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BX-Bitjet vs eZ-inkjet

Issue

I have a BX from Videojet printing on cards. What makes your eZ-inkjet better ?

Which one should I take ?

Short-circuit Decision Helper

If you absolutely want a system

  • If you want to print 2” @ 128 dpi, fast (1,000 fpm) or on a product 5-10 mm away with ink that does need a dryer, buy a Bitjet from Domino or BX600 from Videojet for around $80k and pay a lot for make-up that literally evaporates in front of you. But be prepared to pay more than $10k for a head module plus the installation by an expert. The cost to print 1,000 barcodes is about $2.96 (capex included)
  • If you to print 2” or 4.25” @ 600 dpi, medium fast at (300 fpm), 2-3 mm away, with UV ink that need a LED UV lamp or solvent ink that needs a dryer, take the eZ-inkjet. $39k, just pay for the ink printed (no make-up needed), $5,800 to exchange the head. The cost to print 1,000 barcodes is about $1.35 (capex included)

Unfortunately, as always, choosing the right solution is not that easy; technology changes, your customer has new requirements, need more efficiency or higher speeds, different substrates and inks, have to train people on one platform only if possible, etc. Behind all these aspects hides a powerful controller: last and always forgotten ! that you can scale up and add different inkjets and applications using the same User Interface to avoid lengthy learning curves as you grow, buy the right controller, an MIC. For more on the MIC, please see www.graphtech.us.

Strengths and weaknesses of BX or Bitjet

Strengths (Important, Good, Nice to have):

a) Prints fast, up to 1,000 fpm (I)
b) The throw distance is good, this is sometimes important on old machines (I)
c) Nice print at native 600 dpi vertical resolution. 200-300 dpi in horizontal.
d) Start-up time is not bad, if you are lucky.

Weaknesses (Show-stopper, Bad, Not so nice):

a) It is an old technology. 128 dpi not good. Nobody knows how long they will be built (S)
b) The investment is high at about $80k (B)
c) The running costs are high because you are basically evaporating make-up. Many plants keep them running  because they are problematic to start-up. (B)
d) Long start-ups. It is not a user-friendly technology. (N)
e) Skewed jets provoke a stop, head must be cleaned (N)
f) The ink and make-up are solvent based. This is a problem in many ways: (B)

  1. Health
  2. Fire/safety
  3. Permits in South America because the solvent can be used to produce drugs

Strengths and weaknesses of eZ-inkjet and DOD

Strengths (Important, Good, Nice to have):

a) Costs: lower cost than CIJ, both to buy and to run. Around 50% less
b) New technology, higher resolution. It has taken 80% of the market of CIJ and other technologies (I)
c) Longevity: treated right, a jetting assembly lasts many thousands hours (I)
d) Ink type versatility: solvent based, UV based, oil-based, wax based. (I)
e) Easy to exchange when broken (G)
f) Easy to install, easy to start up (G)

Weaknesses (Show-stopper, Bad, Not so nice):

a) Jetouts: much better than HP if treated right but higher cost of replacement, $5,800 every couple of years (B)
b) Distance to substrate still quite close for many machines, especially compared to CIJ (5-8 mm).
c) Needs UV or IR dryer (around $5,000), much better now with LED curing. (N)

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