[Ultimate Guide] How to select the most suitable printing and marking system for cement products

[Ultimate Guide] How to select the most suitable printing and marking system for cement products

Control Print Limited | July 3, 2022

Origins: The invention of modern cement and its first patent

John Smeaton, an Englishman born in 1724, is known as the ‘Father of Civil Engineering’ who designed numerous bridges, harbours, and canals. He also pioneered the usage of ‘hydraulic lime’, leading to the discovery of modern cement. After British stonemason Joseph Aspdin patented the world’s first artificial cement in 1824, which he called ‘Portland Cement’, cement production became widespread across the globe.

A record of India’s first cement manufacturing company

South India Industries Limited made the first effort in 1904 to manufacture Portland cement in an organized manner in Madras (now Chennai). However, the endeavour did not flourish, and the company had to stop production. It was in 1914 when the first licensed cement manufacturing plant was established by India Cement Company Limited at Porbandar, Gujarat. WWI, or the First World War (1914 – 1918), was the first major event that led to the development of the cement industry. During the following decade, also known as the nascent stage of the Indian cement industry, there was remarkable improvement in the number of manufacturing units, installed capacities and rates.

Market Overview: Indian Construction & Cement Industries (2020 – 2030)

Today, India’s cement industry is the world’s second-largest producer of quality cement, with over 7% of the global installed capacity. In 2020, a total of 210 large cement plants accounted for a combined installed capacity of 410 million tonnes, and 77 are in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Ranked by revenue and market share in 2020, the most prominent Indian cement producers were UltraTech Cement Limited, Ambuja Cements Limited, and ACC Limited. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, India’s cement production accounted for 294.4 million tonnes in FY21 and 329 million tonnes in FY20. Cement production reached 329 million tonnes in FY20 and is projected to reach 381 million tonnes by FY22. Due to the increasing demand in various sectors such as housing infrastructure, commercial construction and industrial construction, the cement industry is expected to reach 419.92 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by FY27. India is forecast to become the world’s third-largest construction market as it overtakes Japan in 2023, according to a study titled ‘Future of Construction’ by Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oxford Economics in 2021. Just four countries – China, India, the US, and Indonesia – will account for 58.3% of the estimated global growth in construction between 2020 and 2030. India has a large quantity and quality of limestone resources across the country, making the cement industry’s growth potential highly promising. Furthermore, the higher allocations for infrastructure in the Union Budget of FY23 – US $26.7 billion for roads and US $18.8 billion for railways, are expected to boost demand for cement in India.

What are the classifications of cement produced in India?

Cement manufacturers are engaged in the production of several types of cement, i.e., Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), Portland Blast Furnace Slag Cement (PBFS), Hydrophobic Portland Cement, Rapid Hardening Portland Cement, White Portland Cement, Sulphate Resisting Portland Cement, Oil Well Cement, High Alumina Cement, etc. Cement in India is produced strictly as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications, and its quality is equivalent to the best in the world.

Why challenging conditions in the cement industry demand robust printing and marking systems

Cement is one of the most widely consumed materials in the world for construction, road building, and other infrastructure projects. The Indian cement industry has been growing steadily since the early 1900s, and today, there are more than 1,000 companies producing cement around the world. As demand and distribution of cement increase, so does the need for reliable printing and marking systems to meet branding, labelling, variable product information, traceability, quality assurance, counterfeit protection, and packaging needs in the cement industry. A variety of coding and marking systems are used to print on cement bags, concrete blocks, roofing sheets, gypsum, and cement sheets. With round-the-clock run times, dusty environments, and harsh temperatures in cement factories, you need powerful printing and marking systems that consistently produce the highest quality output. In addition to producing high-quality prints, these systems should be reliable and durable to meet your production deadlines in these challenging environments.

“We’ve collaborated closely with our customers to develop these industrial-grade printers,” says Shiva Kabra, Joint Managing Director at Control Print Ltd. “They’re built tough and designed to meet the demands of demanding applications and unfavourable conditions.”

With robust coding solutions and support from Control Print, you can not only achieve consistent code quality over the lifecycle of your printer, but you can also minimize your maintenance. With over 1000 installations in the cement industry across India, Control Print is uniquely positioned to provide industrial-grade printing and marking systems designed to withstand harsh environments while delivering exceptional print quality at an affordable price.

What type of printer is ideal for printing on cement bags?

A cement bagging line is a highly dusty environment, creating difficulties for printing and print durability. The coder must be able to print through layers of dust and make a print that can withstand the impact of bags rubbing together. If you are printing on woven polypropylene or paper bags, you will need a robust printing system that can handle harsh production environments. However, it is not the only challenge for printers. To print bags quickly and accurately on uneven surfaces, you need a printer with a high throw distance. The Large Character Printer (LCP) is our line-up’s toughest and most rugged printer. Even in the harshest conditions, it is ideal for printing variable data and text on difficult-to-print surfaces or materials, especially when the print needs to remain visible from a long distance.

Advantages of using a Large Character Printer (LCP) by Control Print

Control Print’s Large Character Printer (LCP) offers a wide range of features that make them ideal for use in challenging environments of the cement industry.

  • IP65-rated industrial-grade printers deliver superior print quality even when exposed to high heat or humidity in continuous operational temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius.
  • Large 12.1-inch solvent-resistant touchscreen and icon-based user interface for ease of use.
  • A simple operator error can result in hundreds of rejects in fast-moving production lines. The Large Character Printer’s user-level control technology eliminates coding errors with centralized message creation by authorized personnel only.
  • Fully waterproof and dustproof construction ensures maximum reliability, ease of operations and near-zero maintenance.
  • Impact-resistant, heavy-duty print heads that provide excellent performance in dusty environments.
  • The Large Character Printer (LCP) operates on Valvejet Drop on Demand inkjet technology. With only a few moving parts in the system, the odds of printer failure are minimized.
  • With an industry-leading 70 mm throw distance, the LCP can deliver high-quality codes even on irregular surfaces and imperfectly aligned products.
  • Industry-leading print performance of print speeds over 80 m/min and print height up to 50 mm. Options for drop and nozzle size controls ensure the print matches your specifications.
  • The Large Character Printer (LCP) offers various printing options, including text, automatic date and time functions, numbering and serialization, graphics, and logos.
  • The ‘No-Print’ kit is an inbuilt failsafe mechanism that ensures all products are coded, reducing the need for manual quality control and checks.
  • An automatic print head cleaning system keeps the printer running smoothly, ensures the nozzles remain clear and prevents print quality deterioration.
  • Triggered at the press of a button, the solvent switchover feature lowers the maintenance load on your operators by preventing ink clogging over long shutdown periods, ensuring smooth shutdowns and trouble-free start-ups.
  • It is the only Large Character Printer (LCP) with a top-up capable ink tank that can be refilled even when the printer is running. This innovative feature helps reduce downtime and ink wastage and prevents damaging your printer’s pumps if the ink runs out entirely.
  • The LCP’s ‘Slant Head Technology’ allows you to change the print height on large and small products with one printer, eliminating time-consuming print head setup changes.
“Being able to tilt the print head eliminates the need to stop the production line and change the printer setup, resulting in less downtime and higher productivity,” says Deven Suri, National Product Manager – Secondary Packaging at Control Print Ltd.

What type of printer is best suited for printing on concrete blocks?

It is essential to code and mark concrete blocks because the printed logo and information may be the only visible markers distinguishing them from different manufacturers. Control Print’s Large Character Printer (LCP) is best suited for printing on concrete blocks, and our advantages in the concrete block application include:

Big visible prints

Whether it is your company logo or statutory certifications, we offer printing solutions to make your brand highly visible.

Fade-resistant inks

Concrete blocks are frequently stored in direct sunlight for lengthy durations of time. We have several inks that resist exposure to the sun and do not fade.

Heat resistant inks

Do you need to print before baking the concrete blocks? We offer inks that withstand hot temperatures of the autoclaving process.

Custom handling systems

We also deliver customized handling systems to guarantee that each block is printed.

What type of printer is recommended for printing on roofing sheets?

Manufacturers of roofing sheets code their products with logos, product names, and relevant product information. Printing successfully on a corrugated surface at high line speeds requires carefully selecting printing technologies and inks. Control Print’s Large Character Printer (LCP) and High-Resolution Printer are best suited for printing on roofing sheets.

What type of printer is used for printing on gypsum and cement sheets?

Printing on gypsum sheets usually takes place on the backing paper and includes the company name, logo, batch code, manufacturing, and the statutory information specified by building standards authorities. Control Print’s High-Resolution Printer is the proper coding solution for creating high-quality visible codes despite layers of dust coating the sheets.

Advantages of using a High-Resolution Printer by Control Print

The High-Resolution Printer helps businesses slash costs and improve packaging line flexibility and end-of-line automation. This printer is ideal for directly printing labels, manufacturing dates and barcodes on shipper cartons or boxes. Some of the features that make this printer ideal for printing in the cement industry include:

  • The High-Resolution Printer combines Piezo Drop On Demand (DOD) Inkjet Technology, oil-based inks, horizontal and vertical print head orientations, and many innovative features, making it an exceptionally reliable coding solution with near-zero maintenance requirements.
  • This printer lets you print text, real-time and sequential numbering, linear and data matrix codes, and graphics and logos on your products and packaging.
  • An online batch coding machine with 180 dpi resolution capability, 382 individual nozzles in a 53.7 mm swathe, and a large print head makes the High-Resolution Printer one of the most versatile printers for bar codes, logos, and many other applications.
  • Printing directly on the carton or surface of the product helps you cut costs by substituting the need for an additional label printer. Our research indicates over 72% savings over a label printer. The High-Resolution Printer prints everything a standalone label printer can, at the equivalent quality and a fraction of the cost.
  • It is ideal for printing highly visible and scannable barcodes, ensuring they are machine-readable, while the 2-inch height ensures they are easy to spot at the production line.
  • Standard linear barcodes and 2D barcodes, including EAN 128, UPC and all 2D Data Matrix codes (including QR Code), are also available.
  • Generic coding simplifies packaging-related storage and reduces waste by printing all the variable information on generic packages that contain branding and other rarely changing information.
  • Print heads last between 3 – 4 years, with virtually zero failures. Increased uptime heightens productivity and guarantees that your production line runs as smoothly as possible.
  • To prevent clogging the print head, an automatic purging feature ejects a small amount of ink to clear the dust/debris from the nozzles, always keeping the print quality and printer in top condition. The ink used for cleansing is collected, filtered, and recycled to ensure complete ink recovery and no ink wastage.
  • Control Print’s inks are priced at 40% less than the market average, enabling the High-Resolution Printer to offer the industry’s lowest running costs in its class. Our locally manufactured inks are not subject to currency fluctuation risks, resulting in stable prices compared to imported inks.
  • They are built to ensure ease of use, minimal operator training and maintenance by eradicating complex start-up or shutdown procedures. If your operators are familiar with smartphones, they will feel immediately comfortable with the High-Resolution Printer’s icon-based user interface.
  • Research indicates that 70% of coding errors can be attributed to operator errors leading to substantial monetary loss and product rejection. The High-Resolution Printer’s user-level control technology solves this problem with a centralized message database created by authorized personnel on a central computer. The operator can choose the right message from the database and begin printing.
“The High-Resolution Printer uses oil-based inks that, unlike water and solvent-based inks, don’t dry in the print head. The combination of automatic purging and oil-based inks guarantees the printer remains in top condition with truly little maintenance,” says Shiva Kabra, Joint Managing Director at Control Print Ltd.

Recommended: For product walkthrough videos, printer specifications, brochures, print samples on products, etc., click on Large Character Printer (LCP) and High-Resolution Printer or the cement industry to explore further.

Control Print: Manufacturing reliable and sustainable industrial printers for coding and marking applications since 1991

Control Print designs innovative and modern application-oriented industrial coding and marking systems for a wide range of industries. Our coding systems have been employed in many industries, manufacturing plants and automated production lines to identify as well as track and trace commodities and packaging for over 30 years.

Our esteemed clientele includes Aditya Birla Group, Wonder Cement, Tata Steel, Godrej, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Glenmark, Cipla, Colgate, Indian Oil, ITC Limited, Jindal, Greenply Plywood, Britannia, and many more global brands.

Control Print’s coloured inks have been specially developed and optimized for Control Print’s printing and marking systems. Quality, environmental considerations, and dependability are most important with all our industrial products.

In conclusion, we provide everything you need to print and mark your products confidently. Please choose from our complete portfolio of printers, inks and consumables or write to marketing@controlprint.com for more details. Call +91 8097466782 to book a demo at your convenience, and our experts will advise you on which printing and marking system best suits your needs.


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