Flash the Light and Ring the Bell
By Chris Pangallo, Product Manager – Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) and Laser
There are a wide variety of manufacturers using Linx Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) printers to print variable information - date codes, batch codes, logos, and weights - onto their products. All different kinds of information on all different kinds of products. The one thing our wide variety of customers do have in common is that no one wants to code their product. They code their product because they are required to do so.
The addition of variable information is a critical component of quality control. Products can be rejected in the supply chain if they lack the coded variable information. Some suppliers receive fines if their product does not meet their customer’s packaging specifications. For example in the case of food safety, unmarked products can have disastrous consequences such as in the event of a recall all unmarked product becomes suspect and will be a loss whether it is part of the recall or not.
Linx CIJ printers come equipped with an alarm output that indicates warnings, faults, and failures. The alarm output signals can go to two different connectors on the printer — a Default 24 V connector commonly used with a red light alarm beacon OR an optional Volt Free Contact (VFC) connector typically tied to a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). You can use the alarm output signal to control one or two external alarm beacons to signal warnings such as Fluid Low or Preventative Maintenance is due.
Customers can also take advantage of the alarm signals to help assure products in their production line have been coded. They can have a red light alarm beacon on the printer providing printer status for the line operator, and they can also have the VFC signal tied to a PLC that is programmed to stop the production line should the printer have a fault resulting in no print. The Dual Alarm (24 volt signal and VFC) has been a very popular solution for many customers. It provides peace of mind that their products are coded and ready for market.
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 Linx product line. Visit us at www.diagraph.com or contact us at 800.722.1125.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers in essential industries such as food, hygiene products, and medical supplies are needed more than ever. It’s critical that these products continue to be produced and shipped in a timely manner, to support the growing demand. Current manufacturers are doing the best they can to keep their production up at this time. And moreover, companies in industries from cosmetics to breweries to sustainable clothing are pivoting in the face of the COVID-19 disaster.
But maintaining or increasing production to meet demand during this time, while vital, also brings challenges -- including gaps in the supply chain, dealing with new and heightened hygiene and safety requirements, and navigating new packaging compliance requirements during a company pivot.
There’s no place on the planet that is not being impacted by COVID-19. With the globalization of manufacturer supply chains over the past several decades, this means that almost no supply chain will be unaffected by the crisis. Freight shipping has been drastically reduced in an attempt to help slow the spread of the virus. Truck driver shortages were already being reported before the spread of COVID-19, and now the demand for their services has only increased. With shelter in place orders, regions closing and opening on an unpredictable schedule, facilities having to follow quarantine restrictions, even essential manufacturers will be seeing shifts in their businesses.
To further complicate matters, supply chain disruptions cause food that is desperately needed to instead be wasted, as perishable food products are unable to reach market. Milk, for example, has been hit particularly hard already, as the U.S. government has been asking dairy farmers to dump their supply. Meat and produce can be frozen, grain can be moved into siloes, but milk and many other dairy products cannot be kept from spoiling over the long term and those dairy farmers are scrambling to pivot their bulk production to retail packaging.
Your company will be dealing with many potential points of failure across the supply chain. And there are more challenges to overcome as well.
Food, medical supplies, and other essential industries cannot afford to cut back production like other industries. But the workers in these industries are already seeing a much higher rate of infection than the general population. In North Carolina, 23 meatpacking plants have reported outbreaks, with more than 1,300 workers testing positive for COVID-19. And a meatpacking plant in Minnesota has reported almost 200 cases among its workers.
It’s more important than ever that companies implement good hygienic practices to keep workers safe. Proper deep cleaning procedures and 2-week quarantine periods can take time away from the production output of goods or shut down a plant all together. However, these measures ensure the health and safety of essential employees who are mission critical to meeting production demands that fuel the economy.
A number of companies in non-essential industries are pivoting to provide essential supplies during this crisis. Breweries and distilleries are producing and shipping hand sanitizer, due to having the majority of the ingredients already in-house. Meanwhile, restaurants are selling groceries, and the dairy farms that previously sold in bulk are switching over to serve more direct retail clients.
But switching over production means new compliance requirements. Additionally, processing and coding technologies that worked well for previous product needs may not be suited to print on new substrates. With so many challenges being faced, how can manufacturers keep up? Luckily, it can be fast and easy to shift to a new product coding solution.
Small character inkjet coders, for instance, are a great solution for manufacturers wanting to add new printers on their line or for those manufacturers who have switched over to packaging hand sanitizer or more retail packaged foods. Alcohol resistant inks are even available to ensure proper code adhesion even on hand sanitizer products or to withstand more rigorous cleaning procedures. More advanced continuous inkjet systems have simple set-up requirements, making self-installation achievable for facilities keeping a lockdown on visitors.
And in this time of economic uncertainty, manufacturers can lease coding equipment, spreading out payments instead of having to spend a large amount of capital upfront for new printing systems. For operations requiring consumables like inks, ribbons or on-the-shelf spare parts, supplier partners can work up blanket contracts to ensure savings over the long-run. There are multiple ways manufacturers during this time of crisis can meet current and new coding demands in a cost-efficient way.
The landscape of business everywhere is changing rapidly and even essential business manufacturers will be feeling the impact of these changes.
Your company will be dealing with many challenges during this time -- potential points of failure across the supply chain, the dangers of pivoting, rigorous new safety and hygiene requirements. Don’t let your product coding be one of these new challenges. Not when the solution can be so simple. Talk with a Diagraph Marking & Coding consultant to understand your options if you’re being met with coding challenges in your production and we will help you understand your solution options and how to implement them.
All-Electric Labeller Utilizes Smart Sensing Technology to Maximize Reliability
Diagraph recently launched the LA/4750 – a servomotor-controlled label applicator system featuring enhanced smart sensing technology. The intuitive design allows the LA/4750 to auto-detect irregularities in operation, reducing complications from missing labels, variable line speeds and inconsistent product distances – resulting in the industry’s smartest, most reliable all-electric label applicator.
The new label applicator system builds upon Diagraph’s proven Platinum E-Series labelling technology to offer greater total-system reliability. Utilizing precision control made possible by high performance brushless DC servomotors, the LA/4750 reads smart sensor signals in real-time to adjust label dispensing commands. Diagraph’s smart sensing technology ensures precision label placement, reducing the need to rework improperly labelled products.
The LA/4750 features key enhancements that allow it to accurately dispense hard-to-read clear labels, prevent missed products and double feeds, and auto-adjust outputs to changes in line speeds. The system also features an independent rewind drive that works as a clutch-less, no adjustment system that is easy to web – a major pain point with other labelling machines.
Available in wipe and tamp models, the LA/4750 can apply labels to the side, top, bottom and corner-wrap of primary products and cases. Diagraph’s all-electric labelling technology allows manufacturers to move away from expensive, dirty and unreliable pneumatic air without compromising performance.
The LA/4750 is designed to be simple to set up and easy to use. For more information, call 800-722-1125 or visit diagraph.com.
by Michelle Chamberlain
Marking and coding products correctly is an essential part of the supply chain. Consumer packaged goods must meet packaging compliance to adhere to global and government regulations and retailer standards for product safety. Managing the printing of product codes remotely - with the right tools and software - not only eliminates waste associated with reduced time and motion along with reduced defects from key stroke errors, but also minimizes physical interaction risk to workers. You can monitor and manage your print production remotely by automating your marking, coding and labeling process. Centralized printer management software like NEXTConnect from Diagraph can help you with this.
Without NEXTConnect, each printer must be updated manually. However, with NEXTConnect software to monitor and manage your printers remotely, the need to physically touch the printers is removed - a huge benefit during Covid-19.
Common challenges manufacturers experience with production in normal circumstances are compounded during a disaster. These include:
4 major attributes of centralized printer management software, like NEXTConnect, that facilitate remote work
Some other benefits of centralized printer management software include:
With the NEXTConnect app, you can manage and monitor print production right from your smartphone, desktop or tablet. NEXTConnect works with iOS, Android and Windows.
Keeping production in essential industries is crucial and minimizing the risks of exposure to Covid-19 is equally important during this challenging time. Using a centralized printer management software suite that will allow you to control the process remotely is a vital tool to stay both safe and productive now and in the future.
Want to know more? Contact us to schedule a demonstration of NEXTConnect.
Let’s set the scene: The year is 1893. Pepsi is introduced to the world for the first time as “Brad’s Drink” in New Bern, North Carolina. The zipper – referred to as a “clasp locker” – makes its debut at the Chicago World’s Fair. Inspired by views from Pikes Peak in Colorado, Katharine Lee Bates writes “America the Beautiful”. And on the banks of the Mississippi River along the St. Louis Levee, cargo piles up as it’s awaiting hand addressing…
In this Mississippi River cargo traffic jam, Andrew Jackson Bradley saw an opportunity for innovation. By November of 1893, he invented the first stencil cutting machine, the Bradley Stencil Machine, to aid in marking goods neatly and quickly to expedite the laborious hand addressing process of cargo. The stencil machine was an alternative to expensive brass stencils and reduced inconsistencies and labor associated with hand marking.
The Bradley Stencil Machine emphasized its ease-of-use -- with successful operation that could be achieved by nearly anyone with just 15 minutes of practice. The invention boasted new possibilities in the marking industry by making it simple to include a variety of shipment information including the name and address of the recipient, routing number, weight, description of contents, and even branding. This would only be the first time of many in Diagraph company’s 125-year history in which commercial business would be revolutionized.
Throughout the years since the creation of the stencil machine, milestones in innovation have continued to define Diagraph:
In 2018, we are celebrating our long-established heritage at Diagraph and our products that are known to last, last, and last. This commemorative year means a new, modern look for Diagraph that exhibits the strength and integrity of our quality craftsmanship, products and people. We are marking this moment in history as a meaningful stepping stone in delivering the next 125+ years of excellence to our customers through an entirely new approach to service and support.
We want to bring our loyal customers and employees along on this celebratory journey with us throughout the year. Check back for more deep dives into our past and announcements for what the future of Diagraph brings!
For Immediate Release – February 26, 2013 Contact: Dina Garland, firstname.lastname@example.org, 636.300.2035
Diagraph… Delivering Innovative Solutions that You Inspired!
Introducing Diagraph’s newest integrated valve print head that delivers a compact code with sharp definition. Need to print a simple text, date, time or shift code? Diagraph’s IV12 dot print head offers up to ½” print height with speeds, ink types and capabilities to handle a wide variety of coding applications. Designed for both case coding and primary product marking, the IV12 dot produces a compact code with sharp definition. Built to last, the IV12 dot print head is ruggedly made from a durable, sealed aluminum extrusion. Print height is up to ½”, including two lines of stacked print and print speeds up to 650 feet per minute. The IV12 dot system is capable of running up to 4 print heads from the same easy to use color touch screen controller. The low-cost single head system can be expanded when printing is required on both sides of the product. Diagraph does not just talk about innovations, outside the box thinking, and high up time reliability, we realize them. Learn More.
For more information, call 800-722-1125, send emails to email@example.com or visit www.diagraph.com. To view videos of our labeling and coding product applications, customer success stories and demonstrations from the trade show booth, please visit YouTube’s Diagraph Channel www.youtube.com/diagraphitw. Also, please take a moment to “Like Us” on Facebook www.facebook.com/diagraphitw in order to receive announcements and stay in touch with what’s new at Diagraph.
Diagraph, An ITW Company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of marking, coding and la- beling systems and supplies, and has been in the product identification industry for over 100 years. Diagraph’s products include automated labeling systems, LINX continuous ink jet and laser coders, and large character ink jet and thermal jet systems. Acquired by Illinois Tool Works (ITW) in 2001, Diagraph has the resources and financial backing of a multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 or- ganization. ITW has 825+ business units in over 50 countries employing nearly 60,000 men and women worldwide.
Diagraph’s E-Series labelers are considered the simplest, most reliable all-electric labeling solutions in the industry today thanks to years of continuous improvement and innovation. Our entire line up of Diagraph E-Series print and apply and automated label applicator systems build upon the durability of the proven Diagraph Platinum Series design, yet incorporate key electronic enhancements that allow it to perform more consistently and reliably over time. The result? A simpler, more reliable labeler that can do everything a pneumatic system can do, only better.
It’s all in the design:
The high velocity vacuum fan offers greater reliability than pneumatic air
Our high velocity vacuum fan design allows for full surface area control of the label across the entirety of the pad, achieving a uniform label transfer from pad to product. This consistently performs better than pneumatic designs that feature just a few pneumatic vacuum hole locations on the pad. Diagraph’s high velocity vacuum fan design eliminates the easily clogged small orifices found with pneumatic systems, allowing our labelers to perform more reliably in dusty environments.
The electronically controlled actuator arm movement guarantees precision label placement over time, every time
Our electronically controlled actuator arm allows you to digitally set the application speed to ensure repeatable and reliable operation. Thanks to Diagraph’s all-electric SERVO motor driven design, you are no longer at the mercy of the questionable consistency and reliability of your plant air. Our electronic controls eliminate the need for manual adjustments to address system age and wear.
The color touchscreen display puts more of the information you need right at your fingertips
The E-Series user interface features a larger display that enables you to view more system settings and system health information all at once. This larger, simplified display allows for fewer menus and less toggling between screens. You can now get to the system settings you need with fewer touches.
These are just a few of the many advantages of our E-Series labeling solutions. Contact us today to learn more about how trading up to our E-Series labelers can help save you time, money and the hassle of mislabeled products, cases, traypacks and pallets.