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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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How Conventional Scores Are Stopping Most Millennials From Accessing Credit and How One Company Is Changing That

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Credit scores are a barrier to entry for just about everything for millennials. Trust Science® is taking new metrics into account to expand access to credit with Credit Bureau 2.0®

What’s Keeping Millennials From Accessing Credit?

The concept behind a credit score seems simple enough. It tracks your credit history to see if you’re someone that a bank or lender can trust to pay back a loan. However, conventional credit scores just don’t account for the way that millennials and Gen Z handle their finances.

Even where a person would be fully capable and reliable in paying back a loan, the lack of an established credit score can prevent them from accessing credit, or at least from getting as much as they should be able to. That leaves millennials without an on-ramp into the modern economy and it can also jeopardize access to other “credit gated” necessities like housing.

The way that conventional credit scores are calculated is complex but boils down to 5 essential metrics:

  1. Payment history
  2. Amount owed
  3. Length of credit history
  4. Credit mix
  5. Hard credit inquiries

You can start to see the issue for millennials when you look at what data goes into their credit scores. For one thing, younger people don’t have a long credit history. Even without other factors, simply being young and only having had so much time to build credit puts them at a disadvantage. However, millennials have also been tending to establish credit later in life compared with previous generations, putting them at a further disadvantage.

The most significant issue here is the credit mix. Different types of credit affect credit scores differently, and millennials generally don’t have a favorable mix. While they might have a credit card or two, they generally don’t have mortgages. These are the most beneficial type of credit to have on your credit report, and millennials really have that going against them.

The student loan crisis also plays a big role. Young people today have much higher student loan debts than previous generations, meaning they have a great amount of credit owed. Not only that, but many can begin to fall behind on payments and see that amount grow. This can quickly send a credit score spiraling out of control.

Student loans aren’t the only threat. When young, some people make poor decisions. They could find themselves making credit mistakes very early on and suffering the fact that those mistakes can haunt their score for seven years in general. That means someone at 25 is still paying for a mistake made at the age of 18, even if they’ve been on the up and up ever since.

It’s clear that conventional credit scores weren’t designed with the current landscape in mind and that young people are being negatively affected. But what exactly can be done about this? One company is changing the way that lenders look at creditworthiness to make it possible for millennials to mitigate these issues.

How Credit Bureau 2.0 Fixes Those Problems

Trust Science is an innovative fintech company that has developed Credit Bureau 2.0, a scoring service that acts as an antidote for lenders, offsetting the problems posed by conventional credit scores. Instead of seeing a lack of credit history, a few negative issues from years ago, or a poor credit mix and ending any credit application, Credit Bureau 2.0 considers a wealth of additional data to generate a more accurate credit score.

Credit Bureau 2.0 expands the data used to calculate credit scores, getting the borrower’s consented, permissioned data and/or acquiring Alternative Data in order to reach a more accurate credit score. For example, those applying for credit can use Trust Science’s Smart Consent™ app to divulge their information safely and confidently to Trust Science, which is working on behalf of the lender that is trying to reach a decision about the borrower. By doing so, young people or other people without a credit history in-country can let prudent financial decisions in other areas of their lives demonstrate that they’re trustworthy for greater credit.

The service is available to a wide variety of lenders, including auto lenders, installment lenders, and single-repayment lenders. It’s in their best interest to find more reliable, deserving borrowers to give loans to, so Credit Bureau 2.0 benefits both sides of the transaction.

Trust Science CEO Evan Chrapko says that “Credit Bureau 2.0 isn’t just about giving borrowers access to more credit than they would have had otherwise. It’s about recontextualizing financial data to give both sides–lenders and borrowers–a more accurate and reliable way to enter into loans in the modern economy.”

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