For industrial packaging operations, finding a reliable printer to meet the needs of your production line is a must. And not all hardware is created equal. Each industrial printer is specialized in its own way, whether that be to continually encode glass bottles along an assembly line or to print shipping info directly on cardboard boxes. Furthermore, beyond identifying which type of printer will fit your needs, the right model can mean the difference between years of productive uptime and days filled with recurring hardware issues.
Following this line of thought, hardware costs go beyond the initial price of industrial inkjet printers—one also has to factor in how these products will last day-to-day against work requirements and environmental factors. For instance, while that $500 thermal inkjet (TIJ) printer may seem like a great idea at first, the cheaper plastic construction that makes the low upfront cost possible will likely falter when faced with the daily workload of a modern production line. This then leads to profit-draining work stoppages, expensive repairs, and general unreliability.
To provide a better picture of the different factors that will, ultimately, give you the best deal for your printing needs, here is a breakdown of the varieties, uses, and prices of industrial inkjet printers most commonly used today.
Important Considerations That Impact the Price of Industrial Inkjet Printers
When looking for the right printer for a manufacturing line, you need to think about how the equipment will withstand the environmental factors of your facility. For instance, both high heat and low temperatures can have major effects on the longevity of your hardware. Similarly, high condensation can cause printers’ inner components to malfunction.
Some less-than-reputable companies will often avoid mentioning these factors when giving initial quotes, offering cheap plastic models that carry very low price tags. Then, after further examining your production facility, the sales reps may change their approach and point toward the higher-priced models that are more fit for the job. Remember: if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
To avoid machine breakdowns and overwork, it is essential to carefully consider the rate at which your production line will be moving. After all, failing to accurately accommodate this aspect can slow down your manufacturing pace and accelerate the need for time-consuming repairs.
Fortunately, proper workplace analysis and product testing and validation from a professional vendor can ensure you find the right hardware for the job.
Complexity of Operation
Along with the speed of production, another important factor to consider is the complexity and diversity of your printing needs. This can include both the variety of codes you need to print (e.g., lot codes, expiration dates, bar codes, etc.) as well as the material you’ll be printing these codes on (e.g., plastic, cardboard, glass, etc.).
Depending on your company’s specific needs, this can mean either choosing a printer that’s designed for versatile operations or purchasing a combination of printers that will perform together to accommodate work requirements.
Continuous Inkjet Printers and How They Address Price Concerns
Perfect for uninterrupted production lines, continuous inkjet or CIJ printers expel droplets of electrically charged ink from a printhead nozzle to reliably create proper date codes and product identifications. This is the best option for operations that require continuous direct-to-product labeling.
Here is how InkJet, Inc.’s premier CIJ printer, DuraCode, specifically addresses the price concerns we’ve explored:
|ENVIRONMENTAL RESISTANCE||SPEED||COMPLEXITY OF OPERATION|
|WITH AN IP55 INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE MADE OF MODULAR STAINLESS STEEL, DURACODE PRINTERS ARE ABLE TO WITHSTAND HIGH CONDENSATION AND FUNCTION WELL IN AN OPERATING RANGE OF41–113° F.||SPECIALIZED FOR CONTINUOUS, FAST-PACED PRODUCTION OPERATIONS, THE DURACODE LINE OPERATES AT A MAX PRINTING SPEED OF 1,050 FEET PER MINUTE.||THE DURACODE LINE IS PERFECT FOR QUICKLY PRINTING SIMPLE PRODUCTION CODES ON GLASS, METALS, PLASTICS, BAGS, AND CANS.|
Built for longevity, DuraCode printers are work-horse machines that save operations money with their ability to function successfully for years on end. And, as a non-OEM option, repair and materials costs are significantly reduced.
High-Resolution Case Coding Printers and How They Address Price Concerns
In contrast with CIJ printers, case coding printers are used to print directly onto corrugated surfaces, such as cardboard. Helping to ensure the traceability of shipped products, case coding printers are often used by modern industrial operations in conjunction with CIJ hardware to successfully abide by federal regulations and industry standards.
InkJet, Inc.’s Precision Series 72 is a reliable and affordable case coding choice, and it offers the following advantages:
|ENVIRONMENTAL RESISTANCE||SPEED||COMPLEXITY OF OPERATION|
|CONSTRUCTED OF DURABLE STAINLESS STEEL, THE PRECISION SERIES IS BUILT FOR RESILIENCE IS A VARIETY OF WORKING CONDITIONS.||MADE TO ACCOMMODATE VARIABLE SPEEDS, THE PRECISION SERIES HAS A PRINTING VELOCITY THAT CAN BE ADJUSTED FROM 0-200 FEET PER MINUTE.||THE PRECISION SERIES CAN PRINT BARCODES, LOT CODES, AND EXPIRATION DATES ON CARDBOARD, PAPER, PLASTICS, METALS, WOOD, POLYSTYRENE, STONE, AND CONCRETE.|
With the ability to print on a wide variety of materials, the Precision Series 72 is a well-constructed machine that can handle the labeling of both primary and secondary packaging (i.e., boxes, shipping containers, etc.). Similar to the DuraCode line, its strong structure and reliability make it a great, long-lasting investment that will maximize profits by maximizing uptime.
Finding a Quote for Your Next Industrial Inkjet Printer
When considering the overall price of industrial inkjet printers, you can’t stop at the upfront cost. You also need to consider how a larger upfront investment can give you higher-quality machinery as this will help maintain steady production for a longer period, saving you money on both repairs and new parts. This kind of forward-thinking approach is the key to growth-oriented ROI.