Best Industrial Printer For Case Coding? – TIJ vs DOD (piezo) Printer Comparison
Some relevant information is required to define what is the best printer for case coding needs. It is crucial to compare the price of the printer but also to consider the cost of each technology, including consumables, especially for large-character industrial printers.
What to consider while searching for the right large-character printer?
- printing message size and content
- yearly production volume
- printer price
- ink price
- maintenance & other cost
Let’s start step by step to understand why these factors are so important and how they could affect the cost and be result in choosing the right industrial printer for you.
1. Printing Message Size and Content
That’s mean that you need to focus on factors, among which are:
– which font you want to use
– the height of the message you are considering to print
– how many characters are in your message
All these factors will affect the quantity of ink used for printing this message, which is the main factor for large production manufacturers. The differences could be astonishing!
Font: Like a sample, with any RN Mark printer you have various fonts to choose from. Using Arial font or DOT font could decrease the quantity of ink and cost you 1.5-2 times less. You could be surprised, but even using Times New Roman and Arial with the same height of the characters cost you different
Height: For case coding clients usually need to print at least 12 mm height 1 line, which is logically consuming more ink than printing 2-3 mm height for primary packaging. Can you read the 3 mm height print on the box? The answer is very difficult to do so. The main meaning to print on boxes is to get requested info visible from a distance, to print barcodes that could be readable with bar-code scanners for better logistics.
Quantity of Characters: what message do you want to print: characters, bar-codes, or maybe logo? Even printing 2 different d 1 or 8 will consume a different quantity of ink.
Tip: To get the numbers of prints per cartridge/bottle, contact the industrial printer manufacturer/distributor with the exact message you want to print. Clarify the height of the characters, font and give a sample of the message you want to print.
2. Yearly Production Volume
To save the cost of printing solution, tell the manufacturers/distributors more about your yearly production capacity. Of course, you know more than everybody estimated yearly production, but if no, let us help you with this. Give us an idea for the following basics:
- daily or hourly production capacity
- how many shifts per 24 hours
- the duration of each shift
- seasonal industry or not
The first question which always pops up in our mind when you want to buy something is: “How much?”
– How much is a printer?
– How much is consumables?
– How much is maintenance?
3. Printer Price
While browsing you could find that the price of the TIJ printer is cheaper than Hi-Res piezo printer. But this is, however, just one side of the coin. The TIJ printer is less expensive because you are not paying for a built-in print engine. The TIJ cartridges are included the nozzles which are part of the ink cost, which means you have to pay for the print head by each purchase of ink cartridge. What does it mean? The more you print more you pay. RN Mark as Authorized licensee of HP Inkjet Technology loves this technology and highly recommends it for small production. However, the most cost-effective technology for mid-and large production is Hi-Res DOD, cause of consumables cost. Considering case coding RN Mark, being partner of XAAR and Seiko, uses the best print engine for their range for Hi-Res piezo printers.
Let’s imagine that we could get the price for TIJ printer 1000$.
4. Ink Price
While the TIJ cartridge comes with 46 ml of ink, the RN Mark Hi-Res piezo comes with a 110 ml cartridge and bulk system with 240ml, 490ml, or 990ml. I believe you could find more or less the same capacity for Hi-Res piezo technology on the market and from other producers. And what about the price? TIJ Cartridges are much more expensive than the cost of Hi-Res piezo consumables. What about the cost of prints? – Let’s calculate together. Let’s consider the message for print with 12mm height Arial font 20 characters as below:
PRO: 28-07-2021 Peanut
I would like to highlight that for this experiment we used exactly 12 mm height, so in case you want to repeat it, please, make sure you are getting 12mm height as well.
What we could see: The cost per 1000 prints with TIJ technology is 3-6 times higher than for Hi-Res piezo (considering the size and message content above). Not so much you think? What if your production 600 000 boxes per year? You could save for ink from 12090$ to 13890$ per 5 years, cause you buy a printer, not for 1 year, but at least for 5-7 years.
5. Maintenance & Other Cost
As previously mentioned, maintenance is one of the most relevant factors to consider. The great news is RN Mark printers have low- maintenance to no maintenance and will bring your total cost lower. TIJ technology doesn’t need any maintenance. For the Hi-Res piezo Cartridge-based printer no mechanical parts are involved therefore there is no time-out for the parts. For the Bulk-system, there is some attention required, which could cost roughly 200$. At the same time for Hi-Res piezo maybe you will need 1 spray cleaner per 6 months.
Considering the above data, it is time to calculate the total cost per 5 years for using different types of technology. You could see the results in the table below.
Case Coding Cost Comparison TIJ vs Hi-Res piezo for 5 years
What we could see: Having the production 600 000 boxes per year you could save from 9985$ to 7275$ using Hi-Res piezo in comparison with TIJ (considering the size and message content above), which is almost 1.6-2 times less. In this case, why should you pay double using TIJ?
IMPORTANT: if you are looking for a case-coder to print at least 20 characters with 12mm height and your production more than 350 000 – 400 000 boxes per year, even don’t think about TIJ technology, the most cost-effective is Hi-Res piezo. But if you have less production capacity and/or want to print a smaller size – TIJ is the right fit for you! Whereas TIJ (Thermal Inkjet) can be suitable for small to medium production. Hi-Res piezo can be more cost-effective for case coding and large productions. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to get the estimated number of prints for a different technology to make the right decision.
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The most cost-effective industrial large-character printers
All technologies are important and have their niche in the market: either CIJ or TIJ, Hi-Res piezo, or laser, TTO, or Low-Res DOD, labeling or stamping. To find the right solution for your needs, try to contact different manufacturers/distributors to make a comparison and get the data that will help you to find the most cost-effective solution for yourself!
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