Especially in the manufacturing industry, there is an obligatory need to label one's products in a suitable and legally compliant manner. In addition to the actual design, many products require additional, dynamic data - for example, the known best-before date, of course, or serial and batch numbers - which are only known at the time of production and then have to be generated and printed as required. The standardised, technical solutions for this type of industrial labelling are mostly based on Hewlett Packard's TIJ technology (Thermal Inkjet), as this is very compact, flexible but also robust and relatively inexpensive. TIJ uses ink cartridges with a built-in print head. The print head (the printing process) can then be controlled by individual, external control units. Compact hand-held printers - like our NasaJet® devices - were only made possible by this.
TIJ makes printing costs very transparent and calculable, but of course the replacement of empty TIJ cartridges creates time interruptions and also certain procurement and disposal costs. If you have a very large print volume or high ink consumption, you will naturally look for ways to further reduce and lower the printing costs. Bulk systems (also: bulk ink delivery systems, CISS Continuous Ink Supply System) are usually the most common and best solution here.
Although the term "bulk" originates from the technical hardware sector, its meaning changes somewhat in the context of printing systems. In the case of computer hardware and similar products, bulk systems refer to volumes without further additions or accessories (such as software or drivers and often even without the actual product packaging). Bulk systems therefore address professionals and hobbyists who want to do without what they see as unnecessary extras and can thus save money. In the context of printing systems, the term "bulk" is used in its classical meaning of "mass". In other words, we are talking about systems that can supply large quantities of ink to enable the most continuous, but also cost-saving, printing process possible.
The printing systems with INTERNAL ink tanks, which are mainly sold in the office sector, hardly play a role in industrial labelling because, on the one hand, they can only print in a very limited way (paper in fixed formats) and also cannot meet the tough requirements of truly continuous printing.
The technical term often used for bulk systems is CISS, the abbreviation for Continuous Ink Supply System.
Bulk or CISS systems usually consist of an adapter (in the shape and size of the ink cartridges used) and an external ink tank connected via a hose system. More ink is constantly flowing into the cartridge via the hose, so that the printing process can be massively prolonged and realised with little interruption. If the external ink tank is also "refillable", it is even possible to realise completely interruption-free printing systems. Bulk systems are increasingly replacing printing systems originally designed for redundancy. Here, several print heads are connected in parallel so that after a cartridge has been emptied, a full cartridge can simply continue printing.
We can also offer bulk systems or bulk inks for continuous printing for our stationary thermal inkjet printing systems (NJ-1000 and NJ-2000). For example, we offer (on request) the bulk systems and inks of the American manufacturer KAO Collins. The KAO Collins systems are not only characterised by excellent quality, but also by a technically mature and practical adapter system. This means that several ink consumers can be connected to the ink reservoir at the same time via simple plug-in connections. In practice, this enables redudant printing systems with long printing times and high reliability. These so-called bulk supply stations are currently available in versions with 4, 6 or 8 ink output ports. They can be mounted on the wall or on the ground using an optionally available stand with height-adjustable rails.
The standard ink tanks (bottle shape) from KAO Collins have a volume of 500 or 1000 ml. KAO Collins also sells special inks up to high-level security inks for official applications.
As a further supplier for bulk systems and bulk inks. For example, we offer (on request) the bulk systems of the high-quality Vietnamese manufacturer Mylan. The Mylan bulk systems consist of an ink cartridge and an external ink supply with 442ml capacity connected via a hose. This makes the TIJ Bulk systems perfect for printing tasks with high ink consumption and reduces the time needed to change empty cartridges. Mylan Bulk inks are available in black, blue, red and green. However, the colour range is also constantly being expanded here.