Sherry Washburn, Business Unit Manager at Videojet, recently sat down with Packaging Strategies to discuss how the company has made improvements not only to soft-pigmented Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) inks but also to the printers that use them.

The interview came on the heels of Videojet launching its 1580 C soft-pigmented contrast printer.

“A contrast printer, as it sounds, is for printing contrast codes onto dark packages, dark surfaces. You want to be able to see the code,” Washburn explained. “Traditional dye-based inks, when you print them on a dark surface, the dark surface comes through, and you don’t see the print.”

The soft-pigmented inks used in contrast printers are very low-density, so they settle out much more slowly than hard-pigmented inks. “That helps with maintaining your contrast over time, both in the cartridge and in the printer as well,” Washburn noted.

Soft-pigmented inks are not new to Videojet. The company has had them for many decades. However, Videojet has managed to reduce the settling rate even further.

“If a customer were to take a cartridge off the shelf, maybe it’s been sitting there for some months, and they don’t really shake it all that thoroughly, or maybe they have operators with high turnover and they really don’t know that they’re supposed to shake it,” Washburn explains. “If they still want to use that, they can because we have improved the ink so much so that if you don’t shake it at all, you’re still going to get a very nice contrast ink.”

In addition to the next-generation inks developed by Videojet, the 1580 C contrast printer itself raises the bar for contrast printers as the industry’s first printer dedicated exclusively to soft-pigmented contrast inks.  Design innovations in hydraulics and the printhead and cartridge allow it to perform and behave like a standard dye-based printer with similar maintenance requirements and running times.

Be sure to check out the entire podcast interview below to get the whole story.