Inkjet Printing for Chemical Packaging

Chemical manufacturing/packaging is a diverse field that faces unique challenges—including when it comes to inkjet printing. Inkjet printers place essential codes onto products, but for the codes to last, the right ink/hardware combo must be used. Here’s what you need to know.
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Chemical manufacturing/packaging is a diverse field that faces a number of unique challenges—especially when it comes to inkjet printing. Continuous inkjet and thermal inkjet printers are both commonly used in the chemical industry to mark packages with codes such as batch numbers and expiration dates while EvoLabel® is efficient at marking barrels, crates, bins, etc. 

Companies are required to place these markings on their products to comply with either supply chain requirements or regulations like the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) or the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Rule Book. Although marking is common in the chemical industry, it’s not always an easy task. 

Chemical worksites are often home to harsh environmental elements such as high heat, humidity, and airborne particles. If overlooked, these factors can smudge codes and make it difficult to read or scan leading to the possibility of product recalls and supply chain issues. Ink formulas also play an essential role in the marking process. Chemicals are packaged in a variety of materials, and if an incompatible ink formula is used to mark a package’s surface, it can lead to an unreadable marking. 

To help companies successfully mark their products and avoid regulatory noncompliance, InkJet, Inc. offers a range of printing solutions ideal for chemical packaging. Here’s how InkJet, Inc’s technology can benefit your operation:

 

Chemical packaging worker monitors safety in the plant.

Account for Environmental Concerns

Industrial chemical facilities can be challenging workspaces. It isn’t uncommon for these spaces to feature intrusive elements, such as high humidity, airborne particles, and surface-covering oil/grease. These factors and more can cause printers to become unreliable and malfunction, leading to profit-draining periods of downtime and high repair costs. 

InkJet, Inc. accounts for these problems by offering continuous inkjet printers with IP55-rated steel enclosures and thermal inkjet printers with IP66-rated enclosures. These enclosures protect against liquid and particle contamination, allowing printers to operate uninterrupted for extended periods, even in relatively wet, dusty environments. 

With a reliable inkjet printer, chemical packaging companies can:

  • Increase production speed by eliminating malfunction-related workflow interruptions.

  • Maintain quality codes as sealed printers prevent elements like dust from negatively affecting marking results.

  • Save money on maintenance as IP55 and IP66-rated printers can operate longer without issue as compared to lower-rated models. 

 

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Have the Right Ink for the Right Materials

Batch codes, barcodes, and best-by dates help ensure that products are traceable across the supply chain and in compliance with regulatory requirements. For these codes to work as intended, they must both be long-lasting and legible enough to be read by either the consumer or vision system on the production line (depending on the code’s purpose). 

To make successful codes, companies must use ink formulas that are compatible with the packaging material. 

The substrates used in chemical packaging vary widely ranging from metal cans and rigid plastic bottles to flexible materials such as PVC, HDPE, and PET. These materials feature different surface properties that all impact the effectiveness of applied ink. InkJet, Inc. understands these intricacies and offers a diverse portfolio of printing consumables that covers both porous and non-porous applications.

Below is a list of our possible ink applications:

We also offer custom ink services in which we develop an ink specifically to meet your operation’s unique needs. Our speciality inks can account for:

  • High surface temperature 

  • Alcohol resistance

  • Chemical presence

  • Oil or grease layering

Packaged chemicals lined up.

Find Hardware to Meet Your Production Needs

Continuous inkjet printer.

No two companies operate exactly the same. Production lines are set up in different ways, materials vary, and environments change from facility to facility. Accordingly, there is no “one-size-fits-all” inkjet printer. Instead, there are a variety of inkjet printer types on the market, with each one being ideal for different applications. 

At InkJet, Inc., our hardware offerings reflect this since we provide continuous inkjet printers, thermal inkjet printers, and high-resolution case coders for clients to choose from. Here’s where each printer type excels:

  • Continuous Inkjet Printers: Designed for uninterrupted coding, continuous inkjet printers like the DuraCode Touchscreen are capable of 24/7 operation with speeds up to to 1050 ft/min (320 m/min). Continuous inkjet printers generally weigh around 100 pounds when installed with ink and are suited for stationary, high-speed coding.

  • Thermal inkjet printer.

    Thermal Inkjet Printers: Compact and lightweight, thermal inkjet printers deliver the same quality codes as continuous inkjet printers but are better-suited for intermittent coding applications. Operations that need more mobility from their printers will benefit from a thermal inkjet machine such as the Anser U2 SmartOne, Anser U2 Pro-S, or Anser X-1

  • High-resolution case coder.

    High-Resolution Case Coder: Case coding printers like the Precision Series 72mm and the Precision Series 18mm are built for creating high-quality text and graphics on porous substrates like paper and cardboard. Companies commonly use case coders to meet their secondary packaging needs. 


 

InkJet, Inc. also offers the EvoLabel® print and apply labeler for secondary and tertiary packaging applications. 

 

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Two chemical packaging workers.

Improve Your Chemical Packaging Operation with Inkjet Technology

Chemical package marking can be a challenging task. Environmental factors must be accounted for, the right ink formulas must be used, and hardware needs to be well-built and reliable. Without these components, codes can fail, leading to delayed work and violated regulations. 

Fortunately, InkJet, Inc. has the expertise necessary to provide you with the right tools for the job. 

With more than 30 years of experience in printing hardware and ink development, we work with each client to ensure that they have the best printer/ink combination to meet their production needs. Call today to learn how we can improve your chemical packaging operation. 

For more information on chemical packaging and other inkjet applications, contact InkJet, Inc. online or by phone at 1(800) 280-3245.

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