August 24, 2021 

Heavy-Duty Industrial Inkjet Printers for Harsh Environments

Heavy-duty industrial inkjet printers ensure marking success even in the harshest environments.

Chemical packaging sites, cable extrusion facilities, and automotive production plants are just a few of the harsh environments that commonly utilize industrial inkjet printers. Used to place traceable markings and important consumer information on product packaging, inkjet printers are found throughout the manufacturing and packaging industries. From coding pharmaceutical blister packs to marking miles of wires and cables, line operators rely on inkjet printers to ensure that their products comply with the traceability standards set by supply chain partners and government agencies. 

However, environmental hazards pose a constant risk to marking success. Dust, humidity, excessive dryness, high heat, and low temperatures not only threaten code legibility, but they may damage equipment as well. Without the proper precautions, these factors may result in:

  • Illegible codes.
  • Expensive hardware damages.
  • Profit-draining downtime.

Fortunately, the engineers in the coding and marking industry have answers to these problems. With today’s technology, line operators can account for harsh workplace conditions and deliver continued making success. Here are three of the best heavy-duty industrial inkjet printers that the industry has to offer.

The Three Best Heavy-Duty Industrial Inkjet Printers by Technology Type

Just as the manufacturing and packaging industries are filled with different divisions that face unique challenges, the inkjet world is made up of diverse technologies to address particular problems. Some of the most prevalent inkjet printer types include:

  • Continuous inkjet printers, designed for uninterrupted high-speed printing.
  • Thermal inkjet printers, compact and capable of making high-DPI codes at moderate speeds.
  • Valve jet printers, a type of drop-on-demand printer ideal for large character marking on a variety of substrates.

Given the popularity of these three model types, we have profiled an industry-leading heavy-duty industrial inkjet printer for each category. 

The Best Heavy-Duty Continuous Inkjet Printer: VideoJet 1880

Since the 1960s, Videojet has been a global leader in the continuous inkjet market. Today, printer models like the Videojet 1880 keep the company’s reputation in high standing. 

Offering complete dust protection and pressurized water resistance thanks to an IP66 rating, the 1880 is built to maximize uptime, even in harsh surroundings. With an operating temperature range of 32-122°F (0-50°C) and a relative humidity range of 10-90% (non-condensing), the 1880 can maintain coding speeds up to 334 meters per minute in many challenging environments, including:

  • Extrusion plants.
  • Hot canning lines.
  • Cold produce packaging facilities.
  • Automotive/aerospace production factories.

To further extend uptime, the 1880 is built with MAXIMiZE™, an internal diagnostic suite that constantly monitors the system’s health. With MAXIMiZE™, users are provided with on-screen notifications regarding required maintenance and recommendations on how to boost performance. This guidance helps users keep the system in top shape without service trips. However, when evaluating this printer, be sure to inquire about the price and what is included with the MAXIMiZE™ software once the initial one- or two-year trial has ended.

A potential con of the 1880 is its expense. The standard printer, as well as software, installation, and other options, will range from $18,000-$20,000. Additionally, although the filters are easy to replace, individual replacements cost hundreds of dollars each. 

The Best Heavy-Duty Thermal Inkjet Printer: Markoprint IP-Jet HP Ultimate

Developed by German printer-manufacturer Markoprint, the IP-Jet HP Ultimate is one of the toughest TIJ printers on the market. Specifically designed for challenging food and beverage applications such as in meat packaging facilities (though also well-suited for pharmaceutical and chemical packaging), the IP-Jet HP Ultimate is capable of printing 300 DPI codes at 180 meters per minute. For environmental protection, the IP-Jet HP Ultimate is built with:

  • An IP65 structure for dust and water protection.
  • IP67-protected plug-in connectors for secure external connections.
  • A combined printhead and controller for simplified wet cleaning.

Compatible with both water- and solvent-based formulas, the IP-Jet HP Ultimate can print on a variety of porous and non-porous substrates in temperatures ranging from 41-104°F (5-40°C) and relative humidity ranging from 10-90% (non-condensing). 

Markoprint isn’t picky about who can distribute this printer, and thus the IP-Jet HP Ultimate is available through a long list of independent resellers in the United States. With all of its available options, this unit has a total sticker price of $8,500.

The Best Heavy-Duty Valve Jet Printer: Rea Jet DOD 2.0

Known for creating long-lasting, reliable valve jet printers, Rea Jet has been dominating the building materials industry for years. Offering printer models that can create large-character codes in the most extreme environments, Rea Jet’s equipment excels in marking everything from wood and stone to PVC pipes.

The Rea Jet DOD 2.0 is a valve jet printer that lives up to the company’s reputation. Compatible with printheads with seven to 32 nozzles, the DOD 2.0 is capable of creating text and images up to 140 millimeters high. Built with stainless steel components and able to use both pigmented and non-pigmented inks, the DOD 2.0 offers the following specs:

  • IP65 structural protection.
  • Operating temperature of 23-113°F (-5-45°C).
  • Printing speeds up to 600 meters per minute.
  • Up to one-meter high printing heights with cascading printhead arrangement.

Factor in the DOD 2.0’s reliable vibration resistance, which prevents fuzzy code printing, and it’s clear that this valve jet model is a great choice for even the most extreme environments. Rea Jet also manufactures its own valve jet heads, which has helped the company sustain the quality of the components. However, it’s important to note that Rea Jet has a tendency to register customers for multiyear contracts with service included to lock in the consumables. The systems are open pour, and many aftermarket suppliers can help save consumers money with this specific system. 

Find the Best Inkjet Printer to Fit Your Needs

These three machines represent some of the most resilient inkjet printers on the market today. Of course, the coding and marking industry is home to far more than just three printers. With thousands of models and diverse marking technologies available to the public, companies have the freedom to find a printer that best fits their needs. 
If none of the above-profiled machines works for you, stay tuned to Coding and Marking Digest. Dedicated to covering the best and newest marking equipment in the field, we’ll make sure that you stay as informed as possible.

Learn more about heavy-duty industrial inkjet printers by subscribing to the C&M Digest 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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