Outstanding Modular Stand
By Chris Pangallo, CIJ and Laser Product Manager
To achieve best quality printing with Linx Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) printers, accurate and stable printhead placement is critical. Additionally, there are several production line specific requirements to consider before selecting the proper mounting accessories to secure both the printer and printhead. These requirements include:
· Equipment needs to withstand wash-down
· Equipment needs to be mounted to a wall to keep walkways clear
· Equipment needs to be bolted to the floor for ultimate stability
· Equipment needs to be flexible with quick and easy change over to different positions
on the same production line
· Equipment needs to be easily moved from one production line to another
· Equipment needs to accommodate accessories such as alarm beacons and wash stations
· Equipment needs to store fluids inventory
Linx meets all of these requirements with their new Haltbar range of printer mounting, introduced with the launch of Linx model 8900 CIJ. The Haltbar mounting is modular, providing the flexibility to meet both current and future application needs, and allows for fixed or mobile applications.
In addition to their ability to address the specific location and flexibility needs of a production line, they are built to withstand the rigors of the production environment. The stands are formed of 304 grade 1.6mm stainless steel and other tough materials for maximum durability.
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.
Selecting ink for your inkjet technology – impulse jet, valve jet or thermal jet – requires an understanding of your application and some basic qualities of the inks available. We asked our inkjet experts for key information to help shine some light on understanding the ink options available in the market:
A: All inks are made up of essentially the same things; a solvent, colorant, resins and other additives. It’s the resins and additives that give inks certain properties that allow them to adhere to specific substrates better than others. Solvent is the carrier of the ink. Colorant is what gives the ink the color you see. The resin gives the ink the ability to stick to substrates. The additives are anything else added to the ink to give it a desired property (surface tension modifiers, dispersing aids, gloss reducers, etc.)
A: Simply put, the surface tension of the ink and surface energy of the substrate determine an ink’s adherence. An ink droplet is made up of many molecules of ink. These molecules of ink have to be attracted to each other to form this drop of ink. So, the surface tension is how much they are attracted to each other. If they are highly attracted to each other (water) then the molecules are close together and hold on tightly to each other. When the molecules are not very attracted to each other then they barely hold onto each other and spread out more. It has to do with the charges of the molecule, or lack thereof.
Water is polar, which means it has a negatively charged and a positively charged end. These negative and positive charges attract to each other like magnets do. For example, when the water is placed on a glass, it just beads up and runs off because the glass has no charge (non-polar). The water is not attracted to the glass. However, if we add soap to the water we alter the surface tension and the dynamic changes. Soap molecules have a charged side (polar) and a non-charged side (non-polar). When the soap dissolves in the water it allows the non-polar side to be attracted to other non-polar substances, like glass.
So, to make an ink better adhere to a substrate, additives are used to change the surface tension of the ink to more closely match the surface energy of the substrate.
A: VOC stands for volatile organic compound. With some exceptions, the solvents used in products such as coatings, inks and adhesives are generally classified as VOCs. Unless they are controlled, these solvents are emitted into the air after they perform their function. Thus, solvent emissions from products and industrial operations are one of several significant sources of VOC emissions. Emissions of VOCs, in and of themselves, do not necessarily give rise to health or environmental concerns. In many areas, however, they react with oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the presence of heat and sunlight to form ground-level ozone – the primary component of “smog.” For that reason, they are regulated as “ozone precursors” under the federal Clean Air Act and similar state laws.
A: Dyes and pigments are both colorants. Dyes are soluble liquids and dissolve into the ink base. They do fade over time. Pigments do not dissolve as they are solids and do not fade. Since they are solid they may settle, or sink, to the bottom of a container if the ink has a low viscosity, or is thin and watery in texture. The weight of the pigments causes the inherent problems with pigmented ink. First, they can actually clog printheads if they’re too large. Secondly, if they are allowed to settle the ink will not have the same color.
It’s the same concept as pouring Italian dressing on your salad without shaking it. The dressing will have a different taste because the ingredients are not mixed.
A: One component of ink that helps it adhere to substrates is resin. The resins allow the ink to spread creating more surface area helping promote adhesion. Resins can be categorized as either brittle, semi-brittle or flexible. If an ink containing a brittle resin, like acrylic, is used to print on film it can ‘flake’ off the film because the resin is stiff and is not able to adhere and conform to the shape of the plastic. If an ink with a flexible resin was used, the resin would be pliable and therefore be able to bend or flex with the film.
Diagraph’s top-performing ink, ScanTrue II Plus, and all valve jet inks are produced in our Marion, Illinois manufacturing facility. All of our inks have been designed to perform at the highest level with Diagraph manufactured inkjet equipment. If you have any questions, or wish to better understand what kind of ink would be optimal for your inkjet application, reach out to our experts!
What: U.S. regulatory agencies recently announced a new preference to standardize on the use of the quality-based date label of "Best If Used By" on packaged foods. This recommendation is voluntary and based on research-based industry best practices.
Why: Confusion caused by the use of various date label formats leads to unnecessary food waste. Consumers equate date label information with a warning about the timeline for the safe consumption of the food product rather than a statement of a recommended timeline for optimal food quality. This format recommendation is a part of the "Winning on Reducing Food Waste FY 2019-2020 Federal Interagency Strategy" launched by the federal government in April 2019.
Who: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are endorsing the "Best If Used By" industry standard set forth by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in 2017.
Industries of Interest: Food, Beverage
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Understanding the Expected Cost of Operations
Are you spending more than you should on maintaining
your marking and coding equipment?
By Bruce Castro, US Service Manager
Ever wonder what you spend on parts to keep your marking and coding equipment running? Even more importantly, do you know what you should be spending? We all know that maintenance isn’t free and everything with a moving part wears out sooner or later, but few really understand the expected cost of their application.
Many operate under the assumption that the costs they pay are the expected costs of operation.
If you want to know your spend on Diagraph or Norwood parts, just reach out to us and we’ll engage the local Service Engineer and Field Service Manager to find out. This service audit will identify your current spend and compare that to your expected spend on inkjet, label application, thermal transfer overprinter and hot stamp parts.
Through a service audit, allow us to review how you are performing and make recommendations for lowering your operating costs if your audit indicates that you are above the expected spend. We provide more than just equipment – we provide solutions to help you improve your marking and coding operational efficiencies.
After reviewing your comprehensive service audit, you may be wondering if it is the right time to move into a new system versus absorbing the cost of continuous maintenance on your current equipment. At your request, we will provide you with a downtime avoidance and maintenance savings analysis to help you determine if purchasing a new system is the right investment for your production line.
If you use Diagraph inks and solvents, or have more than one Diagraph technology in your facility, you may qualify for a free service audit. There are other ways to request this audit at no charge. Contact us 800.526.2531 to find out more information.
We are at your Service.
St.Louis, MO. . .Diagraph is pleased to introduce the LINX7900 Continuous Ink Jet Coder. With LINXInsight® remote monitoring, super-long service intervals of up to 18 months or 9,000 hours*,and an 18-month warranty, the new LINX 7900 sets the standard for continuous ink jet. It’s exactly what you want, everything you need, more than you expect!
TheLINX 7900 offers advanced additional features as standard, providing an exceptional value with no hidden costs.
Simple printer control
LINX Insight® enables remote monitoring from a smart phone, plus message download and control from a PC.
QuickSwitch® software allows simple and accurate code changes using a barcode scanner.
USB port means easy transfer of messages between printers.
Lowe strunning costs
Intelligent ink system enables up to 9,000 hours* between scheduled service intervals.
18 month warranty* on printer from installation at no extra cost.
Mistake-free message editing is provided by customizable on-screen prompts, to reduce coding errors.
*excludesLINX Spectrum/Food Grade Models
Increased production up time
Hermetically-sealed print head with no moving parts, no manual adjustments to make.
FullFlush® system automatically cleans and dries the print head and conduit at every shutdown.
SureFill® enables fast, mistake-free refills every time.
Additional standard features
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 www.facebook.com/diagraphitw and 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 labeling systems, and has been in the product identification industry for over 100 years. 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 organization. ITW has 850+ business units in over 50 countries employing nearly 60,000 men and women worldwide.
Getting shipments and inventory into retail distribution and onto store shelves efficiently is a key to profitability for any manufacturer, especially when you ship high volumes of products to big‐box retailers. Since all big‐box operators have rigid requirements for shipments coming into their distribution centers and stores, it’s critical to ensure pallets and cartons are labeled precisely. Get it right and inventory will almost always sail through without a hitch. Make a mistake however, and you’ll likely see delays, rejected deliveries, extra charges and costly rework to get your products on store shelves.
The first step to preparing shipments to big‐box stores is understanding their labeling requirements. While many retailers use certain common elements and regulatory requirements may apply to labeling standards within certain product categories, no single set of pallet labeling standards applies to all industries. Each big‐box retailer establishes detailed requirements for their receiving operations.
The first thing shipping teams should do is obtain the labeling guidelines for each big‐box retailer — never assume that what’s acceptable for one will work for another. Each big‐box store will have specific requirements for everything from what goes on each label to how many labels are required to exactly where labels should be applied. For example, Walmart’s supply chain packaging guide, which runs several hundred pages, includes multiple pages of instructions and requirements just for pallet labeling.
DEPLOY A LABELING SOLUTION
Once you understand the requirements, your next step is to deploy a labeling solution that will keep you in compliance while keeping pace with shipments moving through your packaging and shipping workflows. For high‐volume operations, an automated print‐and‐apply labeling machine is an ideal solution that can be customized to your business.
With an automated print‐and‐apply labeling solution, you’ll eliminate potential slowdowns and errors associated with manual systems. Plus, you’ll take workers out of production areas where labels are applied, minimizing the potential for costly injuries and accidents.
Keep in mind that all print‐and‐apply solutions aren’t created equal. You need a solution that can keep pace with your operations while delivering the flexibility required to address the varying requirements of different big‐box distribution centers and — perhaps most importantly — ensure reliable performance day after day, shift after shift.
ALL‐ELECTRIC PRINT & APPLY LABELING MACHINE
At Diagraph, a key component of our all‐electric PA7100 print‐and‐apply labeling machine is the Zebra ZE500 Series OEM thermal printer engine. We know from experience that we can count on Zebra printer engines to deliver industry‐leading print performance and durability for 4‐ and 6‐inch carton and pallet labels in your print‐and‐apply solutions. They feature durable, all‐metal construction for long‐lasting durability and deliver print speeds that can match the throughput of high‐volume production lines. Plus, they’re easy to set up, manage and maintain onsite or remotely to help schedule maintenance and prevent unexpected interruptions.
With an all‐electric Diagraph PA7100 print‐and‐apply labeling machine using a Zebra OEM print engine, you’ll have a pallet and case labeling system that can help you maximize performance, compliance and profitability. To learn more, contact your Diagraph representative.
Step one of a manufacturer’s game plan for packaging compliance is to understand your manufacturing code and print application requirements, in order to pick the product identification solution that is best for your needs.
What kind of information needs to be included in your print message? In many cases, especially in food and beverage, consumer-readable information must be included for buyers to determine freshness. In other instances, government and global regulatory agencies have set the requirements for manufacturers to adhere to. In order to meet packaging compliance, manufacturers may need specific product information, manufacturing codes, and barcode information, including:
Once specific print requirements and message placement are determined, manufacturers should also consider their application specifications. What type of packaging substrate does a manufacturer’s product or products use? What other processes in your material handling are occurring to take into consideration? And what kind of line speeds are they trying to achieve?
It will be important to understand which criteria your application falls under for a marking and coding partner to best match you with a solution that will deliver your desired results.
After determining the print requirements and application specifications, manufacturers can look at the available product identification solutions and select a technology that is right-sized for their material handling set-up.
A full portfolio range of product identification solutions are available to manufacturers including:
The tables below show how each type of product coding technology is suited to fill specific manufacturer print and application requirements.
In order to achieve packaging compliance, it’s necessary to pick the best marking and coding technology for the product in question. By taking the time to understand print message and application requirements, manufacturers can begin to compare compatible product identification methods and equipment.
Picking the best product identification solution is one step in a multi-step process to achieve packaging compliance. After the information has been applied to your product, message validation is the next step.
Ensuring manufacturing codes are printed on products is not enough by itself to achieve packaging compliance. The codes need to be validated to make sure they are present, accurate, and scannable.
There have been many advancements in product identification and machine visioning technology that have enabled manufacturers to automate the monitoring of real-time print quality. Scanners and vision systems are common components added to the production line postprint to inspect and report any illegible codes or incorrect stock.
Manufacturers know their requirements best, and working with a partner that offers a portfolio of all types of product coding technology will give you a fair assessment of the best solution for your needs. It’s also wise to choose someone who can provide support beyond installation for maintenance and servicing as age and wear and tear occur on your equipment. A reliable partner will also provide training for your maintenance staff should you choose to be as self-sufficient as possible.
However, there are still more steps to ensure manufacturers achieve packaging compliance.
Learn more about the other key considerations Diagraph recommends for guaranteeing packaging compliance:
Discover which Diagraph solution is right for your application by completing our short technology assessment. Click here to complete the assessment.