Maintaining the Highest Quality Print Image from Your Case Coding Ink Jet Printhead By Steve Liker, Product Manager – Large Character Ink Jet You’ve purchased your ink jet coder, had it installed on your production line and are printing text, logos or barcodes onto your secondary corrugated cartons. The image is of high quality and you need it to stay that way. Corrugated cartons can be dirty, generating paper fibers and dust. Add in glue dispensers, strapping systems and other factory equipment and shop floor debris and the amount of airborne debris can be considerable. The ink jet printhead prints by generating very tiny droplets that are ejected from nozzles with diameters half the size of a human hair. That combination of airborne debris and very small nozzles would seem to be a challenging issue that needs to be controlled or nozzle blockage is certain to occur impacting print quality. Your plant manager has many tasks each day to keep the plant operating smoothly without disruption. He has no time to baby sit the ink jet printhead - priming, wiping, cleaning, spraying. The printhead needs to be self-sufficient. How can this be accomplished? 1) Retracting Roller Brackets Rubbing against corrugated cartons can generate fibers. In addition, high quality print images requires maintaining a highly controlled, repeatable gap between the carton and the ink jet printhead. Diagraph offers a unique, retracting roller bracket system that positions the carton directly in front of the printhead and maintains the gap between carton and printhead for ideal print images. And unlike guard rails that rub and generate corrugated dust the Diagraph retracting roller brackets smoothly move the cartons without rubbing, preventing dust generation. 2) Automatic Cleaning System Diagraph has eliminated the need for manual operator intervention by developing the “Automatic Cleaning System” (ACS). The ACS routinely purges foreign objects like corrugated fibers and factory dust from the printhead ensuring consistent high quality printing performance. The ACS cleaning routine entails a very small volume of ink being expelled from the nozzles, pushing external contaminant out with the expelled ink. The ink is then vacuumed up and collected for later disposal. The time period between ACS cleaning cycles can be adjusted more or less frequently according to the degree of airborne dust and contaminants around the ink jet printhead. The ACS minimizes maintenance expenditures and downtime keeping the image quality perfect! At Diagraph, we are dedicated in solving your coding and labeling challenges. Diagraph has been assisting customers for over 120 years improving production line efficiencies with simple, reliable, cost-effective coding and labeling solutions. Contact us to learn more about the Large Character Inkjet product line. Visit us at www.diagraph.com or contact us at 800.722.1125.