Inkjet Printers for Corrugated Boxes and Packaging

Strong, durable, and recyclable, corrugated cardboard plays an important part in protecting and housing products. To prepare corrugated boxes for commerce or transportation, however, barcodes and logos are essential.

Here’s how to apply these markings with an inkjet printer.
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Corrugated boxes are one of the most utilized shipping containers used today. Composed of multi-layered paperboard walls, corrugated containers offer several advantages when used for storage and transportation. Strong, durable, recyclable, and a great printing surface, corrugated cardboard protects products across the supply chain. The containers not only protect goods from material damages, but they can also ensure full traceability by displaying essential information through barcodes and related markings.

To apply these codes, companies frequently turn to inkjet printers for corrugated boxes. Certain printer types, like high-resolution case coders, print company logos and other large graphics onto corrugated surfaces. Others like thermal inkjet printers, excel at applying small text and machine-readable data matrices/barcodes.

At InkJet, Inc, we offer a range of printers and ink formulas that are ideal for corrugated box applications.

Cardboard box line

Corrugated Box Printing: Pre-Printed or Custom?

Corrugated boxes are used to both transport products and house them for retail purposes. In either context, codes and other images are essential. Markings like barcodes and data matrices provide transportation information and enable the retail process. Images like brand logos, product names, and graphics also often play important roles, whether it be to raise consumer awareness or satisfy retailer requirements.

Companies can obtain these marked boxes through a few different methods. One way is through purchasing pre-printed cartons. Manufacturers can order boxes with pre-printed logos, messaging, graphics, etc. in large quantities to keep onsite. While this can be a cost-effective route, companies will inevitably face challenges when they introduce a new product, promotion, or seasonal offering. With new SKU information comes the need for more pre-printed boxes which leads to:

  • Rising material costs 

  • Expanding storage requirements

  • Increasingly complex box inventory

To counter these issues, many companies look for ways to incorporate custom marking into their operation. This is where inkjet printers come in.

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High-Resolution Case Coders—The Key to In-House Box Printing

High-resolution case coders, like the Precision Series 72, are the go-to inkjet printers for corrugated boxes. Case coders use ink formulas, such as high-resolution oil-based ink, that are able to make stark codes and graphics onto porous and semi-porous substrates, including corrugated cardboard. With a case coder, companies can place the following onto their cartons:

  • Barcodes

  • Lot codes

  • Brand logos 

  • Data matrices

  • Graphics/Images

With these functions, companies can either supplement their pre-printed cartons with customized in-house boxes, or they can place custom markings onto pre-printed boxes. Manufacturers can continue to buy boxes that are pre-printed with static information (e.g. company name, location, logo, etc.), while using a high-resolution case coder to place variable information such as lot numbers, date codes, SKUs, and more. Through this hybrid model, companies can maintain their existing carton image while eliminating the need for excessive box quantity/variety.

High-resolution case coder

TIJ Printers for Smaller Text

TIJ Printer

For companies that don’t require the larger printing size and graphic capabilities of high-resolution case coders, there are other marking options available. One of the most popular alternatives is thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers.

TIJ printers offer a more compact and affordable alternative to operations that don’t require fast speeds. TIJ models like the Anser U2 SmartOne only weigh around five pounds but can still create lot codes, bar codes, and data matrices. 

Offering printing speeds around 120 m/min (394 ft/min) and a high level of mobility, TIJ printers enable companies to place important custom information onto corrugated cardboard at a moment’s notice.

 

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Worker holding a box

Need an Inkjet Printer for the Corrugated Boxes in Your Operation?

InkJet, Inc. is your home for all industrial marking needs. For over 30 years, we have been helping businesses with printing solutions and developing ink formulas for countless applications. We understand the cost-saving capabilities of on-demand, in-house printing, and we know how to help companies find the solution that best fits their needs. 

If you are looking for a printer to mark the corrugated boxes in your operation, we offer a variety of case coders and TIJ printers. Talk to us today to find out which machine will help you achieve your goals.

To find an inkjet printer for corrugated boxes today, contact InkJet, Inc. online or by phone at 1(800) 280-3245.

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