Inkjet Coding Technology and Applications

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Inkjet technology is considered the most cost-efficient and precise process for marking and coding a vast spectrum of products across a wide range of industries. Inkjet coders are mostly used in the packaging sector where it’s vital to differentiate between products. This coding technology generates batch numbers, dates, and time data for packaged products such as personal care, automotive, pharmaceuticals, food, and beverage items.

 

3 Types of Inkjet Coding Technology

The three types of inkjet technology used for coding in the packaging industry are DOD (Drop on Demand), TIJ (Thermal Inkjet), and CIJ (Continuous Inkjet).

  • Drop on demand technology uses UV or aqueous inks to imprint on a wide variety products using several chambers of ink.
  • Thermal inkjet technology uses print cartridges and electrically heated chambers for high-speed coding that is commonly used for generating two-dimensional, high-quality graphics for coding in industries like health, tobacco, beauty, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Continuous inkjet is durable, non-contact form of coding used for generating lot codes, expiration dates, bar codes, and graphics used on primary packaging of various products and large character CIJ is used for secondary packaging such as cartons.

 

Types of Specialty Industrial Inks

  • Contact Coding Ink is used for applications like coding on cardboard boxes, yoghurt pots, and metal foils.
  • Election Ink is designed to generate a permanent stain on hu skin that cannot be removed easily for about seven days. Its purpose is to prevent election fraud.
  • Food Grade Ink is formulated to be suitable and safe for coding directly on food, glass, plastic, film packaging, metal, and cardboard food packaging, and beverage packaging.
  • Health Marking Ink must adhere to certain EU regulations. Fresh meat is required to be traceable from the instant it enters the food chain. The health mark on meat is a sign that it’s been inspected and passed as good for human consumption. This marking ink encompasses a scope of spray stain, liquid inks, aerosols, powders (dissolved in water), and water-based inks.
  • Flexo Inks are high-quality inks manufactured with raw materials and that have been approved for food grade and pharmaceutical marking applications. It comes in different colours and will adhere to several types of substrates used in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Stencilling Inks are manufactured in both pigmented and dry-based inks, which are waterproof and weather proof. That’s why they are ideal for marking on metal drums and wooden crates or pallets. They can be used on a wide range of surfaces and can be manufactured in non-hazardous, water-based, enhanced adhesion, and ultra-fast drying inks.

 

Other specialty inks can be manufactured to suit any application for any purpose. So, the next time you see an egg, meat packaging, boxed cereal, or milk with an expiration, use by, or sell by date, you’ll have a better understanding of what role inkjet coding plays across the world.

Additionally, when you see markings on automotive parts, refrigerator parts, and electronics, you know from whence they came. Every product that is coded with DOD, CIJ, or TIJ coding technology uses specialty ink designed to be as functional and safe as possible for consumers and public health.

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Erryn Deane
Digital Business Manager at Needham Ink
Erryn is the digital business manager for The Needham Group of companies, with a wealth of knowledge in laser marking systems, amongst many other things, he has decades of experience in online development, business analysis and management. In his spare time, he likes to find out how things work and looks to improve them, from vehicles to electronics or even musical instruments.