Which Printing Technology is Right For You?

Direct printing onto your product can potentially save costs up to 10x per year over printing onto a label.  But which technology should you be using to print your barcodes and text?  We analyzed four different printing technologies from FoxJet to find out which works best with certain applications.


Linx CJ400 sampleA

CIJ – Continuous Inkjet Printers

Small printers that are easy to maintain, use, and move.  Any printer from the FoxJet Linx Series are fast, no contact, and can print on a lot of different surfaces.

Strengths:

  1. Built to run. These printers are great in high production environments.  As technology has evolved, they have become more necessary to applications where a printer is not required daily.
  2. Most have a wide variety of ink colors and formulations (MEK, alcohol, acetone, etc.) that can be used to print on almost any surface.
  3. Can print very small characters at a very high rate of speed.
  4. Great throw distance.  Normally 1/8” to a 1/4”, this printer can work at almost an inch.

Keep in mind:

  • Initial cost can be higher than other solutions
  • Requires the use of ink and solvent.

Ideal for use in: Printing onto small individual products like bottles, and when portability is important to your printing needs.


Foxjet_SoloSeries_Thermal_Inkjet_Printer

TIJ – Thermal Inkjet

The three printers from FoxJet’s SoloSeries have a wide range of abilities, including up to 10 lines of alphanumeric text as well as logos and symbols.

Strengths:

  1. Can print up to 600x 600 dpi
  2. Since it is a cartridge-based system, it performs well in applications where the system will sit dormant for days at a time.
  3. Inks that can print on porous and non-porous surfaces
  4. Produces readable bar codes

Keep in mind:

  • To print larger than ½”, printheads are “stitched” together.  They rarely line up perfectly, so large characters or graphics may be slightly skewed at the ½” intervals.
  • Requires the head(s) to be very close to the substrate to be printed.

Ideal for use in: Lower volume applications and applications where the system will be idle for lengthy periods of time.


FoxJet-336-58-76-Vx12-printhead

DOD – Drop On Demand

The 9x and 18x printheads from the Valve InkJet systems can print ½”-2” text. It also allows you to quickly develop messages with built in printing codes.

Strengths:

  1. Inexpensive way to get a code on a product
  2. Simple technology makes it easy to maintain and service
  3. Inks that can print on porous and non-porous surfaces
  4. Good throw distance (1/4” to ½”)

Keep in mind:

  • Prints dot matrix characters, which are less aesthetically appealing
  • Low resolution – not capable of printing quality graphics or logos

Ideal for use: When you just need to get a code on a box or product, and aren’t concerned about aesthetics.


FoxJet-Matrix-Controller-Action-Side

Large Character – typically Trident or Xaar print engines

Reliable, flexible printing for bigger jobs and saving money in the long run.

Strengths:

  1. High resolution printing – graphics and logos look great
  2. Most offer a print window of 2”-4” high
  3. Produces readable bar codes

Keep in mind:

  • Most systems are for porous applications
  • Printhead must be less than a quarter-inch from substrate

Ideal for use in: Porous-only applications, when high resolution is a requirement.

If you have further questions about the best printer for your marking and coding application, visit our website, contact us, or schedule a site needs analysis today.

View a variety of FoxJet Marking & Coding videos to see these various printing technologies in action.

Connect with R.V. Evans Company for new packaging and fastening system updates, tips, and application solutions.
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