Processes | 1 MINUTE READ

Decorating: Continuous Inkjet Printer for Coding Dark Surfaces

Paul Leibinger’s new JET3up PI is designed to handle difficult-to-process inks, greatly reducing cleanup required. 

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A new continuous inkjet printer is specifically designed to overcome problems of printing on black plastics with traditional inkjet printers and pigmented inks.  Launched by Germany’s Paul Leibinger GmbH (U.S. office in East Troy, Wisconsin), the JET3up PI allows companies to mark product packaging, cables, pipes, wires and electronic parts on-the-fly during production.

At belt speeds of up to 10 m/s, up to five-line texts and graphics in white, yellow, orange or silver-grey are printed on the product surface without contact—on request as a micro-code with a font height of only 0.8 mm.  Specially designed to handle difficult-to-process inks (heavily pigmented such as blacks), the new printer is said to significantly reduce the amount of cleaning required compared to other continuous inkjet printers.

Key to this capability is Leibinger’s development of an automatic nozzle sealing system called Sealtronic. Before the inkjet in the print head turns off, the gutter tube that catches ink drops that are not used for printing automatically moves to the nozzle. The result is an airtight ink circuit. In the printer’s stand-by-mode, an automatic timer activates an ink agitator in the hydraulic system that circulates the ink. Regular motion reportedly prevents build-up and clumping. Moreover, Leibinger designed the hydraulics so that they do not require external compressed air. Contamination of the pigmented ink by water, oil or rust is said to be avoided.  

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