Thermal inkjet (TIJ) ink cartridges are beneficial to industrial businesses in several ways. Not only are they lightweight, compact, and intuitive, but they’re also easy to install and remove. TIJ ink cartridges facilitate the drop ejection process and allow operators to mark everything from corrugated cardboard to plastic bottles.
For decades, one of the biggest names within the TIJ world has been Videojet, which was founded in the late 1960s. Currently, Videojet has a global presence, with 26 international branches and more than 2,600 employees. Through these outlets, Videojet sells marking technologies such as laser etchers, thermal transfer overprinters, and of course, thermal inkjet printers and cartridges.
As with most industrial suppliers, Videojet sells its products at better prices when consumers buy in bulk. This often leads to cartridge overstock. While having a well-stocked ink inventory will help you avoid potential downtime and supply chain disruptions, if the cartridges are not stored properly, they can become unusable.
To avoid damaging your printing supplies, learn how to store Videojet ink cartridges by following these best practices.
Excessive heat can be damaging to your ink cartridges. As part of the drop ejection process, TIJ printers mark substrates by heating an ink-filled chamber. As the ink heats up, it vaporizes and generates bubbles. Upon the bubble’s collapse, the ink escapes from the printer and lands on the substrate.
If the cartridges are stored above room temperature (i.e. around 68–76 °F or 20–24.5 °C), this process may inadvertently start on a small scale. The heat causes the ink to foam, bubble, and expand within the cartridge, leading to leak-related damage.
Maintaining a warm, comfortable temperature in your storage space can keep your cartridges viable for years.
Videojet ink cartridges are also susceptible to dry air. Excessively dry environments can dehydrate the ink, damage internal parts, and harm the printhead. With long-term exposure, these effects may even render the cartridge unusable.
To avoid these problems, keep your cartridges in sealed plastic bags. The bag acts as moisture control, preventing the printhead and other cartridge parts from drying out. For added protection, place a lightly damp sponge or paper towel in the bag and secure it shut with elastic bands.
Exposure to both natural and artificial light may lower the quality of your stored ink, especially if the nozzle is exposed. Although these effects may appear minimal at first, they compound over time. Lower quality ink naturally leads to lower quality codes, and if your markings are illegible, it can lead to major issues across your supply chain. Reduce these risks by finding a dark or dimly lit spot to keep your ink cartridges.
If you are storing cartridges for continuous inkjet printers, it is also best practice to keep the bottles in a locked cabinet. CIJ printers utilize two kinds of cartridges—one for ink, and one for solvent/make-up. If these cartridges are installed incorrectly, it can cause mechanical problems within the printer. By putting these cartridges under lock-and-key and, operators can restrict access to only those who understand how to properly install the cartridges, thus avoiding potential hardware damages.
When cartridges have been opened and lightly used, they should always be stored in upright positions. When TIJ cartridges are placed upside down or on their sides, the ink could start to leak out the printhead.
Stay vigilant about upright storage to avoid damaging your ink supply.
As an industrial marking tool, TIJ printers are capable of daily use with little or no ongoing maintenance. However, periods of downtime do require the operator to perform certain actions to maintain peak cartridge performance.
If you aren’t going to be using your TIJ printer for an extended period of time, follow these steps:
When it comes to thermal inkjet printers, proper storage is a must. Fortunately, learning how to store Videojet ink cartridges isn’t complicated. By maintaining proper storage space and knowing basic TIJ upkeep, you can make sure that your supplies stay viable for years.
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