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Bakery industry warms to inkjet coding.

The bakery industry is showing increasing interest in inkjet printing as a method of marking price, production and distribution information on its packaging. Whether it be for brea, biscuits or baked dessert specialties, notable coding benefits are available over traditional methods such as hot stamping or embossing.

In particular, the speed with which codes can be changed has reduced downtime and, as a result, increased production control by allowing more useful and updated information to be included. The greater versality of inkjet printing also means that code location, its content and even the packaging on which it rests, can be changed without resort to different coding methods.

Videojet International produces two types of inkjet coder that are particularly suited to the demands of the bakery industry. The Excel 100 small character printer is popular for primary packaging applications and is used on surfaces like plastics bags, film, coated paperboard boxes and bags. For secondary packaging, the Maxum SM large character printer is most suitable and it will print on corrugated trays, boxes or kraft paper wrapping.

Polyethylene bags are amongst the most commonly used of these substrates and, because inkjet printing involves no contact, it eliminates the risk of damage to this and similar surfaces. Reduced reject rates can therefore be expected. When compared to hot stamp coding, inkjet methods are also characterised by higher printing speeds, producing significant production savings overall.

Environmental conditions in the bakery industry are generally warm and dusty, which places special demands on both printers and inks. To overcome such problems, the Excell 100 uses positive air pressure to prevent dust from entering the printhead and contaminating the ink. It also maintains steady ink viscosity despite wide temperature variations, even when the printer is idle.

The ink itself must usually dry within 3 to 5 seconds, depending on the exact application, must give a high contrast on various surfaces and meet all the safety requirements of the food industry. Videojet produces its own inks, including types which are ketone-free, and they meet US government FDA regulations regarding inks for food barriers.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Jun 1, 1991
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