The industrial environment is continually evolving, driven by advances in technology. To survive and thrive manufacturers must adopt a chameleon-like ability to adapt to each emerging trend.
This is just as true for packaging as any other area of manufacturing. Successive innovations have sought to make industrial marking on packaging more environmentally sustainable, more resource-efficient and cost-effective.
These changes have been substantial. Marking technologies such as continuous inkjet technology (CIJ) and thermal inkjet technology (TIJ) have come a long way over the decades. With TIJ, in particular, significant advances have been made in recent years and it now offers many advantages over other labelling technologies.
So, how do you improve printing process efficiency and sustainability? As we will explore, ink is not the only determining factor. Other technological aspects also present opportunities to minimise the labelling process’ impact on the planet and also improve speed and efficiency.
Technological keys Finding the keys to success in industrial marking
To gain greater efficiency, speed, savings and sustainability you must leave traditional labelling in the past and trust in new technological developments. There are five fundamental keys:
Connectivity and integration
Only invest in a new printer if it has Industry 4.0 connectivity in its DNA. To boost efficiency and reduce costs, the printer needs to be able to talk easily with all other devices in the warehouse via a large number of open interfaces and wide range of connectivity options. Your printer should be able to communicate with all upstream and downstream machines, interacting seamlessly with any network, manufacturing control or ERP systems.
One of the great advantages of using advanced, clean TIJ technology is that there is no need for expensive service and maintenance contracts. This significantly reduces the cost per print. TIJ printers require minimal cleaning and if there is a problem, you simply need to replace the ink cartridge which takes just a few seconds.
TIJ printers are able to achieve high printing speeds of up to 100 metres per minute, ideal for 90% of production lines. Just as important: the speed and ease with which print information can be changed. Machines that offer a simple, fast process for updating print information will help to maximise production uptime and reduce the potential for errors.
Ease of use
Smart technology should be simple technology. Choose a printer that any operator can set up and use easily, no training required. Look for intuitive handling and clear user guides.
For marking on packaging TIJ minimises the impact on the planet. TIJ printers consume up to 80% less power than CIJ alternatives. Unlike CIJ printers, they also use minimal solvents, helping to create a safe workplace.
The first version of the article can be found in Sustainable Packaging News