Continuous inkjet printers are one of the world's
oldest printing technologies. They are frequently used in demanding situations
where speed, reliability, and flexibility are required. CIJ printers offer a
number of benefits and advantages which is the primary reason that many
companies rely on CIJ technology.
In the printing process, a stream of CIJ ink is broken into extremely small droplets inside a chamber and charged with an electrical pulse from a non-conducting material like a quartz crystal or ceramic. Any excess ink is re-circulated by the printer and returned to the ink tank source.
Mechanical stress or vibration is then applied to force the charged droplets to pass through an electrostatic field located between deflector plates. The correct positioning on the substrate is determined by the speed and charge applied to the droplets which then land and adhere to the substrate without any part of the print head making actual contact.
Up to as many as 120,000 microscopic droplets of ink, each measuring about half the diameter of a human hair, are expelled each second. This makes the process extremely versatile and capable of adhering to almost any surface.
The printers can code onto numerous materials without regard to size, shape, porosity, or texture. The base solvent of CIJ ink also allows it to dry quickly, making the CIJ process ideal for products that move quickly on a production line.
The continuous inkjet printing process is used mainly in printing variable information onto individual products, including dates, times, batch codes, product names, text and logos. It is especially useful in providing data that makes the products traceable and for complying with continually stricter industrial legislation.
A major advantage of CIJ technology is its versatility in being able to be used in many different situations where the high velocity of the ink droplets permit a greater distance to exist between the print head and the substrate. CIJ printers can also run for many hours before needing service when compared to other technologies. This tends to lower costs considerably.
CIJ printing is used in the food and beverage industry, cosmetics, electronics, auto construction and many other industrial sectors wherever demanding marking and coding is required. The printers have proven to be simple and reliable solutions for numerous industrial applications because they can easily be used for marking or coding almost any material, at practically any speed and orientation desired, and onto almost any material disregarding its shape, size or texture.
Numerous different formulations of CGI ink can be used including those with low evaporation rates and in a wide range of colors. With normally fast drying times, the printers provide an ideal solution for fast-moving production lines.
The advantages of continuous ink jet technology should continue to be more and more popular in the foreseeable future of industrial manufacturing.
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