04 Jan Inkjet Printing 101
Who Uses Inkjet Printing?
Virtually every company that produces products also packages them for shipment and sale. Packaging includes the cans, bottles, jars, bags and/or shrink-wrap that contain the product itself, plus the boxes, crates, barrels, and pallets that bundle quantities of product for efficient shipment. Information printing on the packaging typically falls into two categories:
Static message – the same for every package in a group
Variable – all or part of the printed message changes for each package or production run.
What is Inkjet Printing?
Well, inkjet printing can be loosely defined as propelling droplets of ink onto a substrate (the product that is being printed on) in a specific pattern without touching the object’s surface. This technology allows for a wide variety of substrates to be printed on such as porous, non-porous, smooth, textured, curved, concave, and more. There are several advantages of inkjet printing over other technologies. Inkjet printing is non-contact, which means only the ink touches the products or packaging, and the product remains undamaged and stable. Both high speed and intermittent production can be used with inkjet printing making production lines efficient and accurate.
Types of Inkjet Printing
There are three main types of inkjet technologies: dot-matrix, hi-resolution (piezo), and continuous inkjet (CIJ). Continuous inkjet technology is when there is a continuous flow of ink from a pressurized reservoir. A deflection plate and an electrical field are used to control if and where the droplets of ink reach the substrate. Where the drop lands on the substrate and how far the droplet deflects is dependent on the strength of the charge on each droplet. The deflected drops create the image and the non-charged droplets are collected and recirculated.