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Don’t let fast drying ink slow down your CIJ coding process
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Continuous inkjet printers (CIJ) use super-fast drying solvent-based inks. One of the technology challenges presented by these inks is that they aren't too particular where they dry. With CIJ technology, the formation of drops from an inkjet stream creates a mist (or satellite drops) which builds up a layer of ink over time on the components inside the CIJ print head, causing print failure. Routine cleaning of ink with solvent from the components in a print head is required to maintain best print quality and uptime.

Some CIJ manufacturers developed an automatic solution to clean the print head by adding a solvent spray cycle in the print head. Some solutions add components to the print head to attract the ink mist which is then washed out with solvent. One assumes operator time will be reduced with an automated process. However, that is not the case. An automatic cleaning process still relies on manual intervention for the following steps:

  • Pull the print head from the production line
  • Start the process
  • Ensure the printhead is dry before placing back on the product line
  • Dispose of the hazardous solvent waste.


Cleaning processes that promise to protect the user from solvent fumes still expose the operator to fumes when disposing of the solvent.


CIJ users assume a cost of ownership savings with an automatic cleaning feature. Note that you CANNOT print when cleaning a print head. Automatic cleaning requires solvent flowing in a set cycle (usually takes 10 to 17 minutes) and cannot be interrupted once begun. The automatic function produces excess solvent waste compared to manual cleaning.

Linx 8900 series CIJ systems are designed for visual inspection of your print heads with an expectation to manually clean it in a 5- to 10-minute process every 100 starts/stops or 3 months. Our print heads are kept cleaner by being fully sealed and by using a unique flushing sequence at both start up and shut down.

Contact us today to learn more about Linx continuous inkjet printing.

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