Coding of Dark Packaging with Solvent Inks

06/03/2019
Written by ATIP


If you’re looking to do Product Identification or Package Coding, there are various print technologies available.  A 2016 study by Packaging Digest indicated the following popularity of technologies for printing date codes:  Inkjet 63%, Print & Apply labeling 37%, Laser 28%, and Thermal/thermal transfer 16%. 

The task of coding gets complicated when manufacturers need to print onto dark substrates like black glossy boxes or glass with dark liquids.  Previously, these applications required continuous inkjet or laser to ensure the codes were legible.  But now with the advancements within thermal inkjet – and HP inkjet in particular – there are more options than ever for packaging operations.

In the past year several inks have been introduced by HP and their licensed ink partners that allow for the direct coding onto dark substrates.  These inks come in the HP 45si industrial print cartridge, and the inks are light-solvent in nature.  The combination of the 45si cartridge and larger drop size of the ink results in a further throw distance between the printer and substrate.  These inks can typically print legibly from 5-7mm away.

Originally the light-solvent inks were only available in black ink.  Now, some 5 years after the 45si cartridge was launched, the available inks come in red, blue, green, yellow and white.  Most recently, a vibrant blue solvent ink was released, and it has tremendous readability on both light and dark packaging surfaces.

If you’re interested to see how the light-solvent inks look on your specific substrate, contact AT Information Products to arrange a print sample run.  Call (201) 529-02020 or drop a message here.

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