Six Reasons To Convert to Digital Inkjet Product Marking

Although making the leap into digital inkjet product decoration can be a daunting challenge, there are many reasons for doing so. Despite having a higher upfront capital cost, on average, as compared to traditional analog methods of product decoration, industrial inkjet printers offer many advantages over other methods. Below are six of the top reasons for converting to digital.

1. Industrial Inkjet Printers Offer “Contact-less” Printing For Delicate Substrates

Analog methods of product-decoration such as pad printing press the ink onto the part. Delicate parts such as light bulbs or Christmas ornaments do not lend themselves to such methods. With digital inkjet printers, there is no actual contact with the part, as the ink is jetted from as much as 10 mm away. In addition, all of our industrial inkjet printers use UV-curable inks. After receiving the ink, the part passes under an LED lamp and is instantly cured by UV light, without heat.

2. Industrial Inkjet Printers Enable Quick Changeovers

To set up a pad print job, you must first create a cliché with the image to be transferred to the part. Additionally, pad print machines use spot colors, so the ink must be mixed and loaded into the ink cup.

With industrial inkjet machines, there is no cliché, as ink is jetted direct-to-object. In most cases, there is no ink to change out as industrial inkjet machinery uses the process colors of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

3. Industrial inkjet Printers Enable Variable Data

Because the image is digital and there are no clichés, industrial inkjet printers are ideal for printing sequential serial numbers on otherwise-static artwork. So, for example, you could print a 10,000-unit run with identical branding and product information but with each one having a unique serial number.

This leads to perhaps the single-biggest reason to convert to industrial inkjet printers for product decoration…

4. Industrial Inkjet Printers Make Short Runs Economical

Any time a machine is not running, it is costing its owner money. With analog methods of product decoration, the way to maximize overall equipment effectiveness is through minimizing changeovers and make-ready work generally, and maximizing run lengths.

With industrial inkjet printers, once the artfile has been stored in the printer, it can be recalled with a touch of a button, and there are no clichés, inks, or pads to change out. One-off production becomes a possibility. And with no ink or clichés to change out…

5. There Is Less Waste With Industrial Inkjet Printers

With pad print machinery, any unused ink in the ink cup is simply wasted. With industrial inkjet printers, the ink is constantly recirculated, and most parts can be decorated in high-resolution CMYK for mere pennies, depending on the size and complexity of the art to be printed.

6. Industrial inkjet Printers Facilitate Leaner Inventories

When printing direct-to-object with an industrial inkjet printer, there are no labels to keep in inventory. This saves precious floor-space in a factory. In addition, because short runs can be economical when using industrial inkjet machinery, many parts can be left in an unfinished state and decorated on-demand in just-in-time fashion. This can reduce the need to warehouse finished goods, again saving a company money.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating converting from analog to digital methods of product-decoration. (You can download our White Paper on the subject here: Investing In Digital Printing: 5 Factors To Evaluate) Industrial inkjet printers are not the solution for every print job or for every company. But despite a typically higher initial CapEx than with analog methods of product-decoration, inkjet printers can start saving money in myriad ways. We hope you enjoyed the six we’ve listed here.

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