One of the main reasons MapleJet has focussed on the High-Resolution Piezo Inkjet Technology employed in the ProDigit range of inkjet coding & marking printers is the wide variety of ink types that can be used that allows solutions to be tailored to customer needs.
Let’s look at the inks available and the primary applications it addresses. Firstly we’ll focus on solvent-based inks. These inks are mainly used in primary packaging applications where the surface of the product tends to be non-porous. The solvent ink is designed to adhere to the surface while the solvent ‘carrier’ in the fluid dissipates to leave the ink constituent dry on the surface.
The first product, MapleJet Rapid Plus ink, is the fastest dry solvent in the MapleJet range. The dry time depends on a number of factors, the content of the message (ink volume), the material (surface tension) and the ambient conditions (temperature/humidity). In most circumstances, the dry time ranges from 5 to 15 seconds. This ink requires a higher level of ink management than slower drying solvent inks or oil based/UV inks because the ink is constantly drying at the orifice of the nozzles on the printhead. Maplejet employs Print Module Ink Ejection (PMIE) to maintain high print quality in these circumstances. Colours available include black, red, blue, white and yellow.
For applications where lower maintenance is more important than dry time, there are a number of slower drying solvents available. Maplejet Swift ink is a general purpose slower drying ink that requires less maintenance(PMIE) but dry times are typically 20-30 seconds. Maplejet Solpipe ink is used specifically for the printing of PVC pipe, dry time is similar to ‘Swift Black’ but adhesion to PVC material is superior. In all cases a variety of color options are available.
Other specialty inkjet inks in the solvent area include MapleJet UV visible which prints a non-visible image for security purposes that becomes visible when exposed to UV light.
For porous applications, oil-based inks are typically used because it requires virtually no maintenance and the oil ‘carrier’ is absorbed into the material.
Maplejet Sovereign ink is used in this case and is once again available in a variety of colors including black, red and blue.
The final type is UV curable inkjet ink. In this case, the ink has a carrier that behaves like oil meaning the maintenance requirements are very low but the drying of the ink is achieved instantly by adding a UV light positioned directly after printing that ‘cures’ the ink. Maplejet Supreme Plus UV is available in black, red, blue, white and yellow. The curing process means that most of the fluid jetted remains on the product so compared to solvent ink the print result tends to be much richer and darker. This lends itself to decorative as well as coding applications so is emerging as a viable alternative to pad printing of plastic and metal parts.
In summary, MapleJet strives to maximize the applications possible by sourcing the widest variety of ink types that can be used in High-Resolution Piezo Inkjet Technology. Please contact MapleJet so that we can evaluate your needs and tailor the best solution for you.