If you produce products that require coding and marking, you’re already familiar with the headaches normally associated with the process. There are the messy inks, costly routine maintenance, frequent servicing and unwanted downtime—and those are just some of the issues with Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) systems.
But now, there’s a simpler solution. Enter Redimark™, a new company out to completely change small character coding and marking as you know it. We sat down with Dean Hornsby, Brand Evangelist for Redimark, to ask him about the company’s new TC12 Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) coder—and what makes it so revolutionary for the packaging industry.
Q: What should one look for when evaluating a thermal ink coding system?
Hornsby: The two most critical performance attributes are throw distance and ink dry time.
Q: Why is throw distance so essential?
Hornsby: Throw distance is defined by the distance the print head can propel ink drops to the packaged product that is being coded. Longer throw distance is important because it means the print head can safely be out of striking distance of the moving product during coding. Until Redimark, most other brands of TIJ printers had to be positioned virtually right next to the product to produce a legible date code; however, the close proximity created a problem of products bumping with the print head, resulting in poor-quality codes. But with the TC12, the print head can be mounted further away while still producing a high-quality code.
Q: How is Redimark’s TC12 better?
Hornsby: Redimark designed its TC12 with cartridge technology that delivers twice the throw distance of competing TIJ technologies. It also operates at twice the speed when printing the same resolution, and it has twice the nozzle count for better printing reliability and durability. We’re talking consistent, high-quality codes at up to 400 feet per minute. It’s a huge leap forward.
Q: We’ve covered throw distance. What about dry time?
Hornsby: For Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) packaging material, dry time is critical, especially for products that use non-porous packaging like varnished coated paperboard, metal, plastic, etc. The FMCG product tends to come in contact with machine grippers, conveyor guide rails, adjacent products and line operators’ hands—and that can render the code illegible if the ink hasn’t dried. So having the printed code dry within one to two seconds is a must. But many TIJ coders can’t use the essential fast-drying solvents that deliver that kind of dry time, because of their print head design.
Q: But the Redimark TC12 is able to use fast-drying inks?
Hornsby: Absolutely. It’s all thanks to its unique thermal inkjet cartridge print head, which can use fast-drying solvent inks that deliver one to two seconds’ drying time while still maintaining a long decap [print idle] time. And because the cartridge contains the print head and ink reservoir, we’ve eliminated the mess and complication that CIJ is known for, while providing the best possible print quality all the time. Pretty remarkable.
Q: So now we know what sets the TC12 apart. But Redimark seems to have taken steps to change the entire coding and marking industry—how it works, holistically. Can you tell us a bit about the company’s approach?
Hornsby: The TC12 is an amazing TIJ device. Which is why Redimark has the confidence to back it with a 30-day, no-hassle, money-back guarantee. But how the company is empowering its customers is equally game-changing. First, you buy everything online at redimark.com—the TC12 Coder, ink cartridges, everything. If you’re not quite sure which ink is right for you, a helpful online Product Advisor tool walks you through a series of simple questions to ensure you get what you need. So you avoid the nuisance of scheduling sales reps.
Q: What about ongoing maintenance?
Hornsby: There really isn’t any with the TC12. The print heads are in the cartridge, so there’s no cleaning required. They’re swapped out every time you put in a fresh ink cartridge. So there are no more messy inks, make-up solvents or filters—virtually no maintenance is necessary at all. The need for expensive technicians and service contracts has been eliminated. Which is great.
Q: We’re in the era of connectivity. How has Redimark embraced our “always on” work culture?
Hornsby: Once you’ve purchased your TC12 Inkjet Coder, you get access to your own dedicated Redimark account online that you can access anytime. There, you can set up coder notifications like low ink, watch instructional videos and more. And thanks to the RediNET cloud connection, backup, storage and retrieval of coding data is fast and effortless.
Q: Is there a Redimark app?
Hornsby: There is! For both iOS and Android. And it’s a great tool to help reduce operator error in code selection. You just open the app, take a photo of the product and send it to your coder. The app captures and stores images to create a visual product code library, to help operators select by product, not just code. It’s really easy to use and simplifies the entire process.
Q: Last question—what does it cost to get up and coding with Redimark?
Hornsby: Right now, the TC12 Inkjet Coder is being offered at redimark.com at an introductory price of just $995. It comes fully assembled, and the touchscreen interface is incredibly intuitive, so you can pull it out of the box and be coding and marking in just five minutes.
Q: Thanks for your time, Dean.
Hornsby: Thanks for having me!