CIJ or laser: which is best for beverage coding?


At Pyrotec PackMark, South Africa’s local distributor of the Markem-Imaje range of high-quality coding and marking equipment, we know that coding bottles is extremely important and that choosing the best coding solution can be challenging for beverage manufacturers.

There are several factors that play into the coding technology you choose, including factory environment, substrate, available budget, and line speed. When it comes to bottle coding, CIJ (continuous inkjet) and laser are both popular options, but which is best for your application?

A quick comparison

Laser coding offers permanent coding that is effective in fighting counterfeiting. Because there is no ink or fluid involved, manufacturers don’t face issues such as smudging and allowing for drying time. Depending on the substrate being used, laser codes can be discreet or highly visible. It is important to note that certain substrates are harder to mark using laser coding, which can slow down the print speed.

For customers who prefer high-quality codes (for example, codes that blend with a pre-printed packaging style), laser coding is often a suitable option.

CIJ has long been a popular and effective coding solution for drink manufacturers, largely because continuous inkjet printing is suitable for a wide array of substrates. CIJ is effective for printing on plastics, glass, metal, and cardboard, and adds another dimension to the process of coding beverages using a variety of inks such as food-grade, fluorescent, and even UV readable that is effective in anti-counterfeiting.

CIJ printing also offers versatility for manufacturers who may need to print one line or multiple lines of text. And, because budget is an important factor for most manufacturers, it’s important to consider cost of ownership over the long term. However, it is vital to choose a coding solution that best suits your distinctive requirements in terms of manufacturing environment, line speed, and the other factors already mentioned.

As a trusted leader in coding and marking solutions in South Africa, contact Pyrotec PackMark today to see what we have to offer.