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Continuous Inkjet

FOR EVERY POSSIBLE PRINTER APPLICATION

We are all familiar with continuous inkjet printing (CIJ), whether we know it or not. It is a vital part of the labelling industry. You can find it in use on eggs, bottles and all kinds of other everyday packaging, as well as on components for car production and cables.

Why? It is a quick and precise way to label products with low ink consumption.

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Continuous inkjet - contact-free printing technology

It is a quick and precise way to label products with low ink consumption. Continuous inkjet printers are especially frequently used in industrial contexts, where they use tiny droplets of ink to create high-quality printed images. And they don’t even come into contact with the material they are printing. The droplets of ink are carried through the air for distances ranging a couple of millimetres to several centimetres. The precision of this kind of technology lends itself to a whole range of commercial uses on almost any surface: packaging, bottles, car components... High-performance labelling systems often use CIJ printers from leading brands like Hitachi.

CIJ printers – manufacturers and models

Here, you will receive high-performance printers from continuous inkjet manufacturer Hitachi. The Hitachi UX and Hitachi RX2 models guarantee seamless and efficient production processes. They provide solutions that are the perfect fit for diverse companies and industries.

Hitachi RX2

The Hitachi RX2’s continuous inkjet process is the perfect solution for diverse product labelling needs.

This versatile range comprises one printer model that can be adapted for several functions using a two-step configuration process. The options available are specifically targeted towards customers with changeable printing needs.

Hitachi UX

Hitachi is a manufacturer with a long tradition and the Hitachi UX is their response to modern needs in a digital industry.

This printer provides top-class printing quality and the precision you expect for industrial use. The range contains nine different models, from entry level to high end.

Continuous inkjet:
real-world case studies

The case studies we have collected here highlight how useful contact-free printing technology can be in industrial processes. Continuous inkjet printing is used when bar codes, 2D codes, OCR, expiry dates, batch numbers or consumer information need to be printed onto packaging or other products automatically.

Continuous inkjet (printing) processes guarantee a high-quality image on the base material. Products and packaging to be printed can be made from almost any material, e.g. paper, cardboard, foil, glass, plastic or metal.

In short, continuous inkjet is suited to high-quality, efficient and economical product labelling in trade and the packaging industry.

 

Display view of a Hitachi UX model as a continuous inkjet printer

Continuous inkjet – more benefits than industrial printers

Continuous inkjet is a technology which presents many advantages. Contact-free printing, incredible speed and low ink consumption are all noteworthy. The ink droplets are electrostatically charged and can be steered incredibly precisely at lightning speed, meaning any possible print content can be produced, even if it changes regularly. No difficult retooling has to be carried out to change the information or shapes being printed.

The advantages of continuous inkjet

Continuous inkjet printing facilitates contact-free labelling because the ink droplets are guided through the air to the surface being printed.

This means that the continuous inkjet printing method can even print uneven or delicate surfaces with great precision. Major advantages of continuous inkjet printing include versatility, high item numbers printed and the printers’ capacity for continuous operation.

In contrast to other technologies, the high printing speed means it is possible to print materials that move quickly. Even speeds of several metres per second are no problem for high-performance continuous inkjet printers.

While techniques like gravure and offset printing require a set image to print, continuous inkjet is able to handle different images and information in sequence. Whether you require graphics, text, codes or numbers – everything can be achieved in a short time and with no retooling, so long as you have the right file in your database.

The CIJ process works with high data density and precision, providing a particularly effective alternative to traditional labelling systems. That is why this method is so widely used in the consumer goods industry.

Depending on the ink used, the necessary contract can be coded for almost any surface, including dark surfaces.

Precise printing of very small print is no problem and neither is large text.

In comparison to other technologies, printing costs are lower. Value for money.

A comparison: laser printing v continuous inkjet

FeatureLaserContinuous Inkjet
CostEfficientVery efficient
MobileNoYes
SafetyEmployees require protection to operateNo protective measures required for printing
VersatileDifferent laser systems needed for different surfacesSuitable for almost all surfaces depending on the ink

Frequently asked questions regarding continuous inkjet technology

Still have questions? You can find more detailed information here.

What exactly is continuous inkjet printing?

The term ‘continuous inkjet’ describes a modern printing technology which does not require contact with the surface being printed. Instead, the materials to be printed are simply moved past the print head on the CIJ printer on the production line. The printed image is created by targeting and steering tiny ink droplets using physics.

How does a continuous inkjet printer work?

The continuous inkjet (printing) process can be described as follows: first, a continuous jet of ink is channelled through the nozzle on the printer at high pressure. The nozzle measures just a few micrometres across. Inside the ink chambers in the nozzle, the ink is electrically charged, forming it into tiny droplets. Before they leave the print head, the charged droplets pass through an electrostatic field. This technology allows the continuous inkjet printer to precisely define the position, speed and charge – and therefore the final position – of each ink droplet. The method described here is very efficient. Any ink not used is fed back into the system or collected, avoiding resource wastage.

What are the advantages of the CIJ process?

The principle advantages of this technology are its high printing speed, versatility of commercial uses, excellent value for money and contact-free printing. It is a high-quality and precise technique used as a handy alternative to standard labelling.

Is an inkjet printer the same as a continuous inkjet printer?

Continuous inkjet printers are a type of inkjet printer. However the technology, as described, and the industrial uses that come with it do differ from that of a standard inkjet printer for home use. Continuous inkjet printers are therefore a high-value subcategory and very promising for industrial use.

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