November 30, 2021 

The Best Case Coding Printers for 2021

Searching for the best case coding printers 2021 has to offer? Click here to learn about some of the best printer models on the market today.

When it comes to shipping materials, cardboard is perhaps the most important packaging substrate in the world today. Every year, companies across the world use cardboard boxes to send their products along far-reaching supply chains and distribution networks. Companies like Amazon may ship more than one million cardboard packages in a single day. 

To ensure that all of these packages make it to their intended locations, companies need to label their shipping cartons according to the standards set by their distribution partners. Although labeling guidelines differ on a case-by-case basis, distributors most often require a printed label filled out with essential information, as well as direct carton markings like:

  • Product names/descriptions.
  • Machine-scannable barcodes.
  • Identification numbers.
  • Logos/images.
  • Date codes.

With these markings, distribution chains can achieve full product traceability and maintain high levels of operational efficiency. However, to create successful case codes, high-quality printing hardware must be used.

If you’re in the market for a new marking solution, here are four of the best case coding printers 2021 has to offer. 

The Best High-Res Case Coding Printers for 2021

High-resolution piezo inkjet (PIJ) printers have been a go-to case coding option since they were first introduced in the 1970s. PIJ printers, which are built with large printheads and are capable of using thick oil-based inks to mark materials, are valued for their ability to create vibrant images, easily-scanned barcodes, and long-lasting text characters. These printheads also allow users to make codes and images three to four times larger than other printer types can match. 

For those looking to incorporate a PIJ printer into their operation, we recommend the following two options:

1. Squid Ink CoPilot 500 Turbo 

Founded in 1992 as an inkjet fluid manufacturer, Squid Ink is as well-known today for its high-quality marking equipment as it is for its ink formulas. The company offers everything from continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers to laser coding systems, and its high-resolution printers like the CoPilot 500 Turbo have been especially popular.

Released in 2017, the 500 Turbo is still viewed as one of the best case coding systems on the market. Designed to deliver excellent print quality on porous cardboard and non-porous materials, the CoPilot 500 Turbo can create codes and images up to 2.8” tall with a single printhead (5.6” with a dual printhead setup). All codes can be printed at resolutions up to 180 DPI, guaranteeing machine scannability. 

Other important features include:

  • An operating temperature of 34-104°F for oil-based ink and 62-100°F for solvent-based ink.
  • A print speed up to 205 ft/min with oil-based ink and 150 ft/min with solvent-based ink.
  • 4GB of storage space, with room for more than 1,000 messages.

2. FoxJet ProSeries 768E

While Squid Ink just recently entered the case coding world, FoxJet has been a major name in the field since the late 1990s. Owned by manufacturing giant ITW, FoxJet is well-known for its reliable equipment and especially for its high-resolution piezoelectric printers. 

The FoxJet ProSeries 768E is the company’s current top case coding option. The ProSeries 768E offers a maximum print height of 4” and is capable of creating graphics, barcodes, and alphanumeric information up to 300 DPI. To deliver maximum print quality consistently, the ProSeries 768E is built with a self-cleaning system that auto-flushes the printhead’s nozzle to eliminate ink build-up. The printer’s stainless steel construction also allows the system to withstand many of the harsh environmental factors that could negatively impact performance

Other important features include:

  • An operating temperature of 50-104°F.
  • An operating relative humidity of 20-80% (non-condensing).

The Best Thermal Inkjet Case Coding Printers for 2021

Along with PIJ printers, thermal inkjet printers (TIJ) are one of the best options for direct-print case coding. Powered by disposable ink cartridges, TIJ printers are compact case coding systems that are available at an accessible price point. Although some TIJ printers are built with smaller printhead nozzles and are incapable of creating the large images often required in case coding, many of today’s top printers are equipped with printheads that meet operator demands. 

Below, we detail two of the best case coding TIJ printers on the market today.

1. Anser X1

Released in 2021, the X1 is not only the latest addition to Anser’s line of TIJ printers, but it’s also the fastest and most versatile printer model the company has to offer. 

The Anser X1 is a high-speed TIJ model that can reach speeds up to 300m/min (DPI-dependent) and is capable of controlling two different production lines at the same time. Along with these CIJ-level printing speeds, the X1 is a great case coding printer because of its high-resolution coding abilities (up to 600 x 600 DPI) and print height (1” with a single printhead, 2” with stitched printheads). In addition, the X1’s controller is built with IP66 protection, providing the printer with full protection against dust particles and high-pressure jets of water.

Other important features include:

  • An operating temperature of 32-104°F. 
  • An operating relative humidity of 0-90% (non-condensing).
  • Two max printheads.

2. Videojet 8520

Videojet has been known as a global leader in the coding and marking field since at least the 1950s. Today, it sells printing solutions for nearly every application imaginable, and for TIJ case coding, the Wolke 8520 is its premier offering.

Although the Videojet 8520 can’t match the Anser X1 in speed (the 8520 maxes out at 109m/min), this TIJ model matches the competition when it comes to DPI resolution (600 x 600). The 8520 is also able to match the X1’s max print height of 2”, although this requires four stiched printheads from the 8520, as the printer’s compatible nozzles are smaller than those of the X1. However, when not stitching printheads together, users of the 8520 do benefit from the system’s ability to independently operate all four printheads.

Other important features include:

  • An operating temperature of 41-113°F.

Want to learn more about the best case coding printers of 2021? 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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