Date coding is a must in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry for tracking, batch identification, food safety compliance, and creating customer confidence around product quality.
There are many different technologies for industrial marking and coding with Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) coders dominating the small character printing market with the ability to quickly print basic lot, batch, and date codes on a variety of applications.
The functionality of CIJ coders also comes with costly inconveniences, including a substantial purchase price, service contracts and fees, and production loss due to printer downtime.
Recent advancements in Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) print technology has closed the gap in functionality with CIJ coders and now provides FMCG manufacturers with a cost-savings alternative.
Here are three ways that date coding with a TIJ printer pays off, in comparison to standard CIJs:
1. INITIAL INVESTMENT
Buying it right the first time, and not overpaying on the front or the backend is always a balancing act for purchasing agents and small business owners. This is no different when it comes to buying a date coder. CIJ coders can run anywhere from $5,000 – $15,000+ and usually include expensive service contracts.
TIJ coders cost less to acquire and maintain, prices starting around $800 for the economy models that only print on porous materials and up to $2,000+ for the higher-end, quality models that print onto non-porous materials. Due to the almost non-existence maintenance needs of TIJ printers most also don’t require the added expense of a service contract, including the Redimark TC12 priced at $1,495 for the complete thermal inkjet system.
2. STARTUP TIME
As the old adage goes, “time is money,” and a slow startup is the first place a date coder can start costing you both. CIJ coders take up to 10 minutes to be print-ready, leading to wasted operator time and unneeded production downtime. In comparison, most TIJ coders, including the Redimark TC12 Thermal Inkjet Date Coder, are plug and print-ready. No wasted time for your operator and no production line delay.
This is where TIJ saves the most time and money in comparison to CIJ. Even low-maintenance CIJ coders need frequent cleaning and regular maintenance by trained technicians, taking them off the production floor. Any needed repairs or extra maintenance also requires a trained technician to come onsite. Depending on speed of service and severity of the issue, this can lead to prolonged periods of production downtime, from days to even weeks. These service calls usually are not covered by the service contract and incur additional service fees, some as much as the cost of a brand new TIJ coder.
TIJ coders require no maintenance and minimal cleaning…if any. TIJ coder repair and replacements are also a time and money saver. For example, the Redimark Customer Success Engineers troubleshoot issues with operators on the spot, via phone, chat, and email. The average time it takes to have customers back up and printing is 5 minutes or less, as long as a replacement part isn’t needed. If a replacement part is required, it is mailed out same/next day and free of charge if within one year of coder purchase.
Ready to replace your CIJ coder with a more cost-effective small character marking and coding solution, but not sure which TIJ date coder to choose? Read our blog on Are All Thermal Inkjet Coders the Same, by Dean Hornsby, FMCG industry expert.