Alongside companies like Videojet and Markem-Imaje, Domino Printing Sciences is one of the biggest names in industrial marking and coding. Formed in the late 1970s, Domino has built a solid reputation for itself over the last 40 years. Domino, known for producing reliable marking hardware and application-specific solutions, offers a wide variety of coding technologies, ranging from digital printing presses and large character printers to thermal transfer overprinters and laser systems.
Like other printing industry leaders, Domino also carries several continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers as part of its catalog. Commonly used in food and beverage packaging plants, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and other industrial contexts, CIJ printers are popular across the manufacturing and packaging spectrum due to their fast printing speeds, continuous coding capabilities, and consistent results.
To meet the needs of different operations, Domino currently offers three CIJ models:
Each Domino Ax-Series CIJ printer offers different advantages, operating specifications, and build qualities, which we examine in-depth below.
Here, we take a look at each Domino Ax-Series CIJ printer, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses, and profile which customer segments will most benefit from each model.
The Ax150i is the most affordable option in the Ax-Series. Like the other Ax-Series printers, the Ax150i is built with a Domino-made printhead technology called i-Pulse, designed to create codes with a nine-drop resolution as opposed to the seven-drop resolution traditionally used in CIJ printing.
Because of this higher drop resolution, the Ax-Series printers can:
However, although the Ax150i is capable of producing consistent high-quality codes, the printer is not built for very demanding applications. While Domino’s marketing materials claim the printer can reach maximum printing speeds of 7.1 m/s, software limitations cap users at 5.1 m/s when printing on production lines. This speed is standard for a mid-market CIJ printer, as is the 20mm print height, and IP55-rated cabinet.
Beyond these physical specifications, the Ax150i (as well as the other Ax-Series printers) are also notable for kickstarting Domino’s push for remote connectivity. All Ax-Series printers utilize Domino Cloud, Domino’s remote service and support package. This service helps maximize productivity by providing users with a variety of performance alerts and diagnostic information, including:
While these features are helpful, they are also not unique to Domino. For example, Videojet has a very similar program called MAXIMiZE, and the Markem-Imaje 9029 CIJ system offers similar functions as well. However, it is worth noting that the Ax150i is more affordable than both MAXIMiZE-equipped Videojet printers and the Markem-Imaje 9750.
The Ax350i is the more powerful version of the Ax150i. Still equipped with an i-Pulse printhead and Domino Cloud, the Ax350i is physically larger and prints faster than the Ax150i. Capable of printing with four printhead nozzle options (40μm, 50μm, 60μm, and 75μm), the Ax350i offers the following printing specifications:
|Speed (1 Line, 5 Dot Characters)||5.3 m/s||5.9 m/s||7.1 m/s||6.8 m/s|
Across nozzle selections, the Ax350i offers print heights of 32 dots/20mm with a single printhead and up to 64 dots/40mm with a dual printhead setup.
Beyond improved speed and print height, the Ax350i also beats the Ax150i when it comes to environmental fortification. Like the Ax150i, the Ax350i is built with an IP55 cabinet. However, the Ax350i offers extra electronic protection as well, thanks to the printer’s IP66 electronic enclosure. This is unique to Domino and gives the Ax350i a slight advantage in washdown environments. The Ax350i is a system designed to compete in facilities that are hot, humid, or have some water components; however, it wasn’t designed for dusty environments or environments that carry airborne particles.
In terms of operational specifications, the Ax550i is identical to the Ax350i. The difference between these two models lies in environmental fortification.
The Ax550i is designed to operate in dusty, wet environments without issue. To maximize environmental resistance, the Ax550i is built with a marine-grade 316 stainless steel cabinet.
This IP66-rated, dust-tight cabinet is designed to be highly resistant against:
However, although the Ax550i’s cabinet is built with high-quality steel, customers have reported signs of rusting within a few months of installation. Comparatively, the best heavy-duty printers on the market can fend off signs of corrosion for much longer. If your facility requires top-of-the-line protection from its printers, the Ax550i may not be the ideal solution it claims to be.
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