The importance of a high quality printhead when choosing your Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) system

November 18, 2021 Uncategorized

No business wants to lose time by stopping their production line to deal with avoidable delays such as poor coding quality caused by a blocked printhead. For manufacturers and producers maximising uptime is crucial. One of the most effective ways of doing so is ensuring the printing equipment you've chosen performs to the highest level without interruption.

CIJs are a popular choice for printing (coding and marking) dates or batch codes onto products as they travel down the production line.  They can handle a wide range of sizes, shapes or textures of substrates and can operate at different line speeds. CIJ’s are excellent for producing reliable codes delivered in the same place on each product, every time.

When comparing CIJ printers one of the most important things to consider is the printhead. Often overlooked, printheads are one of the core elements of a CIJ printer as this is where the code is delivered from. As such they should be top of mind when you're making your coder investment.

Not all printheads are made equal and a big difference between printheads on the market is the required cleaning interval of each make.

Why do printheads need cleaning?

  • All printheads accumulate dried ink as they run. However, the speed of the accumulation depends on the design.
  • Dried ink can block the printhead nozzle and result in poorly printed codes or stop the printer completely, if not maintained properly.

Cleaning interval requirements give a good indication of the speed at which ink accumulates. The faster a printhead accumulates dried ink, the higher your risk of a coding error.

What should you look for in a quality printhead?

  • A quick, clean start-up every time, even if the printer is used infrequently.
  • A robust, completely sealed printhead for maximum reliability and protection from costly, physical damage.
  • Automatic printhead cleaning flush feature which ensures reliable operation.

Why should you choose the Linx 8900 with MK11 Printhead?

The MK11 printhead from Linx is the very latest in CIJ printhead design. The printhead features a hermetic seal that protects all critical components during operation and cleaning. This extra protection significantly reduces the risk of damage to the printhead and the downtime required for maintenance and repairs. The sealed printhead also contains no dirt traps allowing the Mk11 to deliver high-quality print results, even in harsh, dusty or wet environments.

Unique to the Linx MK11 is the printhead autoflush process, the most thorough self-cleaning process available on the market, allowing the MK11 printhead to run cleaner for longer and deliver you more uptime. The entire autoflush process can be initiated at the press of a button, reducing shut down procedure times and allowing your operators to pick up where they left off again without additional cleaning. The autoflush process is so efficient that the typical cleaning interval of the Linx MK11 is just once every three months.

Few printheads on the market can boast such a high interval between cleaning times. One leading alternative printhead model requires cleaning at least every two weeks and in many cases requires daily cleaning. When these differences in cleaning requirements are extended across an entire year, Linx MK11 users stand to save on average an extra 5 hours of downtime compared to users of less efficient printhead models.

If you would like to know more about how CIJs and Reynolds Group can help you with your coding application, get in touch with our team today or view our full range of CIJs here.

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