Why choose Rotech as your thermal inkjet supplier?

9th November 2023 | 4 mins

Picture this. Your existing coder – a continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer – has started to fail, yet again. And yet again, you’re having to call an engineer in to fix it. This will cost you, not just for the repair itself but all the time the line is down, you’re losing valuable production time and time is money.

Even when the printer is running well, it’s not pleasant to work around. It’s imposing, smelly and messy. Surrounded by splashes of it’s own ink, it’s definitely made its mark in your factory.

Leaking CIJ system next to new thermal inkjet printer
Thermal Inkjet printer on a milk bottle production line. Printing onto whole milk labels

You decide that enough is enough, it’s time to find a replacement coder, or even a different way of coding altogether. You google the magic words ‘replacement for continuous inkjet printer’ and, aha! It seems that there is an alternative technology, Thermal inkjet (TIJ).

Mess free, maintenance-free and ideal for fast-paced industrial environments, TIJ seems like the ideal solution to all your coding-related headaches.

But now you’ve got another decision to make, who do you buy the printers from?

Another quick search tells you that there’s multiple suppliers of TIJ, from what look like one-man band operations, to the very same company who supplied and service your cumbersome CIJ printer.

Choosing a thermal inkjet supplier

So, when faced with a lot of options, how do you choose?

Over recent years, the benefits of TIJ have become much more widely known, and as a result, there are a growing number of companies offering it. Here are the factors to consider before choosing a supplier.

Product range & capabilities

Simply speaking, do the printers in their range meet your requirements? Information provided on the printer should include all the criteria you need to know, such as print quality, throughput, min/max print size and resistance to water and dust ingression (IP rating).

Also consider whether the printer can meet your future needs, not just the needs of the business now. If your predicting considerable growth, you should factor this in – can the solution grow with you?

Does the supplier offer a trial or demo of the printer? With many different models of printer and grades of ink available, it’s always beneficial to put the printer to test on your product or packaging prior to making that all important purchase decision. Like with any coding solution, a one-size-fits all approach doesn’t always work.

Product and technology knowledge

It’s inarguable that TIJ printers are relatively uncomplicated and are ideal for many coding applications and production lines. However, for the solution to be perfect and the installation to be efficient and seamless, knowledge around the printers and technology is crucial.

For an experienced engineer, integrating printers is quick and painless, with downtime kept at a minimum. They will also ensure that the positioning, parameters and settings of the printer(s) is ideal for the application in question.


As aforementioned, most major suppliers of continuous inkjet will have thermal inkjet in their product range, but it’s often hidden in the shadows. It’ll come out as an option when a customer asks about or requests it. This often raises the question, ‘why?’.

TIJ exists as an alternative to CIJ. So, if you’re a company selling large volumes of CIJ printers (along with the costly maintenance plans, spare parts, ink and MEK) it’s not going to be in your best interests to promote and sell a competing technology that provides you with less of a returning revenue. And if supplying it isn’t in your best interests, then supporting it probably isn’t either.

Support & customer care

If you experience an issue with your printer that you’re unable to fix yourself, how quickly will you be able to get it resolved? If it can’t be sorted quickly, can a replacement be sent?

There are suppliers offering TIJ as an off-the-shelf product, shipping it to the customer to fit and operate themselves, using manuals or videos for reference. They may even be based overseas, so providing in-person support will never be an option.

Although problems with thermal inkjet coders are rare, you’ll want to feel assured that if ever there is a problem, it will be addressed and fixed quickly.

Rotech - we're advocates of TIJ

As early adopters of Thermal inkjet, we’ve seen the advancements in the technology first-hand. We’ve seen it evolve from an expensive technology only able to print onto porous surfaces to a cost-effective option, ideal for the majority of coding applications across all industries.

We’re passionate about showcasing the benefits of the technology and helping manufacturers make the switch. We know it’s strengths, ideal applications and limitations and are keen to share this knowledge with anyone that chooses to partner with us.