MK-G Series is the world's first fully self-troubleshooting continuous inkjet printer that completely eliminates the guesswork of inkjet maintenace and can be operated without any specialized product knowledge or skills. By incorporating KEYENCE sensor technologies to enhance self-diagnostic capabilities, the new MK-G Series can automatically perform maintenance and troubleshooting on its own – just like how a trained inkjet technician would. The unit features new funtions that ensure automatic cleaning is performed everytime before shutdown even when the power is disrupted, and allow users to check the status and perform operations on the printer remotely from PC or Smartphone.
The MK-U Series Universal Inkjet Printer is the world’s first self-cleaning printer, featuring an auto-shower cleaning function. Conventional continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers required daily head cleaning conducted by operators and it's typically unclear to them which parts should be cleaned and how thoroughly. The self-cleaning printhead has a built-in auto shower function that cleans the entire printhead with the push of a button using 70% less solvent than conventional inkjet printers. This negates the need for manual cleaning and variations in the amount of solvent used for cleaning by different operators, which significantly reduce running costs.
Industrial inkjet printers use a non-contact printing method in which the ink is sprayed on the target. This prevents the printing flaws and blur of conventional contact-type printers to make clear printing possible.
Conventionally, it was necessary to clean the parts around the ink paths by hand. With the auto-shower cleaning function, the MK-U is able to clean all of the parts associated with printing quality at once.
Continuous inkjet printers function by spraying closely controlled ink particles on to targets, such that clear and lasting marks are made. Inkjet printers are largely grouped into two categories: those that are connected to a PC for office or home use, and continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers that are used on production lines in factories for purposes. KEYENCE’s MK-G Series is a continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer and is primarily used for printing expiration dates, lot numbers, barcodes/2D codes on products in factories and warehouses. Blurring and product damage are inherently avoided from non-contact nature of inkjet printing. This technology can print at high speeds from any direction or orientation and the compact head can be mounted easily onto packaging machines or filling machines, making installation painless. Count-up values and dates can be updated automatically to prevent printing incorrect data.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers can print characters by spraying quick-drying ink in a non-contact manner, regardless of the material or shape of the targets. They have been used for printing lot codes, date codes, barcodes/2D codes on products on products, and are widely used in many industries.
In the food industry, continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers are mainly used for printing expiration dates and lot numbers in factories. Their targets include containers such as PET bottles and beer cans, packaging film of frozen food, aluminum pouch, jam jars, and coated cartons. The non-contact method allows direct printing on the curved surfaces of bottles or on film after contents are sealed. Other than the food industry, continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers are also used widely for printing information such as the length of extruded products including building materials and wires; lot numbers on cosmetics containers and boxes; and 2D codes on plated or coated surfaces of automotive parts and electronic components.
Continuous inkjet printers (CIJ) can print at high speeds from any direction or orientation. The compact head can be mounted easily onto packaging machines or filling machines, making installation painless.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers have been installed and used in various types of packaging machines and filling machines. For example, horizontal/vertical pillow type packaging machines, rotary fillers, heat sealers, cartoners, hopper labelers, sealing machines, and cup sealers. Since printing on moving targets is possible, there is no need to stop the operation of packaging machines. If the movement speed varies, printing can be synchronized with an encoder. Installation in existing machines is easy in three steps: 1) install the dedicated attachment, 2) mount a sensor, and 3) install an encoder if necessary.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers automatically update count-up/down values and dates, so printing data can be changed correctly without human errors.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers have a calendar function for printing automatically-updated expiration or manufacturing dates. If you want to assign numbers to individual products to enhance tracibility management, you can use a counter function to print serial numbers by counting up or down automatically. Moreover, you can change printing data via the packaging machine or filling machine by sending characters using Ethernet. This ensures printing of correct data without mistakes.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers can be used to print expiration dates and lot numbers on individual packaging films for snacks, frozen food, and condiments. When installed in a pillow type packaging machine or rotary filler, a continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer can help prevent printing mistakes while improving manufacturing productivity. Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers can also be used to print use-by dates and lot numbers on container bottles for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Installing a continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer on a conveyor belt carrying filled bottles allows printing information on the curved side or bottom of the bottles, which are difficult to print with stamps. Moreover, continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers can be used to print best-before dates and lot numbers on pudding, yogurt, and jelly cups filled by a cup sealer or deep-drawing packaging machine. Products filled in parallel can also be printed on by traversing the print head.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers capable of non-contact printing are widely used for products susceptible to damages. Marking on connectors, switches, and PCBs is commonly done by laser markers. Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers, however, are used when laser marking can potentially cause damage to products such as insulating films, plating, or flexible PCBs, or when the marking contrast will be low due to high heat resistance of the resin.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers are also used for bad mark printing on defective products found by an inspection machine. Printing data can be switched based on the result obtained from the inspection machine such as for wafers, PCBs, and films. Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers are useful because they can change printing data without producing foreign substances.
In the automotive industry, continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers capable of reliable non-contact printing are used for many applications. Non-contact printing of continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers is effective for printing on mufflers and aluminum wheels which have curved surfaces. Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers are often used for products with plated or cation-painted surfaces to prevent corrosion. White or yellow ink is used to print on black-painted undercarriage parts.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers are also used for printing on pipes and hoses made by extrusion molding. Once manufacturing starts, molding can continue for several days, which means that contact-type stamping cannot maintain sufficient printing quality. With a continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer, reliable printing can be offered with no smudged or incomplete characters even over extended operating time.
The expiration date of the ink and solvent is 12 months after the cartridges are inserted into the printer.
If you continue to use old ink that has passed its expiration date, the printing quality may deteriorate and non-regular maintenance might be required.
■ Equipped with an IC chip
Each cartridge is equipped with an IC chip. If the expiration date of the ink or solvent (written on the label) passes, the chip detects it and notifies the user that the cartridge needs to be replaced.
The ink should be stored under the following conditions:
• Store it in a cool and well-ventilated place not exposed to rain or direct sunlight.
• Keep it away from flames or heat sources.
• After the ink is opened, store it in a sealed container.
• Do not place substances that decompose and generate oxygen near the ink.
• Store it in accordance with the regulations and conditions specified in related laws.
• Store it in a locked cabinet or the like to prevent theft.
• Store it in a bottle provided by KEYENCE.
Note: Inks and solvents are volatile and flammable substances. Store and handle these materials according to your local regulations.
Dye-based and pigment-based inks are commonly used with continuous inkjet printers. Black dye-based ink can be quickly absorbed by print targets which allows fast dry time. It also doesn't precipitate when mixed with liquid, making the printer easy to maintain. On the other hand, color pigment ink sticks to the surface of print targets and gives long-term fade resistance. However, precipitation will occur with this type of ink. Therefore, the printer needs to have an auto-circulation feature to ensure no ink hardening.
• Standard black ink: This is a standard type of ink that can be used for general purposes in a variety of industries.
• MEK free black ink: This ink is easy to use in accordance with certain safety standards such as the Ordinance on the Prevention of Organic Solvent Poisoning.
• Yellow ink: This ink provides clear printing on various dark targets, and has relatively high maintainability for a pigment ink.
• White ink : This is a white pigment ink with remarkably improved maintainability.
This website provides comprehensive knowledge about continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers. The information contained within ranges from basic knowledge, such as printing principles and internal structure, to practical know-how, such as installation examples and handling procedures.
This guide explains continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer applications together with pictures and illustrations. It contains many installation examples in various industries divided into food, medicine, and cosmetics; electrical machinery and electronics; and automotive, metal, and others. These examples show printing on targets specific to each industry.
This guide explains the printing principles and the workflow up to printing by comparing hot foil coders and continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers. Both machines are analyzed from the aspects of productivity, quality, management, and running cost. Tips for solving accidents caused by date coding mistakes are also described.
This is a technical guide describing basic knowledge of continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers from mechanism such as the types, printing fundamentals, and internal structure, to running costs and legal compliance. Subsequent issues will also be available. By reading all of these issues, you can understand the entire overview of continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers.
Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers work by discharging ink particles to print information such as characters and figures on targets. This document describes the differences between industrial use inkjet printers and office-use printers, as well as their structures, circulation principles, and application examples.