A UK manufacturer of silicone tubing used in the medical industry required a marking system for printing text at defined intervals on to the tube as it was being manufactured. The tubing is extruded cold and then passes into a heat curing station.

ATD proposed a Leibinger Jet 3pi Continuous Ink-jet Printer for the task. Because of it’s small size it was easily installed in the space between the extruder nozzle and the curing station. The Jet3’s unique shut-down system, which completely seals the nozzle when the printer is switched off, allows it to be started cleanly and quickly, even after periods of extended shut-down.

Silicone is a notoriously difficult material for anything to adhere to and after printing a number of samples with different inks the customer opted for Blue High Temperature Resistant Soft Pigment ink. This was not only produced a high-contrast text, it was also resistant to removal and withstood the curing process.

The multiple font feature of the Jet 3 allows clear and concise text to be printed on large and small diameter tubing. The Jet3’s 10.4″ colour touch screen makes programming simple and intuitive.

The printing process is non-contact which meant no handling of the un-cured product was required. The Jet3 continuous ink-jet printer produces individual drops of ink that are projected on to the product’s surface from several millimetres distance to form clear, crisp characters.

Printing Silicone Tube

For more information on this application, or for information on any of ATD’s industrial coding, marking and labelling solutions please contact us.

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