Lexmark has recently made public its intention of quitting the inkjet printing business. This has to do with HP, Canon and Epson dominating the market, but mainly with a serious decrease of consumer use. It was just a matter of time until people, benefiting from social media sites, would lose interest in the printed image.

According to BBC News, Lexmark would stop development of the technology by 2013 and close its inkjet supplies factory in Cebu, Philippines by 2015.

While the interest in consumer printing photos has faded, the one in labelling has increased. Various legislations underline the importance of consumers being informed about the products they are purchasing. The information is done through printed labels or messages.

The APLINK Series from ALS are inkjet printing systems that can cover a wide range of marking and coding industrial applications for porous but also non-porous surfaces. Industrial inkjet printers are used in a range of businesses area: food industry, medical industry, cosmetics industry, package labelling and security labelling.

What are the main advantages?

  •  very good resolution and clarity
  • flexibility and economic production

 How do industrial inkjet printers work?

Industrial inkjet printers work by propelling droplets of ink onto paper from a computer produced digital image.

There are two main technologies: continuous inkjet (CIJ) and drop on demand (DOD). The CIJ is used commercially for marking and coding of products and packages.
The DOD technology uses a piezoelectric crystal in each nozzle instead of a heating element. When current is applied, the crystal changes shape or size, forcing a droplet of ink from the nozzle. The advantage of piezoelectric ink jets is that they allow a wider variety of inks than thermal or continuous ink jet.
An example of the piezoelectronic application is the “use before” date. In this case the head is stationary and the product moves, which highlights the long service and the low operating cost.

Although invented in 1976, the inkjet printer became a home consumer item only in 1988 when Hewlett-Packard made it available for an exorbitant sum. Having lost in the consumer sector recently, it has been perfected to respond to an increasing industrial demand.
Apart from offering label applicators and thermal transfer printers, ALS is also dedicated to industrial inkjet printers, as one of the best choice for porous materials.