September 28, 2021 

Advantages of a Handheld Thermal Inkjet Printer

Some of the advantages of a handheld thermal inkjet printer include its high portability, versatility, and high-quality coding results

Thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers have been a premier industrial marking technology ever since they first entered the market in the mid-1990s. Compact, yet still capable of producing high-DPI codes and markings, TIJ printers are commonly used in industries ranging from construction material production to food and beverage packaging, and they’re lauded for easily fitting into existing workflows as well as for their versatile application possibilities and limited maintenance needs

TIJ printers work by heating ink that is stored in a removable cartridge. By applying heat to the ink source, enough pressure is created to propel ink droplets towards a substrate. Not only does this operating principle create high-quality, long-lasting codes, but it can also be completed exclusively with the aid of battery power sources. This allows for TIJ printers to come in handheld varieties, giving operators unmatched mobility.

Mobility is just one of the advantages handheld thermal inkjet printers can offer, however. Let’s explore some of the other benefits of using handheld TIJ printers and why they’re gaining popularity in the coding and marking industry.

3 Key Advantages of a Handheld Thermal Inkjet Printer

Many businesses and production facilities favor handheld thermal inkjet printers for marking and coding their products. Here, we break down three important advantages of handheld thermal inkjet printers to show why they’re used across industries.

1. High Portability

As expected, one of the biggest advantages of a handheld thermal inkjet printer is its high level of mobility. TIJ printers have always been valued for their ability to fit into tighter spaces than other marking options. Their low weight (five pounds, more or less), compact size, and rechargeable battery-power sources benefit production setups that can’t accommodate the presence of hefty power cables or large machinery. Handheld TIJ models take this portability to the next level. 

Bearing a resemblance to cordless drills, handheld TIJ models are incredibly easy to move around and use in practically any setting. This versatility is particularly beneficial to production setups with bulky materials that are difficult to move. For example, handheld TIJ printers are commonly found in:

  • Lumber production.
  • Construction material production.
  • Automotive/aerospace part manufacturing.

With the portability of a handheld TIJ printer, workers in these fields can mark their products with distinct codes that enable complete traceability, reduce the risk of counterfeiting, and ensure product quality.

2. The Ability to Replace Less Intuitive Technologies

The versatility of thermal inkjet printers makes them a great fit for a wide variety of applications. While older TIJ printers faced issues regarding ink selection, technological advances have enabled many modern TIJs to be compatible with both solvent-based and water-based formulas. Consequently, today’s TIJ printers can mark more substrates than ever before, spanning the spectrum of both porous and non-porous materials, including:

  • Plastic.
  • Glass.
  • Wood.
  • Metal.
  • Concrete.

With this kind of material compatibility, handheld TIJ printers can be used in place of marking technologies that are physically larger, more expensive, and less intuitive. Depending on operational specifics, handheld thermal inkjet printers may be used to replace:

  • Dot-peen markers.
  • Label applicators.
  • Ink stamps.
  • Case-coding inkjet printers.

By replacing these technologies with a TIJ printer, businesses can lower their overall maintenance costs without sacrificing efficiency. 

3. Excellent Coding Results

Handheld TIJ printers are compatible with a long list of substrates, offer intuitive usage, and are easy to move. These features make them useful to a range of operations and industries. Further, these benefits do not come at the expense of code quality. 

TIJ-applied codes are instrumental to several processes, including product reporting, inventory management, and quality assurance. Given how essential these processes are, product markings like barcodes, batch numbers, and expiration dates are often required by both supply chain partners and federal regulators (as is the case with pharmaceutical production and certain food sectors). If codes are improperly placed or become unreadable over time, it can lead to product recalls, fines, and even terminated partnerships. 

A well-built TIJ printer helps companies avoid these problems by creating durable, high-DPI markings. When combined with a substrate-appropriate ink formula, TIJ printers are a great way to comply with coding guidelines without having to worry about code degradation. For example, the Anser U2 MobileOne is fully handheld and capable of:

  • Creating markings at 400 x 300 DPI.
  • Marking images with a maximum print height of 1 inch.
  • Printing characters at a speed of around 60 meters per second.

With these qualities, businesses can comply with federal guidelines, satisfy supply chain policies, and avoid the expensive consequences of mislabeling their product lines. 

Handheld TIJ Printers: Mobile, Versatile, and Powerful Tools

If you’re looking for highly portable marking hardware that doesn’t skimp on code quality, you need to explore TIJ printers. The advantages of a handheld thermal inkjet printer are plentiful, ranging from expansive substrate compatibility to high-DPI resolutions. Whether you need to mark pieces of lumber, plastic bottles, or metal parts, a handheld TIJ printer can help you get the job done.

Want to learn more about the advantages of a handheld thermal inkjet printer? Stay connected with C&M Digest by subscribing to our newsletter. With information on hardware, formulas, and other important marking topics, our newsletter will keep you updated on the latest industry developments. To get in touch with us about possible collaborations or ideas for coverage, contact us today.

C&M Digest Team

The C&M Digest Team is composed of experts from across the coding and marking world. Comprised of ink developers, hardware veterans, and engineers, our News Team delivers informed coverage that is always free from brand bias.

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