8 Coding Printers - Inkjet Coders, Print and Apply Systems & More

Product with code appliedCoding, Printing and Marking Systems

Today's modern packaging environment offers a number of choices for marking, coding and printing lot codes, barcodes, 2D codes, serial numbers, and contents in the form of labels or direct printing on manufactured products, the packaging that contains them and the final box and pallet labeling or marking to identify a shipment. All of this is accomplished by the utilization of industrial inkjet coders, hot stamp coders, label printers, and combination print and apply systems. In this regard the modernization of the packaging machinery industry is the most evident compared to the days when all marking was by contact or stencil.


Industrial Ink Jet Coder

One aspect of industrial inkjet printers that is the same for all types is that they all depend on a product moving in front of the printhead in a constant motion, since the printhead is basically noting more that a vertical line of nozzles that turn on and off at very high speeds as the product passes in front of it, thus producing the characters or image we wish to reproduce. But that similarity quickly vanishes because the three types of inkjet coders have vastly different capabilities in terms of speed, height, number of lines, and resolution of the characters and images. The differences are further delineated by the types of inks that can be run on the inkjet printing system which can limit its applicability depending on the substrate to be marked. In order to categorize the industrial inkjet coder further we divide the three types of inkjet coders, CIJ (continuous ink jet), DOD (drop on demand), and cartridge into two categories: Small Character inkjet coder and Large Character inkjet coder.


Electronic Component IDSmall Character Ink Jet Coder

While there is some blurring of these lines, at Busch Machinery we define a small character inkjet coder as being capable of printing at least two lines of information in a selectable font size down to at least 1/16" height, or one line up to 12 mm height (0.47") and has the capability of printing at least some versions of barcodes (most of our systems can also print 2D codes). CIJ ink jet coders are the best for virtually any application, but cartridge systems can work well on porous and semi-porous surfaces for much lower cost. (Click here to see our small character inkjet coders)


Large Character Ink Jet Coders                                                                                              

A Large Character Inkjet Coder is defined a capable of printing a single line from 12 mm height to nearly 4 inches high on a single printhead (nearly 8" when doubled up). Beyond that there are two categories of large character inkjet printing: high resolution and low resolution.


High Resolution Large Character Ink Jet PrintingHigh Resolution Large Character Industrial Inkjet Printers

With the improvement in inks and inkjet technology it is now possible to print on corrugated and other large surfaces with 300 dpi resolution in wide swaths of up to 4" high on a single printhead, and up to 8" with dual printheads. Furthermore inks are available that allow printing on virtually any surface.  A great way to eliminate more expensive print and apply labeling systems with their higher initial and operating costs. Print text, graphics, and barcodes with 99.9% readability!


Low Resolution Large Character Industrial Ink Jet Printing

Low Resolution ExemplarLow Resolution Industrial Inkjet Printers are used for basic text only printing on corrugated or other large surfaces with one or two line print capability from 7 mm (about 7/32") to 60 mm (2.37"). In some coding systems, these printheads can be mixed and matched with High Resolution Inkjet Printers to complete your inkjet coding system.








Print and Apply Labeling Systems

Print and Apply ExemplarPrint and Apply labeling refers to systems that accept unprinted or partially pre-printed label roll stock and prints the variable data in either a direct print and apply or loose loop system tied into a label applicator. In either case a number of different configurations are available to apply the labels onto cartons, pallets, or products. In most production environments, print and apply systems are still the preferred method for printing product information with barcodes.  However, as inkjet printing continues to improve, we suspect that more and more manufacturers will move away from the relatively high cost of operating print and apply systems to the more environmentally friendly industrial inkjet coders. Consider that the cost of the label is much higher than the cost of the ink to print the same information directly on the carton.  Add to that the cost of thermal transfer ribbons and the fact that ribbons and backing paper for the labels must be disposed of, and ink jet printing only becomes much more attractive both financially and environmentally.  Busch Machinery offers many types of print and apply systems, but we urge all customers to at least consider inkjet coding as an alternative.


Hot Stamp CoderHot Stamp Coders

Hot stamp coders are mainly utilized on labeling equipment where a batch code or expiration (or both) can be printed directly on the label just prior to application to the product.  Hot stamp coders use metal type mounted onto what is called a type chase. When the chase is installed into the printer, it is heated. At the end of a label index cycle the type chase is driven by pressure into a hot foil tape which then dry transfers the code into the label. And while thermal transfer printers and inkjet coders can be used to print on labels, hot stamp coders still remain the most cost-effective means of printing simple information such as expiration dates and/or batch codes.  However, if more sophisticated information is needed such as bar codes or 2D codes, inkjet coders and/or barcode printers are the best alternatives.



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Label Printers

Many customers prefer to print their own labels due to smaller volumes or constantly changing data.  We offer two types: full color printers and single color thermal transfer printers.

Full Color Printers

Full Color Label Printer

Full Color Label Printers

Single Color Label Printers

Label Printer - Single Color

Single Color Barcode Label Printers

Often use on preprinted color labels and overprint with the variable information

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