Color Contrasting Inkjet Coder Runs Cleaner for Longer
Linx 8900 Plus continuous inkjet lineup overcomes longstanding soft pigmented inkjet challenges
ST. LOUIS, (Nov. 9, 2017) – Diagraph is pleased to announce the launch of the Linx 8900 Plus Series – an advanced range of color contrasting inkjet technology that provides the highest levels of printer reliability and ease of use. Enhancements in printhead design and pigment particle dispersion in the Linx 8900 Series prevent common clogging issues associated with inkjet systems when using color soft pigment based inks.
Providing up to 6 weeks between printhead cleanings and up to 6,000 hours or 12 months between preventive maintenance intervals, the Linx 8900 Plus Series printers are among the most robust soft pigmented inkjet printers in the industry. The printers feature fully sealed, stainless steel printheads with integrated auto-flush technology that keep the printheads running cleaner for longer and print quality consistently high. Preventive maintenance work on the printer can be accomplished using unskilled labor, involving the change of self-service module and filter guided by instructions displayed directly on the printer screen.
The Linx 8900 Plus Series keeps pigment particles dispersed in the ink system using several printer functions that provide constant, gentle agitation. The printers feature an enhanced mix cycle that is triggered at jet start up and can self-adjust for idle periods and extended shutdowns. This approach to particle dispersion eliminates the use of mechanical stirrers and the need to keep the printer left powered on – minimizing the number of wearable parts and the overall cost of operating the printer.
Achieving print speeds of more than 1,600 feet per minute for a single line, seven dot high print message, the Linx 8900 Plus Series printers offer some of the fastest speeds in the industry for the most common print message requirements. In addition to industry-leading print speeds, the Plus Series can accommodate a wide range of print formats including data matrix and QR codes printed up to 20mm high, with a considerable throw distance of 20mm and up to 45mm when requiring a “tall” print message style. Ink colors available with the printer include yellow, blue and black.
Contact a Diagraph Product Identification Expert by calling 1.800.722.1125 to learn more about how the Linx 8900 Plus Series inkjet printers can take your color contrast coding to the next level.
The Art of Automatic Label Dispensing
By Steve Dods, Product Manager
Automated Labeling Products (ALP) and Thermal Transfer Overprinter (TTO)
The Art of Automatic Label Dispensing:
· The amount of release agent (silicone coating) applied to the paper portion of the liner substrate
· The aggressiveness of the adhesive being used for the label, usually determined by the application need
· The angle of the peel blade
· The tension that is developed on the opposing sides of the peel blade
· The addition of an air knife or pressurized flow of air to force a separation between the label and the liner at the peel point
· The depth of the die-cut (the cutting process of forming the label within the continuous adhesive top sheet)
· The age of the materials and storage conditions
When these factors are not within the bounds of system acceptability, the possible results are:
· The label does not separate from the liner at all, and follows the liner over the peel blade. No label is separated. Extreme case.
· The label begins to peel, but the angle of separation changes (due to adhesive aggressiveness/lack of tension/not enough release agent) and the label does not feed out to the designated retaining surface for application
· The label peels out to the retaining surface for automated application, but the trailing edge is still connected to the edge of the liner. Upon application, the label hinges or rotates about this edge, and is ultimately not applied to the product
Two views of labels hinging onto the liner after traversing the peel blade edge. The labels remain attached to the liner.
Problems with the Current Solutions:
· Alternate designs will use an air knife and air pressure to separate the label from the liner. This creates a potential issue of blowing the label off of the tamp pad and into the air, since the amount of pressure is constant and the bond resistance varies from label to label. No label applied to product.
· Alternate designs will allow the label to feed out to the tamp pad, and then use articulation to move away from the peel edge. This results in extra moving parts and more failure points. This method does not solve other aspects of peeling, such as label face stocks with increased friction and drag resistance.
To solve the issues of dispensing labels with the aforementioned attributes, the system was modified to perform a vibrating function by way of the preexisting brushless dc actuator motor. Since the heart of the All-Electric labeling system design is based on a proprietary circuit design and control algorithm, changes could be instituted to allow the surface of the tamp pad (the holding plate for the label prior to application) to vibrate during the feed of the label. The vibration effect is only active after the feed of the label, which breaks the adhesive fiber bonds that would normally be maintained between label and liner without this technology. By vibrating in the low Hertz range, the system can separate labels that would otherwise hinge and cause label jams or cause the label to avoid being applied with adhesive side facing the product. This patented method of ensuring the labels are freed from the liner is known as VibraFeed.
· Automatically separates the label adhesive fiber bonds with the liner without increasing the process time
· Uses inherent components of the system that are normally tasked with the application of the label to the product
· Increases the range of label material quality that can be used for automatic application
At Diagraph, we are dedicated in solving your coding and labeling challenges. Diagraph has been assisting customers for over 120 years improving production line efficiencies with simple, reliable, cost-effective coding and labeling solutions. Contact us to learn more about the Automated Label Applicators product line. Visit us at www.diagraph.com or contact us at 800.722.1125.
Thermal Transfer Printhead Technologies in Print and Apply Labeling
By Steve Dods, Automated Labeling Products (ALP) and Thermal Transfer Overprinter (TTO) Products Manager
There are two common types of thermal transfer (TT) printheads in industrial print and apply labeling systems. One version is the Flat Head TT type, which has a relatively parallel contact between the heating elements of the printhead and the ribbon/label. The other is a Near-Edge TT type, which angles the head up to 45 degrees. There are advantages and disadvantages to these two types of technologies, which is why both existing in industrial printing.
OEM industrial print engines, such as SATO and Zebra
Labeling system manufacturer's proprietary printer (VideoJet) and TTO (Thermal Transfer Overprinters)
Typically 5 million lineal inches, with proper cleaning and care
Typically 2.5 million lineal inches, with proper cleaning and care
Price (4" wide)
Around $450 to $700
Around $1000 to $1300
Up to 16 inches per second
Up to 19.7 inches per second
Consumable Cost (600m Ribbon)
$15 to $20 per roll,
Wax, Wax Resin, or Resin
$23 to $30 per roll,
Wax Resin or Resin only
Head mount adjustments required
Less or no adjustment required
Near edge TT print heads are optimal for high-speed printing on surfaces that may have some variances, like film webs. They are mainly seen in these applications, where the alternative technology is ink jet or laser. Flat head technology is ideal for longer life, lower consumable cost, and lower overall replacement cost. As with most competing technologies, it comes down to the application requirements. For print and apply applications, the reliable and less expensive selection has been the venerable Flat Head TT print head.
For more information on print and apply applications click here. Or contact us at 800.722.1125.
Not all inkjet printheads are created equal. Some printheads are designed to offer superior uptime performance, making them easier to operate and use when coding product. Look for the following features when choosing an inkjet coder, whether it is a small character inkjet coder for printing on primary product packaging or a high resolution large character inkjet coder for printing on cases:
Inkjet printheads featuring stainless steel construction and sealed designs withstand wear and tear better than those constructed with plastic. When examining the printhead materials, also look for whether or not wires are exposed during the cleaning process and whether or not printheads allow for adjustments. Exposed wires and printhead adjustments put the printhead at risk of damage, making them less durable and reliable. Opt for an inkjet coder that features a printhead that is durable enough to require no printhead adjustments for long-term ease of use.
Inkjet printheads that offer automatic cleaning capabilities allow for less human handling of the equipment, minimizing the opportunity to damage the equipment. Hands free cleaning capabilities also allow for printheads to run cleaner for longer, giving manufacturers as much run-time before interventions are required. The best cleaning systems allow printheads to code onto products without encountering printer faults or degrading code quality, with manufacturers able to run the inkjet coders for weeks and months before manual cleaning of the printheads are required.
Although inkjet coders are considered non-contact coders, it never fails that a product is sent down the packaging line skewed, causing it to come into direct contact with the printhead. When this happens, poorly designed and constructed printheads encounter major issues with internal components falling out of alignment and air pockets being introduced into the ink lines. Well-constructed printheads have potted components that are strong enough to withstand these types of impacts. Some inkjet coders also feature material handling mechanisms that gently guide the printhead away from the product to minimize the impact on the printhead.
Interested in upgrading your inkjet coding technology, but not sure where to start? Speak with a Diagraph product identification expert today by calling 1.800.722.1125 or contacting us through the website.
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Are you prepared to move quickly to meet the new standards set to be released by the FDA by the end of this year? The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 gives the FDA broad powers to closely inspect food manufacturers and enforce strict traceability standards across the industry. Legally mandated facility inspections will start in 2016.
Here is what we know:
FSMA Rules & Guidance For Industry
A comprehensive listing of the draft proposals that are likely to go into effect as enforceable regulations.
GS1: Product Tracing, Critical Tracking Events and Key Data Elements
Moving toward a single global standard for implementing traceability measures in the food and beverage industry.
Product Coding Technologies
Small Character Inkjet
Case Coding Technologies
High Resolution Inkjet
Print and Apply Labeling
Large Character Inkjet (Dot Matrix)
Pallet Coding Technologies
Print & Apply Labeling
Learn more about the all new Linx 8900.