The first thing most people think of when they hear or see the word “printer” or “ink” is an traditional office setting. They envision workers in cubicles and offices working to print reports before the end of the business day.
While offices do make use of printers and industrial inks, there are several other industries where these specialty inks are used in business. Not only do other industries use industrial inks and inkjet printers, they use them on products well beyond paper. Here are five distinct industries that use industrial inkjet printers and specialty inks.
Poultry & Eggs – If you’ve ever been shopping at the grocery store, you know that eggs have red or pinkish colored ink imprinted on them. That ink is called food-grade ink and it has its place in the food marking industry. Not just any ink can be used on food products. It has to be smudge-resistant and compatible with the delicate surface of certain foods like eggs.
Beverages – If you have a soft drink in your hand or nearby, look at its expiration or sell by date. That ink is an industrial ink imprinted on the can, carton, or bottle (glass or plastic) using specialty ink. It must meet the requirements of the best practices guidelines of the industry, which means it has to endure from the start of the printing to the end of the lifecycle of the bottle or container.
Medical – Just like all industry-specific inks, medical inks and printers must adhere to the guidelines and meet the standards set by the best practices. Medical implements (metal, plastic, silicone, etc.) and “parts” must be heat resistant, alcohol resistant, and provide solid adhesion. Certain inks used in the medical industry are used on rubber tubing, x-ray films, and IV bags.
Aerospace – This industry, much like medical implements, must provide viable and lasting adhesion and be heat resistant, just to cover two of the standards for Aerospace marking.
Lumber – Go to your local home improvement store and look at the raw lumber (wood). You will find imprinted information on the wood. Wood must be stamped with special ink to make it visible, readable, and durable. It must be able to withstand heat, water, and the rigors of handling from the time it leaves the lumber yard to the time it is used. If you’ve ever tried to write on a piece of wood like a 2 x 4, you can understand the struggle.
Other areas where industrial inks are used with special industrial printers include graphics, wire and cable, and pharmaceuticals. Each specific industry has its own type of ink that must be used to be in compliance with regulations and laws regarding industrial marking. Every business has the responsibility to ensure they are using the proper ink and printer that meets the mandatory guidelines.
If you’re considering going into an industry where specialty inks and printers are necessary, be sure to do your research before you start printing on your products. It will save you a lot of time, effort, and expense to choose the proper equipment and ink.