Marking and Coding Systems

Published: 04th May 2011
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With an industrial printer for marking and coding, you can apply high-quality alphanumeric codes, logos and graphics to a multitude of surfaces at virtually any line speed, angle, or location on a product or package. Coding and marking printers offered on the market today include large and small character industrial ink jet printers, thermal transfer printers and laser coding systems. All have the ability to produce reliable codes, like addresses, personalized messages, bar codes and serialized numbers, at today’s production line speeds.




Large Character Ink Jet Systems & Case Coding Solutions



Two technologies are used for "drop on demand" printing with large or medium fonts: impulse jet (piezo and bubble jet printing) and valve jet (dot matrix printing). These systems are used primarily for box coding and case coding to provide production information vital for inventory and quality control.




Large character ink jet printers and case coders often feature modular print head systems and simple integration into existing production lines.




Thermal Ink Jet Systems



Thermal ink jet printers mark products and outer packaging directly with variable data such as best-before dates, barcodes, 2D DataMatrix codes, logos and batch numbers. These codes ensure continuous traceability and security against forgery within the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industry as well as in many other lines of industry.




Users of thermal ink jet systems look for a combination of long decap times and short drying times. This makes printing easy on varnish-free surfaces of folded chipboard boxes and other paper substrates. Ideally, a printer will provide high quality print even after long printing breaks.




Laser marking systems



Laser marking systems deliver marking on almost any material and are an excellent choice for box coding and case coding. CO2 lasers are well-suited for marking pharmaceutical boxes, paper, cardboard and carton packages, PET containers, electronic/semiconductor devices, automotive parts and extruded products. These marking systems may use steered beam technology to deliver marking with no degradation of print, even on high volume production lines. Common marks/codes include expiration and manufacture dates, ticket numbers, line codes, ID matrix and bar codes, serial numbers, batch and lot codes, contents and weight specifications.




CO2 technology provides permanent laser coding in a clear and easily legible quality, and ensures a clean working environment.




YAG lasers are also employed to handle marking and coding. With their excellent beam quality, YAG lasers mark on metal, plastic and other hard surfaces.




Fiber lasers are yet another solution for marking and coding. They are mainly used to mark materials in the aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical devices and tools markets.



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