Small character printers (also known as continuous inkjet or CIJ printers) are used around the world to print text, codes and logos onto products and packaging. But what should you look for in a small character inkjet printer? What are the qualities that will keep your costs down, your staff happy, and your production line efficient?
Why a small character inkjet printer needs to be chosen carefully
So you need to buy a small character inkjet printer? One of the first things you will notice is a variety of models and technologies, but it is important to be aware of the key qualities that will make a big difference to batch coding performance.
1. The need for speed
Production lines are all about speed. Thousands of products need to be marked or coded every hour, so you need an inkjet printer that can keep pace with your production requirements – especially in industries such as cabling and wiring. For these scenarios, Leibinger has a specialist printer that can apply coding onto the plastic sheath of the cable at speeds of 1,000m/min. Whether you need these extreme speeds or something more moderate, you will nonetheless need a machine that is fast enough to keep pace with the rest of your production line.
2. Keep downtime to a minimum
One traditional drawback with continuous inkjet printers is a tendency for the print head to become clogged with dried ink when the production line stops. This means valuable production time is lost because the nozzles have to be cleaned before restarting.
The Sealtronic technology that is built into every Leibinger character inkjet printer is an ingenious way to avoid this problem. When printing stops, the print nozzle retracts and forms a closed loop, keeping the ink flowing inside the system and not exposed to the air. The result is no clogging and an immediate restart without cleaning. If you want to get the best possible productivity, this is an important detail to consider.
3. A machine you can rely on?
While technologies help to prevent the ‘routine’ downtime that is associated with some other printers, it is imperative to avoid unscheduled – and often more serious downtime – when things go wrong.
Leibinger has a reputation for quality that you would expect from a 100% German, family-owned business. At our factory in Tuttlingen, we oversee the production of every machine and check it diligently before it goes out to a customer. We also manufacture virtually all components in the same factory so we can ensure printers that perform reliably for years.
4. The ability to use lots of different inks
What kind of ink should be using? It all depends on the surfaces you are printing onto, as well as the intended use of the marks, barcodes and symbols you are applying. You need the characters to be visible, so if you are printing against a dark background, such as black plastics, you need your CIJ printer to work with pigmented inks. If you are printing onto glass bottles, high-adhesion inks may be advised, for example, since the surface is shiny and often carries a layer of moisture through which the ink must adhere. Bottlers may also need washable inks (so old expiry dates can be washed off) and it is even possible to apply invisible printouts with a specialist UV ink.
You should ensure that your machine can handle all necessary inks for different applications. If Leibinger customers need to print onto a different surface, there is no need to change machines. One JET3up can do it all!
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5. It should be easy to use and integrate
Small character inkjet printers need to be easy to use – and easy to put into your production line. Manufacturers such as Leibinger provide an easy-to-use control panel that makes it easy to change the coding that needs to go onto the products. Leibinger also provides software options that help with the management of multiple CIJ printers, and even allow you and your staff to control printing from a mobile device.
Leibinger also offers a series of accessories that make installation easier. From brackets to extensions, they help you to install any industrial inkjet printer where you need it, and enables it to operate in the tightest of spaces.
A pigment printer that is a contrast from the rest
Advanced, feature-rich CIJ printer specifically designed to handle high-contrast pigmented inks for maximum legibility on dark surfaces. more >