Inkjet technology isn’t anything new. After all, it’s been around since the 1950s. However, until the late 1970s, it wasn’t available to the public. It was primarily used by businesses. By the time the 1990s rolled around, it was being used in homes and businesses. The concept for inkjet technology is much the same with a few tweaks in its evolution over the decades. The basic process involves the jetting of miniature ink droplets onto different types of paper to generate a specific image.
Continuous inkjet, also known as CIJ, is basically the same process only with expanded uses for commercial and industrial coding and marking on food, packages, products, and such. The ink droplets in CIJ are electrically charged as they are dropped from the nozzle to deflect the ink to its respective placement.
Six Things You Don’t Know About CIJ
- CIJ Technology is one of the oldest and most reliable forms of printing technology that is still used today. The only evolution from here will be in programming, processes, and software because this technology has reached its maturity.
- Inkjet Droplets in CIJ technology can drop up to about 120,000 droplets each second. The droplets are only around half the size of a single human hair. These are the factors that make this printing technology so reliable and versatile.
- The Continuous Inkjet Concept came from a merging between syphon recorder technology and inkjet technology invented and patented by Lord Kevin in 1867. The syphon recorder had an inkjet nozzle and a magnetic coil that reacted like today’s electrical field to deflect the ink on a continuous paper run used to record telegraph messages in that application. In 1951, Siemens introduced similar tech to create medical strip charts like those used for EKGs.
- CIJ Solvents are sometimes used in certain printing processes for different kinds of materials. CIJ printers need a volatile solvent that contains alcohols and ketones. The solvents dig into the material being printed on while allowing it to still dry quickly. UV-curable ink is another kind of ink used in CIJ to print on fabrics because it makes a long-lasting image.
- The CIJ Primary Use involves the imprinting of batch codes, dates, product names, logos, and other pertinent text or codes. Marking and coding in CIJ is used to aid in inventory maintenance, product identification, and for other processes that ensure companies are compliant per government legislation.
- CIJ Printheads come in two different types: Fixed head and disposable head. The fixed head is usually a cartridge built into the printer design. Cartridge printheads don’t require replacement when the ink runs out. The ink can be refilled into the fixed-head (also referred to as gaiter-head) cartridge. They also don’t require calibration like disposable printheads, making them the most cost-effective of the two. Disposable ink cartridges are most well-known to the average person. When the ink runs out, you buy new disposable ink cartridges and properly dispose of the used ones.
These are a few of the basics related to inkjet technology that isn’t commonly known by the public. The same printing tech that is used to imprint codes and dates on stamps, food, and packages is also used to print on paper from your home inkjet printer.
Article by Needham Ink