Types of Industrial Coding Printers


There are many different types of coding printers in the market, and choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging. There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a coding printer which can make the process much easier. To help you choose the best printer available on the market, we have compiled a list of 4 different types of coding printers: continuous inkjet printers, thermal transfer printers, thermal inkjet printers, and laser printers.

Type of Industrial Coders

Choosing the right coding printer for your needs can be challenging. There are many factors to consider when choosing a coding printer which can make the process much easier. For example, the most common factors are cost, quality, and speed.

Coding printers are used in many industries to print on a wide range of products. They can be used to create labels, barcodes, serial numbers and more. When choosing a coding printer there are many factors that must be considered including which products you're printing on, what type of information you want printed and much more.

Which one of the above types of industrial coding printers do you use? Are you looking for a new type of printing solution for your business needs? If yes, then you might want to know about the differences that exist between these different printer types.

If you're in the market for a new coding printer, it is important to understand which type of printer is best for your needs. There are a few different types of coding printers on the market today, including continuous inkjet printers, thermal transfer printers, thermal inkjet printers and laser printers. The following article will provide an overview of each type of printer, along with some advantages and disadvantages.

Continuous inkjet coders

When it comes to continuous inkjet coders, there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages.

Continuous inkjet coders can print on a variety of different substrates, including plastic and metal. This means that you can use them for a variety of applications, from labeling cans and bottles to marking metal sheets. The long throw distance also means that you don't have to place the nozzles right up next to the products when you're printing.

The main disadvantage is that continuous inkjet coders require solvent ink, which is more expensive than other types of ink. They also require high maintenance costs due to their high VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Spare part replacement can be expensive as well since many parts need to be replaced frequently. To extend printer reliability, it is not unusual to expect monthly or quarterly visits from a qualified service technician.

Thermal inkjet printers

You can identify a thermal inkjet printer by its small size, relatively low cost and great speed. These printers are used in many industries for labeling and coding applications. One of the advantages of using thermal inkjet printers is that they print on plastic as well as paper. They can also be used to print on other materials such as polyester, polypropylene, Kevlar®, Tyvek®, leather, Mylar® and more.XYCode E900 industrial coding printer

Thermal inkjet printers are used in many industries including aerospace manufacturing, electronic components manufacturing, food services/packaging, plastics & automotive companies just to name a few.

The XYCode E900 is an example of the high quality, low cost, no maintenance coding printer that is available to the packaging industry. 

Laser coders

Laser coders are used for marking on metal, glass and plastic. They can be used to mark on curved surfaces, both sides of materials at the same time and even materials sensitive to heat. A laser is focused by a lens onto an engraving head that moves across a patterned surface or workpiece. The light reflected from this surface then falls onto a detector which converts it into electrical signals that control movement of the engraving head relative to the workpiece so that each part of the pattern is reproduced exactly as required for dimensioning or identification purposes. 

Laser coders are often the most expensive option and are typically used in marking on plastic bottles for beverages on high speed packaging lines.

Thermal transfer printers

Thermal transfer printers are used for printing barcodes and text. These printers are most commonly used in healthcare and retail industries. They can be used for both internal and external barcode tracking, which makes them very flexible in their applications.

Thermal transfer printers use heat to create the image on the label or tag rather than ink like regular printers do. They tend to be more durable than other types of labels because they don't fade over time like ink-based labels do.

Thermal transfer printers require direct contact of the film with the packaging materials and are often limiting.

Different types of industrial coders

An industrial coder is a type of printer that can print bar codes, text and graphics on products. There are many different types of industrial coders, but they can be divided into four main categories:

  • Continuous Inkjet Coders - These printers use solvent ink to print on a variety of packaging materials, including plastics and paperboard. They're best for hard to print substrates that require bigger gaps between the products and the printers.

  • Thermal Inkjet Printers - These printers heat the liquid ink to produce droplets to be ejected on to products like shampoo bottles and medicine vials for marking date codes and batch codes. These systems are more reliable due to no moving parts, less expensive and low cost of ownership.  This technology is ideal for most coding applications.

  • Laser Coders - These systems tend to be the most expensive and are often only used in extremely high speed packaging line for plastic bottles.
  • Thermal Transfer Coders - These systems used to be found in pharmaceutical packaging before the proliferation of thermal inkjet coders.  These systems require the film to be in direct contact with the packaging materials for the ink to transfer.


There are many kinds of industrial coders available in the market today. When you need to buy one for your business, the first thing to do is figure out what kind of coding system works best for your needs. If you’re just starting out and want something simple and inexpensive with no maintenance, low cost of operation but high quality and packed with features give us a call at XYCodeUSA for your coding needs.

Subscribe to our BLOG to stay updated with the Industrial Printing Industry.