It has always been difficult to run pigmented inks with light, high-contrast colors like white, light blue or yellow in small character Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) printers. Unlike black or darker colored dye based inks, pigmented inks require effective agitation to keep pigments from separating from the solvent carrier. Once the pigments separated, the sediment will clog the nozzle, filters, transfer valves and cause the print to lose contrast. The Leibinger Jet3pi Pigmented printer has numerous design features that enable very reliable operation, low maintenance and excellent print quality with pigmented inks. Here’s why the Jet3pi Pigmented printer is best-in-class:
- Leibinger’s unique printhead design retracts the ink gutter into the nozzle when the printer is shut down to form an air-tight seal, protecting these key components. Charge electrodes stay clean, keeping print quality consistent.
- Frequency of printhead maintenance is typically weeks or even months instead of every few days or daily.
- The “closed loop” system allows an automatic “Interval Mode” to recirculate ink throughout the entire system when not in use. This is especially important with pigmented inks to prevent pigment separation when the printer is not running.
The Jet3pi Pigmented printer is used extensively throughout many industries including wire, cable, pipe, extruded products, parts marking and packaging.
When a Leibinger printer is started, ink pressure is stabilized before the gutter returns to the open position. This is where conventional ink jets falter because the ink stream can “wobble” while pressure is building and clog the narrow slot within the charge electrodes causing poor print quality, fault conditions and messy clean-up. This printhead design also eliminates the “auto flush” cycle at shut-down which can dilute the ink supply and reduce print quality and contrast.
Unique Features of the Jet3pi Especially for Pigmented Inks
1. The variable speed, magnetically coupled stirring motor on the bottom of the internal ink reservoir continuously mixes the ink when the printer is running. There is a stirring bar within the reservoir that effectively keeps pigments from separating.
2. Ink is pumped through the main filter and into the bottom of the cone shaped ink chamber within the pressure tank. Pigment residue cannot collect since the incoming flow agitates the ink within the chamber.
3. Leibinger’s diaphragm type ink and suction pumps run much cooler and don’t “grind” on the pigments like gear driven pumps in competitive printers. The result is much longer pump life and less degradation of the ink over time.
4. Leibinger printers are designed to enable component level service rather than replacement of expensive modules or subassemblies that are not field serviceable.
5. Preventive maintenance is recommended twice yearly. Jet3 PM kits are inexpensive and easy to install by either the customer or Leibinger technicians.
All Leibinger printers have an “interval mode” feature which will automatically start the printer at programmable intervals up to 3 times daily when not in use. This feature is especially important for pigmented inks to keep the ink mixed. Competitive printers may claim to have a similar feature but only the Jet3pi will recirculate ink throughout the entire hydraulic system including the printhead and nozzle, not just the ink reservoir. This is key to prevent pigments from settling and accumulating within the fluid handling components. Almost no make-up solvent is consumed during interval mode.
SSI Packaging Group is proud to provide the Jet3pi CIj printer featuring pigmented inks. Download the whitepaper and specification PDF here.