New Moli MoTix Printers – ideal for printing winged pallets

Timbermark has found the ideal application for the new Moli MoTix 4000 printer from Sojet. The low-profile printheads make it an ideal printer for winged pallets.

One printer with four printheads can print up to 25mm on bearers on both sides of the pallet on a typical Viking Turbo line.

We have installed this new technology at three customer sites so far this year and are in discussions with other pallet manufacturers looking for a solution for marking winged pallets.

Inkjet offers several advantages over traditional methods such as branding or stenciling.

Hot branding uses expensive energy and presents a risk of injury to the operator or setting fire to the premises. Stopping the line for branding creates a bottleneck, whereas pallets can be printed without interruption, so line output can be increased. And the flexibility of an electronic system means that the designs can contain variable dates and be changed almost immediately from the controller screen.

The advantages over stenciling are the opportunity for variable data, and the elimination of a manual operation.

Until now, Timbermark was using the Sojet Elfin E1S printer with its low-profile printhead to mark winged pallets. However, the E1S controller can only accommodate 1 printhead so the new Moli MoTix 4000 product, with 4 print heads, gives a real advantage as it can print at twice the size, and print on two sides from one controller.

A new feature of particular interest is the outline font. This allows customers to print larger size characters, in higher definition, and still achieve a lower running cost. Taking the example of “Outline Font” in the image, below, the running cost is about 0.5p per stamp. The thickness of the border in the outline font can be adjusted to optimise contrast and economy.

The Moli MoTix 4000 can print up to 600dpi to give a very dark mark, which is perfect for dry timber. The printer can also work on timber with some moisture content although there are limits to this. Green fresh-sawn material is OK, but if the wood is rain-soaked, or frosted, the ink will not penetrate the timber.

The rule of thumb for printing on damp wood is: if you can stencil it, you can print it.

Inkjet printing on pallets – Frequently asked questions:

  1. We have a dusty environment – will it still work?

A: Timbermark has specialised in this market for 20 years. It is sometimes necessary to clean the print heads of ink-soaked dust. Some arrangements can include air knives for dust removal. The ink droplets are smaller than a particle of dust, making it necessary to remove loose dust before printing.

  1. Will it work on wet timber?

A: inkjet systems can print onto green timber with a moisture content of around 90%. The ink soaks into the surface of the material, so surface water means that the ink cannot reach the substrate. In winter it is a good idea to condition the timber if possible before use. But, even if the ink is a little blurred, it remains legible if the timber dries afterwards. As a general rule, if you can stencil it, you can inkjet it.

  1. Frozen timber?

A: The same applies, but it will also be important for the pieces to be easily separated in the board cassette application, for example.

  1. Is the print waterproof?

A: Yes. The aqueous Sojet ink is waterproof once applied – we test this by soaking it in water for 8 hours after printing. This is not the case for all brands of thermal inkjet cartridges! For UV cured ink it solidifies with the UV irradiation, so even onto wet timber (or paint) the ink can set, then the timber or paint can dry in its own time.