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What is coding?

Coding involves the application of text, figures, symbols or other shapes on a product or packaging by means of ink. Various terms are used, such as coding, printing or marking, but they all mean the same.

Coding has several applications and objectives and there are different ways in which coding can take place.

Why use coding?

By means of coding, it is possible to provide information directly to the user. You could think of the use-by date, contact data on a shipment box, a website or user instructions

With coding you can make a product recognisable. Loose products, boxes or pallets are often made recognisable by means of barcodes, QR codes or type numbers.

An import objective of coding is to make products traceable. This is information that can be of importance to manufacturers. On their own they do not provide information. You could think of batch codes, production data and other track & trace information.

How does it work?

Cyklop offers different solutions for coding packages. Our printers can be distinguished in two technological categories; the High resolution inkjet and the Continuous Inkjet (CIJ).

A high resolution inkjet is ideal when high print quality and ease of use are required. High resolution printing of 2D codes, barcodes, use-by data, texts and logos is no problem. By combining the right printer with the correct type of ink allows you to print on virtually any surface.

Continuous Inkjet printers (also known as small character inkjet printers) were developed to be able to apply codes on virtually any type of material, irrespective of porosity, size, shape and texture, often at high speeds. Printing variable information on individual products, such as use-by data, text, batch codes and logos are not a problem.

High Resolution Inkjet Printing

High resolution inkjet printers use cartridges and do not need a separate solvent. Replacing the cartridge is very easy and maintenance usually involves no more than cleaning the cartridge’s print head. High resolution inkjet printers work by using heat. When a print is needed, small quantities of ink are heated in the print head. The ink expands and is then ejected through the openings (nozzles) in the cartridge’s print head. The printer must be placed close to the product because of the limited “flow distance” of the ink.

Benefits of High resolution inkjet:

  • Excellent print quality on virtually any surface
  • Easy to maintain
  • User friendly
  • Use of cartridges
  • Easy to integrate in an automatic line or in/on packaging machines

Click here for the high resolution printers from Cyklop.

Continuous Inkjet Printing

A continuous inkjet printer uses ink and make-up liquid (type of thinner). Both liquids are in a separate container and are mixed in the ink reservoir to obtain the correct thickness to be able to print properly.

From the ink reservoir, the ink is brought into the print head under high pressure, via the print hose. The nozzle contains an electronic element (resonator) that causes vibrations in the ink jet, thus creating little drops. By means of electricity these charged droplets are placed on the right position and are then ejected onto the surface to be printed. Unused droplets are collected and brought back to the reservoir via a return line, so that no unused ink is wasted.

The most important benefits of continuous inkjet:

  • Suitable for applying codes on non-flat surfaces
  • For coding at high speed
  • Non-contact coding
  • Changing ink and make-up is easy and can be done independently
  • Low costs per print

Click here for the CIJ printer from Cyklop.

What method of coding is the most suitable?

It is not always easy to select the right type of printer. To make the right decision, various factors must be considered, such as shape, print environment, speed, type of surface, what must be printed and the conditions to which the print is exposed.

We would really like to help you with this. Please contact us without any obligations for a tailored advice.


High Resolution inkjet printers use two types of ink. Solvent ink is suitable for printing on non-absorbing or non-porous materials such as plastic, metal and glass. Water-based ink is used for printing on absorbing or porous materials such as paper, cardboard and wood.

A continuous inkjet printer uses ink and make-up liquid (type of thinner). Both liquids are in a separate container and can be replaced independently from each other.

Here you can find more information about cartridges and liquids for coding.

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