Printing on Plastic

Industrial Coding and Marking Solutions for Printing on Rigid Containers

Polyethylene (PE) and High-density polyethylene (HDPE) are among the most common plastics used for rigid packaging. With relatively low surface energy, printing on plastic containers can be challenging. Mold release agents, if present, should also be considered when selecting the right marking solution.

Videojet offers a sample lab service and can provide you with various codes on your plastic packaging using different technologies. The lab can suggest the optimal technology and send samples to help you make an informed decision before you invest in a coding solution. Contact us : (833) 270-0843

There are two primary coding technologies for printing on plastic packaging: Continuous Inkjet and Laser

Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) Printing on Plastic

CIJ is an ink-based coding technology which is ideal for curved surfaces and high-speed lines.Ink codes are generally durable, however, code degradation can be caused by plastic type, product spillage or product use environment.Most of these causes can be mitigated through ink formulation. Black is generally the standard CIJ ink color, yellow, white or red ink may provide improved contrast on a dark package. With over 640 application-specific fluids, Videojet offer a wide range of ink colors that can provide ideal solution for printing on plastic bottles, plastic pipe & tubes, plastic containers, plastic lids, plastic egg cartons and plastic bags.

Laser Marking on Plastic Packaging

Lasers provide a permanent code either directly to the plastic bottle or on the label by causing a material change that cannot be removed without damaging the product surface. Laser marking provides the benefit of high resolution codes. However, laser coding has a restricted color palette, providing limited contrast on most plastics. Fiber laser systems are ideal solution for printing on plastic pipe, plastic tub, plastic bottle closures and automotive plastic parts.

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A variety of Videojet solutions are available for printing on plastic & printing on rigid plastic containers depending on the desired mark effect. Our selection of inks for Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) printers provide quality marks on a wide range of plastics, including high adhesion inks and oil penetrating inks specifically for plastic printing. Laser systems, which deliver permanent but less-noticeable marks, are also an option. Videojet offers a wide laser range including CO2, Fiber and UV to best match laser wavelength with the plastic material.

Optimizing Code Quality on Plastic Packaging

Desired Contrast – Determine if a high contrast code or a less prominent code is more desirable for your product. Expiry information should be clearly visible to the consumer. By contrast, batch/lot information used for tracking purposes may be conveyed with a less obvious code.

Ink Adhesion – Many chemical products contain ingredients that can remove ink codes in the event of spillage making printing on plastic challenging.Evaluate your product and packaging characteristics to identify the ideal printing on plastic solution.

Location – Code placement can impact both contrast and permanence of a code. Coding on a label instead of directly printing on plastic can increase code contrast  and permanence, especially on dark colored bottles.

Do sample tests – Tests can help determine if the technology meets your coding needs in terms of contrast, permanence and placement before starting printing on plastic packages

Talk to a Plastic Container Expert

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(866) 871-3226

Customer Feedback:

“We want to be able to turn our printer on and get good coding right away without worrying about it. The Videojet printer is easy for our team to use, and it just does its job.”

-Manufacturing Manager, Bell Laboratories