All About Industrial Coding and Marking Equipment

Industrial coding and marking equipment play an essential role in many industries today. It’s common to see codes and markings on all of the items we consume, from barcodes to serial numbers to sell-by dates.

These identifiers can help to protect consumers and can provide valuable information in the process. In many areas, these kinds of markings are actually required by law. Since the demand for these types of markings is steadily increasing, the demand for the appropriate marking equipment has been growing as well.

Manufacturers have a number of equipment options if they are interested in adding these markings to their products. Some of these options include laser coding, continuous inkjet, and thermal transfer.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each marking technique. Above all else, it is important that the markings placed on products are legible. If marks cannot be read, it could lead to dissatisfied costumers, and it could even lead to fines. That’s why it’s wise to learn more about these methods so that you can find the best option for you.

Laser Coding

During the laser coding process, a mark is etched onto a product via a laser system. The marks created through this method are permanent. Everything from graphics to test to variable data can be marked through this method. Many types of materials, from cardboard to paper, to glass, can be marked through laser coding.

There are some clear advantages associated with laser coding. Because there are no fluids or ink used during the marking process, the overall cost of a system like this is low. It’s also an environmentally-friendly option. With that said, there are a few downsides.

The system can lead to blurry prints, and especially when there’s an issue with the setup process. You need to take care with your setup and equipment if you opt for laser coding.

Continuous Inkjet

This is one of the most popular and effective marking methods today. It’s a fast method that uses a high-speed pump to leave clear and easy-to-read marks. It can be used on a wide array of materials, and it is rare for it to print codes that are blurry or difficult to read.

Thermal Transfer

The thermal transfer process applies material to another material by melting down a coating of ribbon. It’s an extremely fast printing method, and it’s also highly reliable. The marks that are created through this method are very clear and easy to read.

What are the reasons to avoid thermal transfer? The biggest reason to stay away from it is if you believe you won’t be able to appropriately manage the ribbon used for printing. Wrinkles in the ribbon can cause printing errors.

Take the time to learn more about the different options you have for industrial coding and marking equipment. Because this equipment is so essential, you’ll want to choose the best possible method to mark your products. If you gather plenty of information about your choices, you’ll be able to make a final decision that you can live with.

Choosing The Best Industrial Printing Systems

Today’s manufacturers have many different options when it comes to industrial printing systems. Every industrial printing system has advantages, but there are also disadvantages to be aware of. It’s best to make sure you have plenty of information so that you can choose a system that makes sense for your coding and marking business.

Inkjet Printing Systems

There are several different types of inkjet printing systems. One of the most popular printing technologies is the continuous inkjet system. With this system, liquid ink is continually pumped through a reservoir so that a large number of items can be printed at a high speed. Thermal inkjet systems, which use a heated print cartridge are also an option.

Inkjet printing tends to work very quickly, and it’s usually fairly reliable. However, these types of systems do require some maintenance. There are consumables, like ink and cartridges, that you’ll have to provide. You’ll also have to make sure you keep your systems clean. A dirty printing system can cause issues.

Piezo Drop on Demand Printing

This type of printing uses a permanent printhead. It does use cartridges, but because it doesn’t use heat, the cartridges tend to last for a longer period of time. This is a high-speed printing method that typically has a very long service life. If you invest in one of these printing systems, you should be able to use it for a very long time.

One of the biggest drawbacks to this type of this printing system is that the wrong distance between the printhead and the material that is being printed on can lead to major issues. You’ll want to be very careful when setting up this system so that you can ensure your prints turn out the way you want them to.

Case Coding Printing

This printing system is usually used to print on types of cartons. If you need to print on cardboard containers, this is definitely a method that you’ll want to consider. It’s an ink-based system that will print directly onto your chosen material. The quality of printing you’ll get from a system like this is very high.

Even though a system like this offers limited versatility, it’s the best choice for people in certain industries. If you exclusively print onto containers, you’ll want to investigate these systems.

Laser Printing

Laser printing is a highly effective printing technique with a low start-up cost. It has a wide array of applications, and it doesn’t require you to purchase ink or cartridges.

However, this type of printing isn’t as reliable as some of the other methods that have been listed above. If low cost is your goal, this is a terrific option. If you’re focused on quality above all else, you’ll probably want to explore some of your other options.

When you arm yourself with information, selecting the best industrial printing systems is easy. Now that you have a deeper understanding of some of the printing systems that are available, you should be able to find a system that meets or even exceeds your needs.