Many containers are coded on when they are packaged so that the manufacturer can keep track of where and when any particular batch of product was produced. This makes it possible for consumers to know the age and freshness of the product and, should there ever be a problem discovered in any particular batch, then it is possible to know from the code if a bottle or carton that came from that batch.
The original coders were contact coders, basically rotary rubber stamps. A wheel containing rubberized letters and numbers rolls onto an ink pad and then transfers the ink to the container. Control Print Coders (CPC) has been a major producer of these type of coders.
However the development of computers and ink jet printing led to ink jet coding, which now dominates the industry. Ink jet coders are not only capable of higher speeds but they allow for an operater to change the code with a computer keyboard rather than having to manually reset the type. This is a huge advantage. They can even be connected to the internet and can be wireless.
One of the pioneers in ink jet coding was the AB Dick Corporation of Chicago, an office copier company that was famous for the mimeograph machine. In the 1960’s it developed the Videojet Coder which became a leading ink jet coder. One of leading manufacturers of contact coders, Markem, to keep up with the new technology, merged with the French company Imaje which was producing ink jet coders so they are also a major force in the industry. Other producers of ink jet coders include Domino, Lynx, Willet and Matthews.
Ink jet coders are used not only for containers but often to code cases. This task requires a large character coder. Ink jet coders also can be designed to produce type of different colors.
Another type of coder that grew out of computer industry developments is the laser coder which prints by etching a surface with a laser. Laser coders are more expensive than inkjet coders but they tend to require less maintenance. They also create a sharper print and are capable of printing on surfaces where ink might not hold. For example, some premium egg producers put date codes on each egg in the carton. This is often done with laser coders.
Sometimes coders are used to apply bar codes to containers or labels. Sato and Zebra are leaders in this field. Bar code printers are sometimes mounted on the head of a pressure sensitive labeler and put the bar code on the label.
before it is applied.
Cartons are sometimes coded with an embossing stamp, which is called a debosser. Bivans cartoners are often equipped with these.
View used package and container coding equipment for sale.