What is Coding & Marking Equipment?
Coding and marking equipment refers to a wide range of machines that are used to apply identification information to products, packaging, or other surfaces.
This can include text, numbers, symbols, or other markings that are used for a variety of purposes, such as identifying a product's manufacturer, expiration date, or other important information.
These machines can be used in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, and logistics, to help ensure that products are accurately and efficiently identified and tracked throughout their lifecycle.
TYPES of Coding & Marking Systems: Inkjet, laser, & Thermal Transfer
There are many different types of coding and marking equipment available, including inkjet printers, laser markers, and thermal transfer printers, among others.
Inkjet, laser, and thermal transfer coding and marking systems are all methods of applying identification information to products or surfaces, but they work in different ways:
Inkjet coding and marking systems use inkjet technology to apply markings onto a surface. An inkjet printer sprays droplets of ink onto a substrate to create the desired markings. Inkjet systems are generally used for printing small quantities of products, such as labeling individual items or printing variable data, and are commonly used in industries such as retail and healthcare.
Laser coding and marking systems use a laser beam to create markings on a surface. The laser beam is directed at the substrate, and the heat generated by the beam vaporizes the material, leaving a permanent marking. Laser systems are often used for printing high volumes of products, and are suitable for a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, and ceramics. They are commonly used in industries such as manufacturing, automotive, and aerospace.
Thermal transfer coding and marking systems use heat and pressure to transfer ink or other marking material from a ribbon onto a substrate. A thermal print head applies heat to the ribbon, causing the ink to transfer onto the substrate. Thermal transfer systems are commonly used for printing large volumes of products, such as packaging and labels, and are suitable for a wide range of materials.
Two Main Types of Coding & MArking Inkjet SyStems
Small-character inkjet coders can print in areas as small as 1-to 2- millimeters in height. They code variable data on a wide range of substrates. Including products with irregular, uneven and curved surfaces such as bottles and cans. These type of systems are used across many market segments, including in the beverage industry.
Large-character inkjet coders are often used to produce barcodes, logos, and product descriptions. When legibility and machine scan-ability of the codes are the top requirements, such as during shipping and palletizing.
Industries Where Coding & Marking Machine Usage is Common
Food and Beverage Industry: The food and beverage industry extensively use coding and marking machines for product labeling, batch and expiry date printing, nutritional information, barcoding, and traceability. These machines help ensure compliance with food safety regulations and provide accurate information to consumers.
Pharmaceutical Industry: In the pharmaceutical industry, coding and marking machines are crucial for printing essential information on medicine packaging, including batch numbers, manufacturing dates, expiration dates, serial numbers, and barcodes. These machines enable accurate tracking, traceability, and help prevent counterfeiting.
Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry: The cosmetics and personal care industry relies on coding and marking machines for labeling products with ingredients, usage instructions, manufacturing dates, and batch codes. These machines ensure compliance with labeling regulations and facilitate product identification and traceability.
Packaging and Labeling Industry: Coding and marking machines are widely used within the packaging and labeling industry itself. These machines help print labels, barcodes, and product information on a variety of packaging materials, such as boxes, cartons, labels, pouches, and containers.
Automotive and Industrial Manufacturing: In the automotive and industrial manufacturing sectors, coding and marking machines are used to mark components, parts, and finished products with identification codes, serial numbers, and other relevant information. This aids in tracking products, managing inventory, and ensuring quality control.
Electronics Industry: Coding and marking machines find application in the electronics industry for marking components, circuit boards, and electronic devices with unique identifiers, serial numbers, logos, and other essential information. These machines help with inventory management, product traceability, and brand identification.
Chemical and Petrochemical Industry: Coding and marking machines are employed in the chemical and petrochemical industry for labeling containers, drums, and bulk packaging with safety information, hazard symbols, batch codes, and product details. These machines assist in complying with safety regulations and enable effective traceability.
Coding and marking machines are versatile and can be adapted to meet the specific requirements of various industries.
Coding & Marking Applications
Product Identification: Coding and marking machines are used to print essential information on packaging materials, such as batch numbers, expiry dates, manufacturing dates, barcodes, and serial numbers. This helps in product identification, traceability, and facilitates quality control and inventory management.
Regulatory Compliance: Many industries, such as food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, have strict regulatory requirements regarding product labeling. Coding and marking machines enable manufacturers to comply with these regulations by accurately printing mandatory information like ingredients, nutritional values, warning labels, and safety instructions.
Branding and Promotions: Coding and marking machines are used to print logos, brand names, and promotional messages on packaging materials. This helps in enhancing brand recognition, marketing products, and attracting customer attention on store shelves.
Track and Trace: Coding and marking solutions enable track and trace capabilities, allowing manufacturers and retailers to monitor the movement of products throughout the supply chain. This is particularly important for ensuring product authenticity, preventing counterfeiting, and managing recalls or returns.
Variable Data Printing: Coding and marking machines can handle variable data printing, allowing manufacturers to print unique codes or personalized information on each product. This is useful for implementing loyalty programs, contests, or unique identifiers for warranty purposes.
Anti-Counterfeiting Measures: Advanced coding and marking technologies, such as invisible ink or specialty inks, can be employed to incorporate anti-counterfeiting measures on packaging. These features help protect products from counterfeiters and provide an additional layer of security.
Packaging Quality Control: Some coding and marking machines include integrated quality control systems that verify the accuracy and readability of printed codes. This ensures that the coding is legible and meets the required standards, reducing the risk of packaging errors and improving overall quality control processes.
Packaging Automation: Coding and marking machines can be integrated into automated packaging lines, allowing for seamless and efficient production. They can be synchronized with other packaging equipment to print codes or labels in real-time as products move through the packaging process.
Find the Best Marking & Coding Machines for your Business
Each type of coding and marking system has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for a particular application will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the project.
Contact Crown Packaging to speak with our equipment experts to find the right inkjet or laser coding solution for your specific application today.