Post Date: November 13, 2019

6 Ways to Reduce Ink Costs in Packaging




Inkjet printers based on HP THERMAL INKJET TECHNOLOGY are now the defacto standard used for product identification and package coding applications.  Printing lot/batch numbers, expiration dates and barcodes directly on packaging materials is significantly less expensive than labeling – up to 50% less!  Follow these tips to save even more money related to printing costs.

(1) Decrease the Print Resolution – Although HP-based coders can print at a very high print resolution up to 600 dpi, it is not always necessary. While barcodes and data matrix codes usually have to be high-resolution, a lower dot density will suffice for many other applications. Test which print quality is sufficient for your application. 

(2) Select a Different Font – There’s a potential savings of up to 75% depending on the font type being printed.  Spacious typefaces as well serifs consume more ink than most other fonts.  Instead, choose sans-serifs, light font-weights or so-called ‘ecofonts’.

(3) Consume all Ink from the Print Cartridges – Since production stoppages are costly, ink cartridges are often changed during scheduled downtime as a precaution. This strategy, however, may cause unused ink to get stranded in the cartridge vessel. While many devices indicate the ink level automatically, Markoprint® by AT Information Products takes it one step further:  We have developed a non-stop printing feature which operates two synchronized printheads simultaneously. Whenever one cartridge runs out of ink, the other one will continue printing automatically. This allows you to replace the empty cartridge while the production line is running!

(4) Use Original Ink Cartridges– Third-party manufacturers may seem cheaper at first glance. However, there is a risk that the savings will be at the expense of print quality.  Worst case, non-approved inks may lead to failures in the printing system. In addition, they are usually not as productive as the original products.

(5) Protect Printheads – Be careful not to let the inkjet printhead dry-out or become clogged with dust or else. This happens when an open ink cartridge is idle for a longer period. The result is poor print quality. You can prevent this by covering the ink cartridges during downtime. We offer a particularly practical solution with our Markoprinut Shutter printhead, which is an industry-grade, self-sealing thermal inkjet printhead. 

(6) Integrate Bulk Ink Supplies – At high print volumes, a central ink supply system may be worthwhile. It is an intelligent storage system that reports the ink level of the cartridges to the system in real time. These can then be refilled automatically during the printing process.  AT Information Products offers a bulk system for its Markoprint inkjet systems. It is especially suitable for quick-drying or solvent-based HP inks. Because the system holds up to 400 ml of ink, it reduces the number of cartridge changes required, and above all, lowers long-term operating costs.

When in doubt, contact AT Information to determine the areas in your coding operation where cost savings are possible.  We can be reached at (201) 529-0202 or send a message here.