As an industrial printing technician for a number of years I’ve watched the industries applied sciences develop and for essentially the most half enhance the standard of print and cut back the upkeep and price per print. The latest addition to the sphere has been the usage of normal HP printer cartridges for product marking and outer case coding. This know-how and most of its performance has been developed within the printing business on massive webs and within the mailing business to deal with info.

Management is the important thing

The drawback to this printing know-how is there are too many issues that must align to attain high quality print. The present Trident and Zar print engines are a single row of a number of nozzles. With the HP model system the ink cartridge itself has 2 channels one beside the opposite and the second row of nozzles must print precisely over the primary row of nozzles or a ghost or blurry print is created. That is a lot much less apparent in textual content printing however is usually a catastrophe when printing graphic pictures or barcodes. Most producers have included the flexibility to show off one set of nozzles 150 DPI vs. 300 DPI. The print with just one channel enabled is half the darkness and if a nozzle within the cartridge failed or turns into blocked a transparent line will likely be current within the print.

The second alignment comes into play when greater than half of inch tall characters or barcodes should be printed. That is achieved by stacking a number of cartridges subsequent to one another in a progressively increased sample. This requires the second print cartridges print info to be completely timed to align with the earlier print and so forth for every further cartridge. In contrast to a house inkjet printer the place the paper feed is managed and the print cartridge pace and place is managed in a producing atmosphere the cartridge is stationary and the fabric printed on is transferring.

The ink cartridge has little to no “throw distance” so the print head must be positioned very near the fabric being printed on. Once more on an internet utility or a vacuum desk that is simply achieved. On a conveyor nonetheless the field or case have to be correctly aligned to the print heads to attain high quality print. If the circumstances or containers aren’t correctly erected and crammed to take care of a sq. profile they’ll usually catch on the print head or drag when passing and being printed. Bear in mind all that timing and alignment I discussed above? The alignment of the print is simply managed by the timing of the print cartridges. If the fabric drags or modifications pace that timing is misplaced and all these alignments fail. Encoders are designed to regulate for pace modifications within the conveyance system but when the fabric pace doesn’t precisely match the conveyance programs pace you unfastened!

It is Clear, Simple, and there’s No Upkeep

All three of those statements are true, the water based mostly inks utilized in most of those print programs is far cleaner that the oil based mostly inks used within the Trident and Zar applied sciences. No upkeep is usually a double edged sword with these model printers. The place improper cleansing of a Trident, Zar, or Drop on Demand printer can price hundreds in repairs and requires enough coaching the oil based mostly inks don’t dry so they continue to be able to print. The HP cartridges want eliminated and capped when not in use and are simply changed by any worker. This will doubtlessly trigger your ink prices to skyrocket in case your employees finds it simpler to shortly exchange a cartridge moderately that clear and purge the unit. Purging is a operate that sprays ink from the nozzles in an try and clear minor blockages. Your property or workplace printer does this frequently; these programs require you to do it manually throughout the software program. A cartridge that ought to provide you with hundreds of prints can simply be thrown within the trash and changed after just a few hundred prints. Ten instances the unique anticipated price. In a excessive quantity utility there are bulk ink programs obtainable. Do not forget that every cartridge in a a number of stage configuration requires a separate ink stage. To excessive a stage and the cartridge will leak, to low and it’ll starve and air will likely be sucked in via the nozzles. I’ve seen just one bulk ink system that works properly. As you most likely can guess it was developed and designed by HP and is restricted to the inks they produce. Be completely certain that the fee financial savings of a bulk system exceeds the upkeep and frustration of a poorly designed system. Additionally bear in mind the price of bulk cartridges is increased than a single use cartridge however will be changed and disposed of simply as shortly.

Is this sort system best for you?

In case you are printing a single line of print lower than ½ inch tall and fewer that 20 characters it’s a good system for you. You will not have the alignment points with a a number of head system. Most different programs will likely be designed to print one to three inches of print so the fee will likely be increased for performance you don’t want. I restricted the print to 20 characters since constant pace whereas printing is simpler to take care of with smaller size prints.

In the event you require a a number of cartridge system you will want to make sure you can present the next.

  • In the event you require a a number of cartridge system you will want to make sure you can present the next.
  • The fabric to be printed on must be sq.. Uneven or bulging circumstances is not going to be printed properly. Skewed circumstances will bind and drag when crossing the print head and provides fuzzy or ghost printing.

  • Conveyor programs have to be clean and regular. For the reason that print head is stationary and the fabric is in movement, the alternative of a house or workplace printer, absolute pace management is a should for these programs.
  • Presentation to the printer have to be perpendicular and sq. to the top. With little to no capacity to print throughout any air hole distance the fabric being printed must be as shut as attainable with out dragging the print heads. This required the space to stay the identical high to backside and because the materials passes facet to facet.

This kind of printing know-how has been in use and confirmed to work properly. All of us have some kind of ink jet printer in our properties and workplaces. So far as I’m conscious all of them print with the cartridge nozzle dealing with down. I’ve discovered there are a number of opposed circumstances that come up when these cartridges are oriented to print on a horizontal moderately than vertical plain.

I’ve has nice success with this know-how in very managed environments like prescribed drugs, cosmetics, and laboratories the place the merchandise and supplies are contained throughout transport and are for essentially the most half robotically managed. Printing on a vertical plain has additionally elevated the dependability of those programs.