When it comes to the printing of cosmetic packaging, clarity, accuracy and appearance are crucial. Manufacturers know that the coding of cosmetic containers and packages requires a high attention to detail and they also know that printing on the high-gloss carton surfaces, plastics and glass in which cosmetics are typically packed, requires a printer that is both effective and accurate.
They also know that, at times, performing the product identification or coding process is better done off-line then in-line. To accomplish this task there are three basic types of feeding systems that are useful in printing on these types of cartons and they include:
- A friction feeder which has the ability to handle a wide array of packaging products
- Shuttle feeders are ideal for when printing on reverse-tuck cartons is required, and
- The vacuum feeder which is a pick and place model for items of unusual shape or configuration
Companies that need to print packaging for cosmetics normally need to find a feeder that will accurately stop the carton under the printing (coding) head before moving it through the rest of the handling process.
In addition you will want to also find a printing system that can:
- Offer a wide range of colors (including white if needed) and the ability to print metallic colors such as gold or silver
- Produce codes or images that are rub-resistant
- Provides high quality print
A laser printer which will allow for printing on cartons requires a contrasting layer of surface and will produce an absolutely permanent mark. Digital thermal transfer printing provides a method for easily changing the data being printed and it can also print Datamatrix and bar codes. Thermal inkjet, also a programmable technology, can print at very high resolution with a variety of inks to match the carton finish. But none of these printing technologies offer the results noted above.
The only technology available for integration with off-line feeding devices that will produce a solid white color, print in gold or silver, offer a wide range of colors and print in metallic colors is hot stamping – an old, tested, proven and reliable printing technology.