Hitachi Continuous Inkjet Printers (CIJ) work by expelling electrically charged ink droplets from a printhead nozzle and passing them through an electric field.
The inkjet is broken into drops inside the chamber through a pulse from the piezoelectric crystal. Those droplets that are required for printing are charged by a charge electrode as they break off from the inkjet, and the printer re-circulates the rest.
The droplets, now charged, pass through an electrostatic field between deflector plates, the combination of the speed and charge determining the correct position of the droplet on the substrate.
Up to 120,000 of these tiny droplets – half the diameter of a human hair - are expelled every second, and as this is done without contact to the material continuous inkjet printing is very versatile. Hitachi Continuous Inkjet printers can code onto most materials, regardless of many characteristics including porosity, size, shape and texture. The solvent base too many of the inks means they also dry fast, making continuous inkjet solutions ideal for products on a moving production line.
Continuous inkjet printers are used mainly to print variable information on individual products – such as dates, times, specific text, batch codes, product names and logos. This is particularly useful for providing trace-ability data and for complying with increasingly strict industry legislation.
- Can print on almost any materials – at most speeds, and downward, side on or from underneath / and in any orientation
- Good printing tolerance – even when surfaces are not flat or still (eg. wobbling bottles), and are 10mm or more away from the printhead
- Relatively low capital costs
- Range of inks available, including low evaporation, non-MEK low taint, and a wide spectrum of colours