Today’s coding system equipment has come a long way thanks to major technological advancements. However, these improvements have also led to confusion relating to technical terms and industry jargon that surrounds this kind of machinery. For some, this has made choosing a coding system more complicated than it needs. With this in mind, we’ve compiled 10 key terms related to a coding system you should be familiar with to best ensure you make the most informed purchase decision possible.
- Continuous Motion: Materials are moved along the production line at a constant speed with no stops in production.
- Flexographic: This is a printing method that uses a printing plate created from specific flexible materials that has a raised image – especially useful for long printing runs or products that require static information.
- Hot-stamping: Utilizes a carrier film that has thermoplastic ink that is melted and transferred onto a substrate via type or die, which is especially useful for jobs that have static coding information.
- Intermittent Motion: Materials are moved along in a stop/start process throughout the production process.
- Laser Marking: This process uses a laser light beam to etch information onto a surface or oblate (rub off) color or other types of coating to uncover information, using polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene terephthalate along with additives to achieve the desired coding effect.
- Piezoelectric: This is a special electro-magnetic process that works with high-resolution ink jet printing processes.
- Print and Apply: This two-part process uses thermal transfer technology to print and apply pressure-sensitive labels to packaging, such as cases and pallets, and is now more commonly found among primary packaging applications.
- Static Information: This type of information does not change from one target, or item, to the next.
- Target: This is the actual item that receives the code information, such as a label, case, bottle, carton or package.
- Thermal-transfer Printhead: This device prints by removing ink from a carrier ribbon via a heated printhead through a computer-generated image.
In Review These coding system terms are often key when selecting a coding system because you will have to consider:
- how your production line runs (continuous or intermittent)
- what type of printing method (flexographic, hot-stamping, laser marking, piezoelectric, etc.) you need
- what type of target you have, and
- what type of information do you have (is it static or variable?).
These are all key factors that will help you make the right choice.