Many companies, especially in meat and dairy processing, struggle with the requirement to mark variable information onto slick packaging for a couple key reasons:
The packaging substrate High surface tension substrates like HDPE, polypropylene (PP) containers and caps, treated and untreated Orientated Polypropylene (OPP) for flow wraps and stand-up pouches, glass and metal all make ink adhesion difficult.
The manufacturing environmentFood packages of butter, margarine and salad dressing often leave a thin layer of condensation or grease on the packaging surface, inhibiting the preservation of code quality.
For manufacturers who experience difficulties using continuous ink jet (CIJ) coders on substrates and products with slick or greasy surfaces, specially formulated inks that cut through light films of oil or condensation are necessary to preserve print quality and contrast.
Linx’s new 1063 Grease Penetrating Black is a dye MEK based ink, developed for the market-leading Linx 8900 Series CIJ coders. 1063 Grease Penetrating Black ink has aggressive adhesion before and after refrigeration and resists removal by a wide range of oils and chemicals such as acids, alkalis, detergents, petrol and water. It dries in seconds and provides excellent contrast and legibility on transparent or light colored materials and, as the name implies, penetrates light layers of condensation and grease for a robust, durable mark.
Talk to a Diagraph specialist today at 1.800.722.1125 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss whether the new Linx 1063 Grease Penetrating Black ink may be a solution to your slick or oily manufacturing conditions.
NEW DIAGRAPH IJ4000 INKJET SYSTEM COMBINES
INDUSTRY-LEADING BARCODE DECODE-ABILITY AND INDUSTRY-LEADING RELIABILITY
(March 1, 2016) – Diagraph (www.diagraph.com) announces the launch of the IJ4000 high-resolution large character impulse inkjet system for printing alphanumerics, barcodes and graphics onto porous substrates. The cost-competitive printer combines industry-leading barcode decode-ability, industry-leading system durability and industry-leading print throw distance with the lowest maintenance requirements on the market.
Industry-Leading Barcode Decode-ability & Print Throw Distance
Three unique features combine to allow the IJ4000 to provide best-in-the-market print consistency on challenging packaging lines where boxes are rarely perfectly uniform.
First, precision print placement is ensured by a unique roller retractor and a digital level sensor accelerometer. The roller retractor provides a consistent gap between the print surface and print engine. A green LED light on the digital level accelerometer indicates when the print engines are perfectly aligned and perpendicular with the packaging material to be printed- regardless of floor variations. This ensures high-quality print and optimal readability for bar codes.
Secondly, the print engines of the IJ4000 provide throw distance of ½ inch for alphanumerics and an industry-leading ¼ inch for barcodes. This is double the 1/8 inch throw distance currently provided in the market for readable barcodes. In addition to ensuring high-quality print, the increased throw distance also reduces the impact of corrugate dust, glue and contaminants resulting in reduced maintenance needs.
Finally the unique design of the print engine ensures print is up to 15% darker than the last generation offering.
Combined these features allow the IJ4000 to offer a 35% improvement on barcode decode-ability compared to competing systems available in the market.
Industry-Leading Flexibility & Ease of Use
The IJ4000 was carefully designed based on customer feedback for optimal ease of use. The system features a unique HMI (Human Machine Interface) wherein the print engine, encoder and photocell connections run directly and cleanly to the connection hub. This allows the HMI to be moved to a remote location for greater ease of use. The HMI can be as far away as 100 meters when connected via Ethernet and an unlimited distance when connected through a Network.
The system offers a great deal of flexibility with both on-floor and in-office editing capabilities. The intuitive interface provides the option of use with a personal PC, eliminating the need for a separate controller and reducing cost by as much as 15%.
The integrated 10.2 inch touch screen controller interface eliminates the need for a separate keyboard, thereby reducing the system footprint. The system print head is also smaller in all three dimensions and further flexibility is provided by a dovetail track on both side of the print engines for ease of mounting on either side of the conveyer.
While many printing technologies advertise that they are ‘Unicode-ready’ they often mean that language characters are used as locked images. This is not the same as true real-time, variable print Unicode capabilities. Diagraph’s IJ4000 printers were specially designed to provide real-time printing in 11 languages.
Lowest Maintenance Requirements in the Market
The IJ4000 was carefully designed to provide the lowest maintenance requirements of any similar system in the market today.
The printer features a unique single point ink supply that can feed as many as four different print engines. This greatly reduces downtime and simplifies the fluid refill process as it is not necessary to monitor and maintain individual ink supplies.
The system´s unique digital level accelerometer has a sensor which indicates if the print engine has tilted plus or minus 1.5 degrees both for ease of installation and to assure the print gap between print head and carton is consistent along the entire print image.
A new auto-channel purge allows all 256 printhead channels to be quickly checked by a simple push of a button on the print head right on the packaging line. Maintenance is further simplified by hard-mounted, easily accessible filters and a centralized connection point that simplifies and reduces cabling requirements.
Taken together, these features allow the IJ4000 to provide as much as 30% less downtime than alternative technologies.
Industry-Leading Print Engine Durability
Featuring unique-in-the-industry stainless steel construction, and patented repairable (rather than disposable) design, shock resistance capability and automatic maintenance modules, the Trident print engines in the IJ4000 provide industry-leading durability. Whereas traditional print engines might need to be replaced as often as every few months, Trident technology can last as long as 10 years or 300 billion firings. This allows the IJ4000 to provide industry-leading durability with projected lifespan being as much as 5 times longer than competitive technologies.
“The IJ4000 is the result of over 5 years of intensive research into user needs,” said Steve Liker, LCIJ Product Manager at Diagraph. “It was thoughtfully designed with a number of unique-in-the-market features to provide customers with significant new performance benefits at the same price point as our last generation technology. We are proud to offer significantly more value at the same competitive price.”
The new print engines are reverse compatible to older IJ3000 systems for existing customers and are available with two inch print height. Technology featuring market-leading four inch print height is anticipated to launch in 2016 and will be forward compatible with the IJ4000 system.
About Diagraph, An ITW Company
Diagraph, An ITW Company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of marking, coding and labeling systems and supplies, and has been in the product identification industry for over 120 years. Diagraph’s products include all-electric printer applicator labeling systems, LINX continuous ink jet and laser coders, large character ink jet printing systems and thermal transfer overprinting systems.
For more information, call 800-722-1125, send emails to email@example.com or visit diagraph.com.
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.
For sachet or stick pack packaging, the Allen MLi-TE multi-lane thermal transfer printer is a top solution for coding individual expiration dates or lot codes upstream. Multiple lanes can print quickly and simultaneously, utilizing one ribbon to avoid multiple consumables running out at various, unsynchronized times. The Allen MLi’s configurable design requires only one controller and one consumable for up to 12-lanes of print, greatly simplifying packaging machine maintenance and reducing downtime.
Once your packet is coded, sachet or stick pack packaging requires a specialized system to form the packaging receptacle, fill the product into the packet, and seal the ends to secure the product for transport. These systems are known as FFS - form, fill, and seal machines - and they come in two different varieties: (1) Vertical (VFFS) and (2) Horizontal (HFFS). Vertical uses gravity to aide in the filling process, where horizontal is generally high speed by using mechanical methods for filling.
Today we’re doing a Q&A with an expert stick pack OEM, Viking Masek, to cover the key points to evaluate when selecting stick pack equipment to integrate with a marking and coding solution like the Allen MLi-TE.
Stick pack machines are perfect for packaging a wide variety of powder, granular, and liquid products. Powder products can be dense, fine, loose, and particulate materials. Liquids can be substances of differing viscosities including water-like fluids, gels, and pastes.
Stick packaging is very popular in many industries, especially with powdered drink mixes, liquid and powder pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, and granular ingredients like sugar. Contract packagers in the medical and dietary supplement industries also highly favor stick packaging equipment.
Single serve and controlled dosage packaging is very popular with todays’ consumers, spanning across many generational demographic groups. Millennials and young professionals love stick packs because they are portable, convenient, and fit unobtrusively into their busy lives. The aging population uses stick packs because they are lightweight and often feature easy-open options like tear notches, making it easier for those with limited dexterity to handle and use the product. Moms and dads are attracted to stick packs because they can easily feed their children with a single, easy to open, controlled serving size package that requires little clean up and virtually no utensils.
When it comes to selecting the proper stick packaging equipment for your unique product, there are experts available to guide you every step of the way. However, there are a few major considerations they will take into account when recommending machinery. These include:
All stick pack machines can utilize the following product fillers:
Stick pack machines can be built to accommodate different stick widths (most popular are 23 mm and 35 mm), convenient designs including pour spouts and specialty die-cut shapes, and can also feature easy-open options like tear notches and micro-perforations. Available with IQ/OQ pharma construction, stick packaging machinery is a great solution for pharmaceutical packaging.
Often stick pack clients desire to print expiration dates or lot codes on their stick packaging. There are many multi-lane printing options available, including Diagraph’s new Allen MLi-TE multi-lane thermal transfer printer.
First, do your research. This can be done via the internet, on the phone, or in person through your professional and personal networks. Attend industry trade shows and strive to see available equipment in person. When you’ve narrowed down your packaging OEM choices and are looking for more details in the form of a proposal, prepare by defining key points the equipment manufacturer will need so to provide the most accurate configuration for your specific needs. The key items that must be defined differ from powder to liquid products.
Remember that with most capital purchases, and especially when it comes to a piece of equipment you will rely on for a vital part of your production process, you often get what you pay for. Consider not only the initial purchase price of the piece of machinery, but total cost of ownership (TCO). TCO will include costs for things like training, maintenance and parts, installation, and tax implications.
Located in Southeast Wisconsin, Viking Masek manufactures, sells, and services flexible packaging machinery for food and non-food industries worldwide. Our focus on packaging innovation and investments in both technology and people makes us uniquely poised to take on unique packaging equipment projects, both large and small. Have questions about flexible packaging? Contact us today for a free Packaging Equipment Consultation.
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.
Downtime in your production simply isn’t an option. But at any moment, an unpredictable event can arise like low ink levels, maintenance and clogging, putting your operations on hold anywhere from an hour to an entire shift. So how do you prepare for the unexpected? One option that we see put into practice by many customers is the investment in a spare inkjet printer – a reliable, on-hand system that can quickly be fired up on a production line when your regular systems suddenly quit.
So what exactly should you be looking for in a reliable back-up inkjet printer?
Extended shutdown features – There is no planning when you might need to pull in a spare printer, meaning it could be sitting idle for an undefined amount of time. Many small character printers take time to boot up and flush printheads that have not been in use for some time. These printers often require full system flushes or draining when being prepared for extended shutdown periods. When purchasing a small character printer to use a spare, choose one that doesn’t have extensive shut down procedures and is designed to fire right up and start printing after sitting idle for as long as 3 months at a time.
Long shelf-life – Thermal inkjet printers that utilize snap-in and -out replacement ink cartridges make great spare candidates. Ink cartridges can be kept in-stock and on-shelf so your printer is guaranteed to have a supply of ink when it is pulled into operation at a moment’s notice.
Additionally, for high-resolution inkjet printers that take fluids from bottles, industry-leading inks are formulated to last as long as 18 months on the shelf and still consistently deliver high contrast print messages. Similarly for your case coding, look for printheads that remain start-up ready for up to 12 months. To ensure peak performance of ink fluids and printheads, always store according to recommended temperature and humidity conditions.
Protected internal electronics – Look for systems that have a protective covering to maintain and preserve the internal electronics. Not only is thermal jet printer technology a low investment option that produces high resolution text, graphics and barcodes up to 1” high, but the easy-to-change cartridges are simple to store on-shelf in case of emergencies.
Ask yourself whether it is more costly to invest in spare printers for your food production line or to risk unplanned downtime. The investment to protect your productivity is more than likely to pay off if you’re making an informed decision about the inkjet systems you’re keeping as back-ups. Our product specialists can help you determine what the best spare system type is for your application needs. Call today or send us an email for our recommendation.
3/24/05 INTRODUCING THE NEW TRIDENT-POWERED IJ/384 PRINTHEAD FOR THE IJ/3000™ IMPULSE JET SYSTEM
Diagraph, An ITW Company, introduces the new IJ/384 printhead for the IJ/3000™ Impulse Jet Large Character Ink Jet System. This IJ/384 printhead utilizes the new third generation print engine from Trident®. This printhead features a 2” imaging height at 192 vertical dpi for smooth true-type fonts and logos, as well as UPC/EAN and SCC-14 bar codes at 200 horizontal dpi. It is also the first of a new family of printheads that use the pigmented Scan True II ink. This pigmented ink minimizes the ink bleed for bar codes and small text, and offers better light fastness than dye-based inks.
The IJ/3000 Impulse Jet offers unsurpassed “smart” features: the ability to print high resolution bar codes, touch screen controls, worldwide networking connectivity, around-the-clock monitoring and diagnostic functions, and convenience features such as automatic cleaning.
The IJ/384 printhead offers the automatic cleaning feature, which allows the operator to program the IJ/3000 controller to self-clean at selected times over a 24-hour period. The pump and vacuum device in the CIDS/3000 ink delivery system automatically remove accumulated contaminants from the faceplate of the printhead and transport them to a reservoir, for future disposal. This will keep the printhead clean and printing clear marks as part of the preventive maintenance process.
IJ/384 Printhead Specifications:
Image Height: 2” (51mm) Number of Orifices: 384 (3 per channel)
Vertical Resolution: 192 dpi Addressable Channels: 128
Interface boards per printhead: 2 Ink Type: Scan True II Black
Maximum line speed: 200fpm Printhead Orientation: Horizontal
With the addition of the IJ/384 (2”) printhead, customers have four IJ/3000 Impulse Jet printhead choices to satisfy virtually any marking or coding application: IJ/96 (3/4”), IJ/192 (1”), IJ/384 (2”) and IJ/768 (4”).
The IJ/3000 allows users the flexibility of multi-technology performance. It is engineered to drive either high-resolution Impulse Jet printheads, such as the IJ/384, Diagraph’s patented Integrated Valve printheads, or the PA/5000LT Label Printer/Applicator.
The Impulse Jet High Resolution bar code print solution comes with a touch screen that allows operators to control the system with the touch of a finger and enjoy previously unimagined levels of convenience and productivity. The graphical user interface visually displays menus and commands so operators can enter messages and codes in minutes. And batch codes can be changed during a run, without interrupting production.
The IJ/3000 Impulse Jet has a built-in high-speed Ethernet connection that permits networking with another printer on the other side of the factory, or on the other side of the world. For multi-location manufacturing customers with constantly changing batch codes, this smart feature is invaluable for making changes and checking status. The system is designed to work with Web browsers (including Netscape and Internet Explorer), existing local area networks (device net, arc net, etc.), or wireless (radio frequency) using off-the-shelf converters.
Another smart feature is 24/7 monitoring and diagnostics. Operating on PCs, PLCs, and LANs, it can be used to obtain up-to-the-minute system status. The IJ/3000 Impulse Jet can even be programmed to monitor ink levels and provide an alert when the supply needs to be replenished.
Like all Diagraph ink jet printing systems, the IJ/3000 Impulse Jet is built to last, with minimal maintenance, even in hostile industrial environments. It provides reliable performance in all kinds of conditions—hot, cold, wet and dry.
For more information, please contact Diagraph using the method most convenient for you:
Diagraph, an innovator in product identification technology for over 100 years, manufactures and distributes marking, coding and labeling systems and supplies. Diagraph offers a complete line of RFID; barcode label printers; small character ink jet, large character ink jet and high-resolution ink jet systems; label printer-applicators and label applicators; thermal transfer label printers; stock and custom labels; labeling consumables; and traditional marking and stenciling equipment and supplies. Diagraph is a global supplier, with sales and service offices located across the United States and throughout the world.
DIAGRAPH is a registered trademark of Illinois Tool Works Inc. TRIDENT is a registered trademark of Illinois Tool Works Inc.
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