Continuous Ink Jet – Rewriting the Rules

  • By David Croft
  • December 22, 2016
  • Beverage
  • Food
  • Life Sciences

With code quality and durability becoming increasingly important, it is clear that technological development of Continuous Ink Jet [CIJ] is needed to deliver optimal drop repeatability, high resolution, and accuracy in today’s high-speed production environments. The key to solving issues around code quality can be found in the print head.

The use of smaller, more accurate codes, such as 2D barcodes or variable barcodes, is predicted to increase significantly in the next five years – Domino Research

Ink plays such a critical role in the process, and best CIJ performance requires control over ink pressure, temperature and viscosity. A comprehensive range of ink is also essential, to ensure best application coverage, reliability, and performance.

CIJ systems are used in so many different areas, some of which are classified as harsh environments, so different inks are needed for specific industries – whether it’s EuPIA GMP and Swiss List-compliant inks for the food, beverage and life sciences sectors, or heavy-duty inks for industrial manufacturing.

To meet the future, CIJ systems must be robust enough to withstand challenging production conditions for maximum productivity, with minimal downtime.

They must also be easy to operate and maintain, with a low cost of ownership, without compromising overall equipment efficiency.  For example, the print head should be resistant to contamination to minimize cleaning requirements, even when using pigmented inks.  The CIJ printer should also be able to withstand wash-down conditions, while protecting the system against steam and the other contaminants.

Inkjet printing: What does total cost of ownership mean for manufacturers?

The Science of the ink drop

Anticipating the current and future requirements of the market, and the technological capabilities needed to address them, Domino has launched the Ax-Series, a new range of Continuous Ink Jet printers optimized for the most demanding industrial environments.

In developing the new series, Domino has rewritten the rules of coding and marking – by revisiting the science behind CIJ and introducing innovations in three key areas. Domino’s three pillars of innovation across the Ax-Series are:

  • the newi-Pulse print head and inks. i-Pulse controls individual ink-drop formation, delivering significant advances in droplet formation, placement and ink usage for reliable, high-speed and consistent code quality.
  • thei-Techx electronics and software platform, designed to optimize lifetime return on investment and eliminate coding errors by enabling smooth integration into the production line and service support environment.
  • Domino Design, a fresh approach to the total product design to maximize productivity and ease of operation, delivering printers that are robust and reliable even in the harshest environments.

For a more in-depth look at how CIJ is changing to meet the needs of manufacturers and producers globally, be sure to check out our white paper Rewriting the Rules: How Continuous Ink Jet is changing to meet the future needs of manufacturing and our new Ax-Series website to find out how Domino is changing the playbook on coding and marking.

Let us know your thoughts below, or find us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Be sure to follow the Domino Blog to stay up to date on the latest from Domino on products, industry trends, and advice for the future.

 

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