An Australian ink breakthrough holds the promise for extending the functionality of the large numbers of Hewlett-Packard (HP) thermal inkjet printers now putting in heavy duty in the local packaging industry for product identification and batch code work.
Melbourne-based Digital Ink Technologies, a specialist inkjet ink and research and development company since 1992, is extolling the benefits of its locally developed POLYtij® (patent pending) thermal inkjet ink in enabling packaging printers to use the large existing installed base of Hewlett Packard inkjet printers beyond secondary packaging applications.
Having focused on the development and manufacturer of digital piezo inkjet inks for new and emerging digital Piezo inkjet print head technologies, the company has released its new family of POLYtij inks suitable for use in industrial inkjet printers using Hewlett Packard 51645A and Lexmark cartridges.
“In recent years, industrial inkjet printers utilizing Hewlett Packard thermal inkjet inks have made great headway into the traditional industrial inkjet market, where industrial Hewlett Packard printers have been mainly utilized primarily for printing production identification and batch codes on secondary packaging,” Michael Mahoney, managing director of Digital Ink Technologies, said.
“There are now literally thousand’s of Hewlett Packard Thermal inkjet printers installed in the Australian packaging industry, under brands such as HSA, WOLKE, ANSER, Digital Design to name a few.
“With low capital costs, minimal maintenance, no service requirements and high resolution printing, it is no wonder why the Hewlett Packard thermal inkjet printers have been steadily replacing many of the old traditional methods of printing such as drop on demand and low end continuous ink stream printers.”
He says the main drawback for packagers, however, has been that existing inks for the machines have to date not been able to match the output quality of dedicated inks for some applications.
“Whilst aqueous inks for secondary packaging have been well catered for, unfortunately until now, most all of the Hewlett Packard thermal inkjet printers which offered solvent inks for primary packaging have not been able to match the optical density and adhesion required to compete against traditional drop on demand and continuous ink stream applications,” he said.
Mr. Mahoney says the company's new inks represent a significant break-through in thermal inkjet printing technology.
“For the first time, a thermal inkjet ink offers industrial Hewlett Packard and Lexmark printer users the ability to print onto non-porous substrates, that up until today have been the domain of continuous inkjet, solvent drop on demand printers and even thermal transfer printers,” he said.
Containing polymer resins, the new family of POLYtij inks have the ability to print onto non-porous substrates such as plastics like LDPE, HDPE, polypropylene, PET and PVC, as well as other more difficult substrates such as aluminum foil and other metals with excellent adhesion and optical density.
“With various models and makes of Hewlett Packard thermal inkjet printers costing as low as $3,000 here, it now means that Australian manufacturing companies can significantly reduce capital and maintenance costs by using utilizing POLYtij inks for both primary and secondary packaging applications,” Mahoney said. “Given the current economic conditions and pressure on manufacturing margins, there has never been a better time to review the old traditional methods of printing such as drop on demand, low end continuous ink stream applications and thermal transfer.”