While thermal transfer coders are generally accepted as the industry standard for printing onto a moving web of film, their cost does tend to make smaller manufacturers hesitate before making the decision.
Alternatives such as hotfoil coders or rotary coders might offer a cheaper alternative, however this limits the user to manual entry of letters and numbers from a cumbersome typeset.
The choice of an inkjet coder in this case offers many benefits:
- Instantly change codes via keypad
- Fast ink changeover instead of rewinding ribbon
- Ability to change font sizes
- Include automatic codes like serial numbers, date-codes, time-stamps
- No wearing parts
But why the EVOLUTION system?
Unlike more conventional CIJ inkjet coders, the EVOLUTION system uses simple HP-based ink cartridges filled with a fast-dry solvent-based ink.
Although initially designed as a low-cost replacement for roller-coders used in printing the sides of shipping cartons passing through a case-taper, the availability of solvent-based ink and the clever compact, modular design of this little powerhouse is leading to increasingly complex installations - more often the domain of much more expensive high-end solutions.
The EVOLUTION-HP2 system chosen for ths installation offers 1-4 lines of print, in 4 different fonts ranging from 2.4mm to 12.7mm and allows message storage and retrieval, serial-numbering, offset-date coding (for use-by dates) as well as current dats and real-time codes.
Not only does it offer these features, but it's modular design attracted the customer to choose this alternative - a modular design which allows for the addition of more printheads anywhere in the factory, all controlled by one single keypad. So the customer could now purchase an additional printhead for carton-coding, for example.
Customised bracketry was cleverly utilised by Trend, allowing for moving the printhead to almost any location on the film.
All in all, a most satisfactory outcome for the customer, who saved a bundle over the alternative choices.