Understand the different coding and marking technologies
Although it is one of the essential components of Indian manufacturing activity, knowledge of the coding and marking space remains unknown to the general public. In recent years, product coding and marking has become extremely critical to the success of the entire supply chain and quality control process. The coding and marking industry helps large manufacturing companies identify, track and trace their products as well as prevent counterfeiting of goods. Printing of essential product details such as date of manufacture, expiry date, batch number, maximum retail price, place of manufacture, QR codes, etc. on any manufacturing product in any sector is now a government regulatory mandate. Considering this, the coding and tagging industry has seen a huge increase in business. Mr. Shiva Kabra, Co-General Manager, Control Print Ltd.during a discussion with CXOToday shares his detailed ideas on the same subject.
- Could you give us an overview of the coding and marking industry and what are the benefits of coding and marking systems across industries?
Coding and marking basically refers to printing variable information such as batch code, lot number, QR code, MRP, date of manufacture, expiry date and more, on the printer. product packaging during the manufacturing process. Printing these essential product details on any manufactured product across all sectors is now a government regulatory mandate. Given this, the coding and tagging industry has seen a huge increase in business opportunities and is expected to grow by 10-15% over the next 2-3 years.
In recent years, product coding and marking has become extremely critical to the success of the entire supply chain and quality control process. The coding and marking industry helps large manufacturing companies identify, track and trace their products as well as prevent counterfeit goods.
In line with the government’s efforts to make India self-sufficient, the coding and marking industry has also contributed to the development of the country’s manufacturing, packaging, start-ups, SMEs, and food and beverage industries. . It provides solutions to these companies for a variety of purposes such as regulatory requirements, inventory management, traceability, branding and anti-counterfeiting. The advancement in coding and marking technology has not only helped these companies to solve their problems, but it has also greatly contributed to the growth of the country’s developing economy.
- What are some of the technologies used for coding and marking?
Here are some technologies used for coding and marking:
- Continuous Ink Jet Printer (CIJ): Versatile and cost-effective coding solution suitable for almost anyone Using world-class technology, our CIJ is built with Indian factory working conditions in mind.
- Thermal Inkjet Printer (TIJ): Reliable, maintenance-free and failure-free. An ideal high-resolution printer for the pharmaceutical industry and the printer of choice for shipping box coding.
- Thermal Transfer Printer (TTO): Thermal transfer technology uses a thermal print head composed of individual ceramic resistors that are selectively heated to transfer the desired image from a coated ribbon directly to the substrate.
- Laser printer: The laser printers use SPA laser technology which makes this laser batch coding machine a more functional investment than other equipment as it can be adapted, module by module, to the specific needs of your production line.
- Large Character Printer (LCP): The Large Character Printer is the strongest and most robust printer in our range. These printers are ideal for printing variable information and text on hard-to-print surfaces, especially when the printed value needs to be visible from a distance.
- High resolution (HR) printer: The high resolution printer is designed to help businesses save money while increasing packaging line flexibility and automation. With 180 dpi resolution and a large print head, this printer is perfect for printing labels, barcodes and logos directly onto shipping boxes.
- What are some of the best coding and marking systems available in India
Continuous inkjet, thermal inkjet and laser are the best coding and marking systems available in India. They are also among the most widely used coding and marking equipment.
- How have today’s printer technology and equipment evolved from those used 10 years ago?
The last 10 years have seen significant development in coding and marking technology. Previously, using a roller coder and stencil to code products was common practice. Today, inkjet, laser and digital printing technologies are widely used. Printers using these technologies are equipped with many features suitable for all sectors. These inline printers eliminate the need for manual coding and marking, helping manufacturers efficiently meet their production goals.
The needs of production plants are moving away from mass production towards multi-product, high-mix, low-volume production. The on-demand digital production market is growing. Digital printing enables low volume multi-product printing in a shorter time frame and is cost effective. Additionally, due to the shorter printing time, organizations can print a variety of designs, depending on individual needs, creativity, or the season. Additionally, it has improved supply chain efficiency and simplified variable data on packaging. One of the most important advantages of digital printing is its durability and environmental friendliness compared to conventional printing. Digital printing reduces ink waste because it only ejects ink on the parts that need to be printed. This reduces the process of cleaning the plates after printing.
With the rapid growth and development of the country, manufacturing industries demand faster, reliable and user-friendly solutions. In addition, rules and regulations relating to marking and coding are constantly changing and must be adhered to. Therefore, the latest technological solutions to meet changing needs are in high demand. New era coding and marking solutions offer different types of solutions ranging from traditional inkjet printers to the latest laser printers. These solutions are then used in different industries based on their requirements and demands.
- What are the main differences between the different printers used for coding and marking?
In continuous ink jet printers, the printing liquids are stored in two tanks inside the machine: one for the ink itself and the other for the solvent. These two liquids are then routed to a larger main reservoir where the mixture is pressurized and routed to the printhead. Continuous inkjet ejects drops continuously, while thermal inkjet printers use ink from disposable cartridges without using electrical loads.
Drop-on-demand only produces and ejects droplets when needed. Thermal transfer technology uses a thermal print head composed of individual ceramic resistors that are selectively heated to transfer the desired image from a coated ribbon directly to the substrate. While high resolution printers use oil-based ink and large printheads. It has an automatic purge mechanism that ejects a small amount of ink from the nozzles to remove dirt. This ensures that the print quality as well as the printer are always in good working order. The ink used for purging is collected, filtered and recirculated, ensuring that no ink is wasted, which also makes it one of the most affordable printers in the industry.
- There has been a boom in the sale of fiber laser printers in the coding and marking industry. Can you shed some light on what fiber laser printers are? Given this, would your company consider making a similar product? (Need customer confirmation on this)
Fiber laser printers are specifically designed for manufacturers who mark codes and other information on rugged, high-density materials such as metals and plastics. These types of printers are mainly used for plastic applications such as FMCG and hard metals such as automotive, electronics, electrical, holograms (security), traceability (QR Code) on metals (steel , aluminum, copper, etc.).
Fiber laser marking uses a wavelength of 1.064 micrometers, which is 10 times shorter than that of a CO2 laser. These systems have over 100 times more intensity than CO2 systems with equivalent power output, making them excellent choices for coding on high density packaging materials like metal and plastics.
- Please tell us about your revenue breakdown and industry expertise for coding and marking
Control Print has its services spread across several industries ranging from FMCG, Pharma, Cabe, Steel, Wires, Automotive F&B etc. However, the maximum income is generated by sectors such as Pipe, Cable & Wire, Food and Steel and FMCG.
The vertical products of thermal inkjet printer/thermal transfer printer/high resolution printer are experiencing strong growth and these products are well accepted by the market. We have dedicated managers and a team to lead these verticals with a focus on dairy, beverages, bakery (cookies), frozen food, ready-to-eat, pharmaceutical, packaging, plywood, lubricants and carton coding.