Blog Details

07 Aug

How do I choose my batch coding machine to print on PET bottles like mineral water, Juice or any kind of liquid filled bottle

Though water in the bottle may not expire, it’s the way how you fill the bottle and the external environment may affect the quality of water inside the bottle. Moreover the plastic bottle (PET) where the water is kept does expire and eventually start leaching chemicals in the water.  

Often we keep the bottle in sunlight which may affect the content in terms of taste , smell and feel. So its reasonably safe to drink water from a PET bottle by checking the best before date marked in the bottle.  

So the manufacturer of bottled water have to put best before date, Packing date , Batch number in the bottle water to make its end user / customer know how safe it is to drink. At times, we do find bottle without and legible date code print and we do ignore and drink thinking water does not expire but do remember the PET bottle do expire and has an adverse effect on taste, smell and feel. So apart from the legal mandate , manufacturer need to ensure each of the bottle rolled out of their plant has a crisp, legible date code, batch number and expiry date printed , which should be visible to its end customer.

As a manufacturer, how do I do this batch number, Expiry date, date of packing and MRP ? Those information are variable and change with every batch and date. They cannot have those pre printed in their label because of the variable in nature and have to look for a printer which can print on its bottle. What can be a typical challenge to the manufacturer of mineral water ?

  • Where do I print the date of manufacturing? Typically around the neck of the bottle you find a space which can be an excellent location to put information regarding date of manufacturing, Maximum retail price , expiry date and batch number. However, because of uneven shape and space it becomes challenging to put those disclosure. So instead of putting that in  a single line, manufacturer put those message of date of packaging, batch number , expiry date and MRP in a 3 line message.
  • How do I put this machine in my production process to code? Before we look for the answer, we have to understand how am I filling the bottle. What is my production speed and how many hours am I running the plant. Correct answer would help you to choose the right solution for optimising the cost coming for batch coding per bottle. Let me illustrate with few examples.
    •  A manufacturer of packaged drinking water is just filling water in 20 litre jar and has a production of around 300-500 Jars per day. A fully automatic date coder may take his cost for date coding to almost Rs 1 / jar and make this quite an expensive affair for him. He may alternately choose manual date coding machine or a handheld inkjet printer which should help him with both capital investment and running cost of the batch coding equipment.
    • A manufacturer has a production line where his bottle filling capacity is around 40 bottles per minute and has a capacity to produce 18000-20000 bottles per day. He cannot look for a manual batch coding or handheld inkjet printer. He has to go for an automatic batch coding machine which can be integrated to his filling machine. Batch coding machine, he chose should have capability of printing his mandatory code of date of packing, maximum retail price, batch number and expiry date in the defined space every time the bottle is packed. For that, he has to ensure the bottle needs to move in a linear fashion with less vibration and relatively dry substrate so that the date code remains legible and crisp. Now he has a choice of either going for a continuous Inkjet (CIJ) printer or a thermal inkjet (TIJ) printer. Thermal inkjet (TIJ) can be ideal choice in terms of investment and the cost he would incur to print the date code on the bottle. CIJ can be a choice but he would incur double the money for running his printer, cost of printer and service/ maintenance of the printer.
    • Now we are looking for a manufacturer who has 2 shift of production and 200- 400 bottle/ minute filling line with around a capacity to produce around 2,00,000 bottles/ day. He cannot do his production with a thermal inkjet(TIJ) . Not that Thermal inkjet(TIJ) printer cannot print at that speed accurately but the cost per bottle would be double then the other technology of continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer. With a capacity of filling 2,00,000 bottles per day , running cost and total cost of ownership would be low compared to thermal inkjet(TIJ) printer.
  • How do I know how much this is going to cost me per bottle? This is a question we all ask when we buy something which has recurring expense. You need to ask the seller the following question to calculate near approximation the cost of running the batch coding printer.
    • What is the warranty terms? How many days are the spared covered under warranty. Which are the spares not covered under warranty. Usually the consumable spares like filter, service module , core etc are not covered.
    • What is the cost of ink cartridge and how many characters can they print?
    • What is the cost of makeup cartridge and how many hours can they run at a certain ambient temperature?
    • What is the cost of Service module / filter set and what is the frequency that need to be replaced.
    • What is the cost of Service visit or annual maintenance agreement.


The detailed cost benefit analysis with a reliable batch coding machine should give you enough understanding which technology and what cost would suit you in choosing right date coding machine for your mineral water. We at BT Print have a team to help you with choosing right kind of batch printing printer to help code your bottle with crisp, legible and accurate print in every bottle reliably. If you want to hear more from us please do communicate through e mail : or visit our website at

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