This is a practice employed in several industries which involves the printing of information or data directly on packages and shipping containers as part of the production chain. The data printed is usually variable, meaning it changes with each individual print. These include barcodes, serial numbers, manufacture and expiration dates, graphics and other important information.
If for example the information being printed is the serial number or bar code, with each packaging, the number will be different. This type of printing is also done on different types of surfaces including non-porous packages as well as porous ones, cartons, cardboard boxes, corrugated shipping containers, and other types of cases.
What is the Importance of Case Coding and Marking?
This process has a lot of importance to different sections of the production to the supply chain. We will look at its importance under two groupings.
Importance to the Production Process
One of the most important values this process offers manufacturers and others in production is the ability to properly and easily label their products. Every package can be labeled such that it has a unique identifier.
With every product properly labeled, it is easy to trace any batches that may have problems. When you hear of product recalls, this process makes it very simple. The manufacturer will simply identify the products based on their unique coding and then consumers and sellers can simply identify and return them.
This process also provides industries and others in the production business the ability to efficiently provide other information like “best before” time and any other information that is unique to different products.
Using this process, manufacturers are also able to easily comply with regulatory coding requirements with greater ease. Even if directives change, they can quickly switch without incurring any major cost.
Brands also use this process to promote their brand and study customer consumer habits. Reward vouchers and the like can be attached to specific products and based on the responses from consumers, important data that will help the brand reach its target market better can be harvested.
For the retailer or store, these case codes and markings can help with their inventory system. Simply scanning each barcode can provide a very effective tool for monitoring stock and inventory, making it easier to stipulate SKUs. Read more about SKU here.
Importance to the Consumer
One of the most important things a consumer looks for is assurance of product quality. It all boils down to trust. A consumer picks up a package and immediately searches out the “best before” date. This gives the consumer some assurance regarding the safety of the product.
Brand marking is also something that consumers look out for. Once a consumer has built trust in a brand, seeing the brand’s marking on the product they want to purchase will always be an important factor.
What Are the Benefits of Using Inkjet Printers for Industrial Case Coding and Marking?
Inkjet printers are very popular for case coding and marking because they provide some very distinct benefits. These include the following:
The cost of printing with these inkjet printers is low when compared with the cost of printing stickers and other types of markings previously used.
Easy to Integrate
It is very easy to integrate these printers with already existing systems. This further reduces the cost of running the setup.
Easy Compliance with New Designs or Regulations
Anyone who has done any kind of printing understands how expensive it can be to correct an error that was not caught before going to print. With this system, errors are not as expensive as they used to be. You can immediately correct any errors without too much effort.
You can also change your design or content to be printed without having too much to worry about. This makes it easy to comply with regulatory demands even if they change at a moment’s notice.
Getting an Inkjet Printer
Once you have decided to get an inkjet printer for you case coding and marking needs, you should be concerned about who you get such an important equipment from. You may want to consider some of the following when making your choice.
The reputation of the brand you want to get your equipment from is obviously very important. There is an assurance you get from buying from a known and trusted brands. Of course, this usually attracts some additional cost to you.
Where are you located and where is the printer being shipped from? Buying an ATD in the UK is not the same as buying the same brand in the U.S or Africa. Unless the brand has some presence in all these locations, you may find that getting quick access to support will only be possible for buyers that are close to the company providing the support. You may, therefore, want to consider this while making your purchase.
There are two costs you need to consider. These are the cost of purchasing the equipment and the cost of running it. Do not make a purchase without having an idea of how much it will cost you to keep the inkjet printer running. Once you have these two details, you can then make an informed decision.
There you have it. If you are serious about properly and affordable printing those case markings and codes, then go get a suitable inkjet printer right away.