Glass bottles are one of the most common product containers used today—packaging drinks, cosmetics, condiments, and everything in between. Glass has the ability to preserve goods without influencing alterations in taste or other chemical reactions. And glass bottles are a particularly popular choice in the beverage industry. Of course, for commercial goods, these bottles need to be properly labeled with expiration dates and lot codes according to industry standards and regulations. And, for that, you need specialized hardware that can print clearly and reliably and keep your production line running smoothly.
Given the wide range of goods that are packaged in glass, companies need to consider the unique properties of both the packaging material itself and the product that is going to be stored within it. For instance, you need to be aware of the container’s color, its shape, and if the contents and bottling process will cause condensation. Only by carefully examining these factors can you determine the right machine for your job.
Factors To Consider When Encoding Expiration Date Stamps for Glass Bottles
As a printing surface, glass bottles present a few unique challenges that need to be addressed, including:
Glass bottles are often preferred by beverage manufacturers due to their ability to package liquids without affecting taste or causing reactions—two important considerations for companies that need to prioritize freshness in their products. This is especially important for breweries because beer can undergo profound taste changes over time—with some varieties having a “Best consumed by” range of only a number of months. To help preserve freshness, the vast majority of breweries use brown bottles rather than clear ones as the tinted glass helps to reduce the amount of UV light that enters the bottle.
For operations that use these darker glass containers—regardless of the contents—it’s critical to have a printer and ink that can clearly encode on the tinted material with high contrast. The specific ink chemistry must be taken into account with this task, so finding testing and validation services to confirm that the right color ink with the right properties will be used is a big help.
After all, legible freshness dates and packaging data are important not only for the consumer but also for efficient inventory tracking, quality management purposes, and compliance with food safety laws.
Production Line Speed
To determine the best machine for your production line, you need to consider the speed at which printing will need to occur. Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers are great for high-speed, continuous-operation industrial production lines. However, thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers are best for the intermittent production lines of smaller operations. TIJ printers also have the flexibility of mobile or mounted operation.
A concern for chilled bottles, condensation can extend ink dry time, cause ink bleeding, and negatively affect adhesion if left uncontrolled. The answer in these cases is a high-quality printer with ink that is specifically formulated to address these factors.
The Right Hardware for Printing Expiration Dates on Glass
To encode expiration date stamps for glass bottles on your production line, you’ll need either a continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer or a thermal inkjet (TIJ) printer. Depending on certain production qualities, we recommend these two machines: