There is a wide variety of brands and models of industrial inline printers and coders. Typically they are used to imprint information (e.g. lot number, date, bar codes, company logo & address, and product information) on bags and cases/boxes. These printers can be positioned in the production line before or after the filling station.

The two most common imprinters found in the package industry are the mechanical ink rollers and inkjet printers. Mechanical ink rollers are inexpensive, but limited in the amount and location of the printed information. Inkjet printers can be easily programed to imprint almost unlimited amount of information in virtually any location on a bag or case.

Mechanical Ink Rollers

A mechanical ink roller has a rotating wheel with raised characters/numbers that “stamp” a message when pressed on the material. Ink rollers are usually limited to 1-3 lines (wheels) with less than 40 characters/line. Ink rollers typically print a short message/code in a single color (usually black). Ink rollers are inexpensive and the ink low cost.

Dot Matrix Printers

Like an old typewriter, a dot matrix printer has a matrix of pins that strike a ribbon to produce a character. The dot matrix printer is a high volume, low resolution printer. The dot matrix printer can print only text (no graphics) in a single color (black, red, blue). The dot matrix printer is high cost, but the ribbons are low cost.

Injet Printers

The inkjet printer’s printhead ejects micro dots of liquid ink on the material. The inkjet printer can print black or color and text or graphics with a medium resolution. The inkjet printer is low cost, but the ink cartridges (especially color) are relatively high cost compared to other printer types.

Laser Printers

Like a Xerox copier, the laser printer heat fuses toner to the material to product images. The laser printer can produce very high resolution text and images at a high speed. The laser printers are relatively higher priced, but the toner cartridge’s cost is typically low for black (color is more expensive). Laser printers are good for high resolution and high volume.

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