How Ease-of-Use and Bulk Ink Help Thermal Inkjet Win the TCO Debate


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Competitors to Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) like to criticize the technology for having expensive ink costs. But that argument is weak at best, especially when you drill deeper into the accusation.

Consider Markoprint® industrial coding from AT Information Products. All systems ship with iDesign message making software. iDesign is one of the most intuitive software packages on the market. Just drag & drop, and create your message using the alpha numeric keypad. The software also allows for the creation of linear and datamatrix barcodes, plus you can import picture files as bitmaps.

Once the message is created, iDesign quickly calculates the number of ink drops necessary to create 1 message, and extrapolates that amount over the total volume of ink in the cartridge. Relevant variables include the text height, print resolution (dpi), & type of font.

Consider a Julian date code, size 4mm and printed at 300 dpi. This code can be printed approximately 421,000 times using 1 disposable HP ink cartridge. Depending on the customer’s production volume, the cartridge may last days, weeks or even months before changing out.

When volumes get so large that a larger cartridge is required, AT Information Products offers various bulk size containers. There are options as small as 350ml, and up to 1 litre for the largest container. These larger ink supplies can reduce overall ink costs by 2X to 5X or more depending on the specific vessel size and ink type.

Now that we’ve tackled the issue of ink costs, be sure to closely examine ALL the components to cost: equipment, ink supplies, spare parts, maintenance, downtime, labor, and cleanup/disposal. All variables considered, HP thermal inkjet enjoys a very competitive Total Cost of Ownership. And the value proposition associated with the technology – EASE OF USE / HIGHT PRINT QUALITY / CLEAN & GREEN / INDUSTRIAL FIT – makes TIJ an easy decision for many customers.

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