element that expands and contracts to pressurize ink, stratify it into distinct droplets, and propel them in a controlled fashion to create large, well-defined images.
With the aid of the piezoelectric effect, high-resolution case coders are able to use thicker inks than other inkjet printers. By using thicker formulas, case coders like the Precision Series 72 can create codes/images that last longer and look better than other printing technologies.
The one drawback is that high-resolution case coders are only compatible with porous substrates. However, if you only need to mark shipping materials like corrugated cardboard boxes, a case coder will be a great fit for your operation.
Have More Questions About High-Resolution Inkjet Printing? We Have Answers
Whether you need to outfit products with machine-scannable barcodes or mark shipping cartons with large company logos, high-resolution inkjet printing can help you get it done right. Here at InkJet, Inc., we offer a variety of TIJ and high-res DOD printer models to help companies of all backgrounds improve their packaging processes. Call us today to learn how our products can benefit your business.
To learn more about high-resolution inkjet printing, or to inquire about one of our printer models, contact us online today or call 1(800) 280-3245.