What's the Best Expiration Date Stamp for Plastic Bags?

As consumers, we often take for granted the date coding on our food, beverage, and medicine packaging. Communicating important production-related information, these labels are essential for both consumer education and manufacturer traceability. Beyond these utilitarian reasons, proper date coding is also often mandated by federal regulations and association rules, both of which depend on the specific industry in question. In fact, label misinformation and misprinting are two of the leading causes of product recalls by the FDA.

For today’s production and manufacturing lines, plastic bags are one of the most common surfaces that require date codes. This is because so many of the goods packaged in this way—whether they be coffee beans, candy, pet food, or even detergent pods—need to be marked with proper expiration dates to maintain industry standards and impart important information to consumers. As a result, manufacturers need to understand how to optimize their production lines to encode this important information without fail.

However, to determine what the best approach to this task will be, you first need to know what production specifics to consider. Let’s do a quick breakdown of important production line considerations when encoding expiration date stamps for plastic bags and evaluate what printers will best target these needs. 

Important Considerations for Your Production Line

Is the Bag Filled?

In most circumstances, encoding is best performed on empty plastic bags. In these cases, the bags lie flat on the belt as they’re fed toward a stationary printer that prints the necessary codes. Depending on the specific line setup, these bags can either still be a part of the original roll or already divided.

For setups that require printing on filled bags, today’s technology can adapt. As an example, click on the screenshot below to see footage of a continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer encoding expiration date stamps on filled plastic bags.

How High Is the Need for Clarity and Exact Code Placement?

The need for a particular level of label clarity and placement accuracy can have a major effect on what is the best printer choice.

For operations that simply need to print a general expiration date stamp on plastic bags, high-contrast printing isn’t a necessity. High-contrast printing becomes necessary only if the code is going to be scanned for inventory purposes (e.g., barcodes). In that case, consistent label clarity is essential, as is accurate code placement. These barcodes are often put in designated spots on the packaging for ease of scanning.

The Right Hardware for the Job

To enable your manufacturing line to create the best expiration date stamp for plastic bags, we recommend the following two printers:

At What Speed Will the Production Line Be Moving?

Whether a manufacturing setup is constantly moving or experiencing intermittent pauses will be a major deciding factor in which printer is best suited for the job. This is because certain printers are optimized for continuous workflow whereas others specialize in printing clearer codes at slower speeds. 

DuraCode Continuous Inkjet Printer

DuraCode Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) Printer

As demonstrated in the video above, the DuraCode CIJ printer is made to deliver quality codes for organizations that employ continuously moving production lines. Using an automatic monitoring system that ensures consistent code readability, DuraCode provides you the ability to quickly adjust/replace filters and fluids to maximize uptime and keep operations running smoothly and efficiently. Furthermore, the machine’s reliability and rugged construction make it suitable for production lines requiring 24/7 operation.  

ANSER U2 Pro-S Thermal Inkjet Printer

Anser U2 Pro-S Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) Printer

The Anser U2 Pro-S thermal inkjet (TIJ) printer is a high-quality, economical option with a much smaller footprint than DuraCode. With a specialization in printing on nonporous substrates, this device is able to successfully create codes on not only plastic bags and rigid plastics but also goods made from metal and glass. If you think that this product is perfect for your manufacturing needs, we’re proud to provide either a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee or conditional 30-day purchase order so that you can test the product for yourself. That is how confident we are to be providing the best printing solutions on the market.

Encoding Optimal Expiration Date Stamps for Plastic Bags

At InkJet, Inc., we understand that each manufacturing line has its own set of unique characteristics. Of course, this also means that there isn’t one single printer to meet every company’s production needs. To help accommodate your organization’s requirements, our customer service team is happy to work with you to examine the specifications of your operation and provide the best solution to keep your business thriving and running smoothly.

For more information on how to manage and optimize expiration date stamps for plastic bags or to learn about the technology that makes it happen, contact us today by dialing (800) 280-3245.

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