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Continuous Inkjet: the Printing Technology you’ve Probably not Heard Before

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The term ‘inkjet printing’ is probably familiar to you. In fact, chances are that you probably have a desktop inkjet printer at your home. However, ‘thermal’ inkjet printers (the ones typically found in homes) represent only a portion of inkjet printing technology. In most industrial settings, a continuous inkjet printer is used instead. What exactly is a continuous inkjet printer?

What is continuous inkjet printing?

Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printing was actually the first inkjet printing technology developed – a good two decades before thermal inkjet printers were created. Since the 1950s, the fundamental concept behind its operation has barely changed, which is more of a testament to how reliable and effective the technology is.

CIJ printing starts with a high-pressure pump delivering ink from the printer’s reservoir to the nozzle. The printer nozzle continuously vibrates because of a connected piezoelectric crystal – a crystal that creates vibration when it receives a current supply. The vibration of the nozzle breaks apart the stream of ink into microscopic particles. The spacing of these ink particles can vary according to how quickly the piezoelectric crystal vibrates because of the current that it receives.

From the nozzle, the ink particles go through a charged electrode that creates an electric field. The current supply to this electrode turns on and off, resulting in an alternating series of charged and uncharged ink droplets.

The droplets then pass through another electric field, this time created by a charged plate. The ink droplets are repelled away from the charged plate at an angle determined by the charge status of each droplet. These repelled ink droplets then hit the printing substrate.  Uncharged particles simply go straight through the second electric field and enter a recycle stream that brings them back to the printer reservoir.

Where is it used?

Not many people may know about CIJ printing, but just about everyone has seen products of the technology around. Because of its superior printing speed, adhesion, and durability, CIJ printing is the most preferred method for marking product packaging with product codes, expiration dates, and barcodes.

If a product needs to bear markings that should not be rendered illegible under any circumstance – such as warning labels or hazard symbols – then CIJ printing is still the most reliable technology.

CIJ printing is even versatile enough for printing directly on food, such as meat and dairy products. Naturally, food-grade ink needs to be used with CIJ printers for such applications.

The applications of CIJ printing aren’t limited to consumer products. It has also been used to mark medical supplies such syringes, IV bags, and rubber tubes. Even NASA uses CIJ printing for parts that are meant to be used in space, which is quite a statement to the reliability of CIJ printers.

What are its benefits over other inkjet printing technologies?

  1. Faster

The combination of the Rayleigh mechanism for breaking up the ink droplets and the electric field-propelled ejection of ink into the substrate makes CIJ printing extremely fast – up to a maximum of almost 200 meters per minute, or equivalent to around 120,000 drops of ink per second. For reference, even modern thermal inkjet printers are only capable of about half of that speed. This has made TIJ printing the method of choice for high-volume marking and coding requirements.

  1. Better adhesion

Since all ink droplets that hit the substrate are electrically charged, the ink used in CIJ printing adheres exceptionally well to a variety of materials. It has a low tendency to smudge even on smooth surfaces such as glass or photo paper. Prints made using the CIJ method don’t fade or become damaged over time, which makes them excellent for products that can go through a lot of handling or be exposed to the outdoor elements.

  1. Versatile

The superior adhesion of CIJ printing makes it a suitable method for printing on curved or uneven surfaces that can otherwise result in the ink pooling or smudging. Despite being an old technology, there is still a whole spectrum of different inks compatible with CIJ printers that can be used for different materials and applications. CIJ printing performs equally well whether it’s used to print on smooth, porous, absorbent, or biodegradable materials.

Summary

Despite the age of the technology, continuous inkjet printers are still alive and kicking. With so many commercial and industrial applications even until today, it has proven itself to be one of the most enduring printing technologies in human history.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Samuel Leeds Buys Shares In Property Tribes; Says He Wants To Make It Better

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People in UK property circles may be familiar with the very public dispute between former MTV presenter, property investor, and community manager of the company Property Tribes, Vanessa Warwick, & property investment trainer and owner of the company ‘Property Investors’, Samuel Leeds; as Leeds has accused Warwick of assisting with racism and discrimination against ethnic minority tenants. In recent news, Samuel Leeds was reported to have bought a 35% share of the company Property Tribes, making him officially now a person of significant control at Property Tribes.

Warwick established Property Tribes to accumulate wisdom from various property owners and landlords to create a place of guidance for people in the industry to do business better. According to the company,

“We wanted to create a free use, safe, and agenda-free place for landlords to get information from a “hive mind”, not a singularity, so that they could learn and grow their property business.”

However, in one of his recent videos, Samuel Leeds pointed out blatant support of racism in some of the advice coming from Warwick herself. As one of the landlords asks on the forum – if they would be implicated by the race discrimination laws in the UK for refusing tenancy to Bangladeshi families as the landlord is not fond of the smell of their staple food, curry; Vanessa Warwick herself is seen advising against mentioning the reason for said refusal, thus averting the legal repercussions altogether.

In the video, Leeds points out several more situations where Warwick has behaved in a racist manner. In fact, she has become a new advisor on the panel of the UK’s Property Redress Scheme and has been under criticism in their forum as well for supporting discrimination against ethnic minorities.

Warwick also expressed strong disapproval of Leeds as a property trainer citing the reason that his students came from the “vulnerable” demographic. Leeds called out the racist mindset in this reasoning, as in reality, his students predominantly come from ethnic minorities and don’t fall in the “vulnerable” category. He began drawing attention to the issue over his YouTube channel and his website, and ended up facing severe disparagement from Warwick and her followers. Leeds finally sued Warwick for defamation and she brought a counter lawsuit for six-figure damages.

In an attempt to put an end to the battle once and for all, Samuel Leeds reports to have bought a share, 35% to be exact, of the company, Property Tribes. Even though he is only a minority shareholder and will have limited control, Leeds believes he can make a difference in “cleaning up the company” and reduce racism in the forum.

He jokingly adds,

“Because they trolled me, I wanted to at least get paid… Like Michael Jackson did to Eminem.”

Leeds pledges that any money he makes off this transaction will be donated to charitable organisations that tackle racism and online bullying. In addition, Leeds will donate an extra £50,000 to organisations that fight hatred in the UK. With this move, he is determined to take a strong stand against all discriminations in the property sector or any other industry.

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