Diagraph, a leading supplier of marking, ink jet coding and ink jet labeling systems, was proposing a labeling solution for one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies. The specifications requested a ink jet label printing solution with the following features:
The end user requested a robust and easy-to-use application that automatically calculates the ‘Ship To’ and expiration dates based on the actual date when the label was printed.
Diagraph recommended a NiceForm application that combines date addition functions with an easy database lookup and data selection function. “NiceForm provided the custom front end functionality without custom software,” said Charles Shepherd, Regional Market Director of Diagraph.
The NiceForm application is a front-end data entry interface that increases data entry while minimizing entry errors for operators. In this application, NiceForm prints a label that includes object fields, variables and date functions that address the specifications above required by the end user.
In addition, NiceForm provides a front-end data entry interface with easy database lookup and data selection tools such as Combo Boxes and List Boxes. All these tools help to minimize data entry errors and enhance fast and efficient ink jet label printing.
Niceware assisted the reseller with the label and form development. The technical support staff used the NiceLabel Webinar online training tool to walk the reseller through the steps of creating a function on a label. Within a day, the reseller learned how to create the application using both NiceLabel Pro and NiceForm. “NiceLabel offered all the tools needed to create such a demanding label printing application,” said Charles Shepherd, Regional Market Director of Diagraph. “NiceForm was easy to set up and required very little training for the customer to use. Niceware’s excellent Technical Support and quality Customer Services were additional strong reasons we made NiceLabel our first choice in labeling software.”
More information on industrial ink jet priting software
There is a great debate in the packaging technology industry around the core driver of automated labeling equipment. Which is a superior labeling power source — pneumatic air or electric? Pneumatic labeling systems are built around timing-based commands that drive label movements based on the reliability of the pneumatic air supply, while all-electric labeling systems are built around real time data-based commands that allow for total control of the labeling process.
The difference between the two approaches is night and day — like the difference between VHS and high-resolution digital streaming technology. The more that manufacturers understand the advantages of all-electric labeling, the more pneumatic systems will go the way of VHS tapes and rotary phones.
Every labeling system, regardless of core technology, can incorporate sensors for feedback. Recall the times you have seen a product strike a pneumatic labeler’s actuator arm while moving down the packaging line. This happens all too often with pneumatic labelers because the control of the label feed and actuator arm is not reacting to real-time feedback from sensors, it is following pre-programmed timing commands and relying on the programmed settings for the pneumatic air supply (regardless of the actual pressure in real-time).
Free from the timing control constraints found in pneumatic air powered machines, Diagraph’s all-electric labeling systems can interpret feedback from smart sensors in real-time to allow for total control of the label throughout transit. Combining strategically placed sensors with brushless DC servomotors allows Diagraph’s labeling systems to operate with extreme precision, guaranteeing one-to-one label-to-product matching time after time. The all-electric, servo-driven actuator maintains speed consistency, while “smart” sensors confirm that a label is present for application and even provide the ability to control impact on the product being labeled. The system doesn’t have to rely on inconsistent air pressure to manage this process.
Another advantage of the all-electric method over the pneumatic air method centers around the tamp pad. Pneumatic driven label applicators utilize venturi vacuum technology to control the transit of the label from the tamp pad to the product. Nearly the entire surface of a pneumatic machine’s tamp pad needs to be covered by the label to maintain proper suction. Unlike pneumatic machines, Diagraph’s all-electric label applicators utilize an electric fan to create vacuum, allowing Diagraph labelers to accommodate multiple label sizes utilizing a single tamp pad. This saves time during label size changeovers as well as money.
With more than 120 years in the marking and coding industry, Diagraph has a rich history of providing highly durable and reliable labeling and inkjet solutions. Diagraph was the first to offer all-electric labeling solutions to handle all modes of label application including tamp, swing and tamp-blow. The result is a robust lineup of automated labeling solutions that offer benefits only found in all-electric systems that don’t compromise on labels sizes or performance.
Common GS1 Barcodes Pictured Above. The following can be printed by Print and Apply Labeling and most High-Resolution Inkjet Technologies:
Barcodes: UPC-A, EAN-13, UPC-E, EAN-8, GS1 DataMatrix, GS1 QR Code, GS1-128, ITF-14
GTIN Types: GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13, GTIN-14
Many major retailers and distribution centers require manufacturers to display important information on all four sides of cartons and cases that are intended for backroom storage purposes. This offers retailers ultimate flexibility for their inventory management programs.
The following information is important to effectively manage inventory:
Having this information visible on your box is usually not enough. Manufacturers need to ensure that this important information is large enough and clear enough to read from a distance.
4-Side Print Solutions
Unfortunately, there are not any one-size-fits-all solutions to accomplish four-sided printing on cartons. Flexographic and lithographic pre-printed boxes are not practical for the important variable information needed with every shipment (i.e., best by date and lot/batch code). Manufacturers can turn to a combination of pre-printed information and print-on-demand information if flexographic elements are required. However, complete print-on-demand solutions offer manufacturers the greatest flexibility in terms of cost and supplies.
Print and Apply Labeling 4-Side Print Solutions
Because manufacturers have more options when choosing to use a labeling solution for their four-sided print requirements, the best solution for your particular operation depends largely on the speed of your line and your product throughput. The most efficient option in terms of the equipment required would be to opt for two opposing E-FASA (swing arm) print and apply labeling machines. One machine would apply the label to the front and the side of the box while the other would apply to the opposite side and the rear panel. This solution does not require a bump turn material handling mechanism.
The Diagraph PA/6000 with E-FASA tamp applicator module offers the greatest flexibility for manufacturers. The all-electric design frees the labeler from shop air, allowing it to be placed anywhere on the packaging line. Additionally, the servo motor and smart sensing technology unique to the PA/6000 system ensure that labels are precisely placed on time, every time.
If retailers and distribution centers require flexographic and lithographic printed barcodes, you can more easily manage pre-printed label stock than a large pre-printed box inventory. Utilize flexographic printed labels for all information that will remain the same and utilize the labeler’s printing capability to print the important variable information on demand. With that being stated, it is important to point out that printing barcodes using a wax-resin ribbon and a thermal print head onto consistent label stock is a highly reliable print method. The recommendation to get pre-printed label stock depends entirely on retailer requirements, but is not necessary if you want the print and apply labeler to handle your entire print message – including the barcodes.
Large Character Inkjet 4-Side Print Solutions
Many manufacturers can get away with only displaying information on one or two sides of a case. To accomplish print on two opposing sides, manufacturers need inkjet printers installed on opposite sides of the packaging line. At Diagraph, our high resolution large character inkjet system – Diagraph IJ4000 – can drive printheads on opposing sides of a single line from a single system. The unique centralized ink delivery system in the Diagraph IJ4000 allows floor operators to monitor and change fluids from a single location rather than having to monitor each individual print head.
Additional material handling is required when setting up your packaging line for four-sided printing. A “bump turn” material handling method is required to rotate the box 90° to present the remaining two panels for printing. Two additional opposing printheads need to be installed further down the line, positioned after the bump turn mechanism, to print on the remaining panels. Four-sided box printing can easily be accomplished using the Diagraph IJ4000 once the bump turn mechanism is in place on the packaging line. A single IJ4000 system can drive all four required printheads from a single system, allowing up to a 2” print height for the printed information.
Printing variable information using a Diagraph IJ384e printhead offering a maximum of 2” characters satisfies size requirements for most retailers. If larger characters or a larger print area is desired, manufacturers can opt for the Diagraph IJ768e printhead, which offers up to 4” of print height. A single Diagraph IJ4000 system can drive two IJ768e printheads, which means two systems would be required for a four-sided printing application. Many of our customers opt for the IJ768e 4” printhead to take advantage of the larger print area and future-proof for expanding retailer requirements.
The Diagraph IJ4000 system prints high resolution text, graphics and machine readable barcodes, including GTIN, ITF and GS1 varieties.
Additional Quality Assurance Measures
Both high resolution inkjet and print and apply labeling technologies can print machine readable barcodes with high quality resolution. Many of our customers install a fixed mount barcode imager to test the barcode quality. This information is sent to a PLC which reads the good or bad output from the barcode imager and stops the conveyor when a barcode gives a bad result. This extra quality measure ensures that only readable barcodes reach retailers.
Material Handling Solutions Provided by Diagraph
At Diagraph, we have customers large and small who have varying degrees of internal resources and packaging line expertise. We offer project management services for manufacturers who choose a Diagraph solution and need to outsource the material handling changes to their lines. Our dedicated engineers work closely with manufacturers to design a material handling solution that will meet their unique application need.
Still have questions about printing variable information on all four sides of a box? Contact us today to learn more about your options: Call 1-800-722-1125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TO CELEBRATE 125th ANNIVERSARY, DIAGRAPH INTRODUCES NEW GLOBAL STRATEGY
DEDICATED TO MAKING MARKING, CODING & LABELING EASY
World´s Oldest Coding Company Stays Modern with Strategic Shift Across All Aspects of Its Business
Diagraph Marking & Coding (www.diagraph.com), an ITW Company, announces the rollout of a new global strategy tightly focused on making package marking, coding and labeling easy.
Diagraph´s new brand identity focuses every aspect of the company´s business on providing hassle-free marking, coding and labeling for customers. This is achieved through an unwavering commitment to three core brand values – reliability, partnership and simplicity.
Far from an isolated marketing exercise, the new brand values represent the culmination of years of careful listening to customer priorities and a comprehensive top to bottom overhaul of Diagraph´s entire business structure. Moving forward, all aspects of the company´s business (including new product development, customer service, billing, delivery and human resources) are being driven by a shared commitment to providing products that are easy to use and being a company that is easy to work with.
Top to Bottom Brand Reorganization
As part of this new strategy, sister companies within the ITW Marketing & Coding Group will be rolled into the Diagraph brand.
Trident, the inventor of the world´s only repairable and longest lasting piezoelectric print engine, and Norwood inventor of the world´s first hot stamp imprinter for the food industry will become part of Diagraph Marking & Coding. The Trident name, respected worldwide and synonymous with rugged industrial design will remain the product brand name for piezoelectric print engines. Norwood Marking Systems will be completely consolidated into Diagraph with all new thermal transfer technology being produced under the Diagraph name.
This strategic focus on making marking, coding, and labeling easy will be rolled out across Diagraph’s operations worldwide, including Diagraph Mexico, Diagraph Asia, and Diagraph’s European operations through Allen Coding. Additionally, the Diagraph Global Partner Network of certified distributors will benefit from forthcoming products, programs, and services– extending the benefits of this new strategy to all Diagraph technology users.
Strategy in Action
In the weeks and months ahead, customers will see the launch of a number of new products, services and logistical enhancements all designed to make product marking easy.
Printing systems have been designed for market-leading uptime. Interventions are minimal, tool-less where possible and simplified with the goal of minimal touches for routine items like message editing, consumable replenishment and filter changes. New product development is focused on machine level communications and connectivity, with an emphasis on simplifying diagnostics and increasing uptime through preventive and predictive maintenance.
A comprehensive service offering underscores Diagraph´s desire to partner with its customers in all aspects of their coding and labeling operations, allowing customers to remain focused on their business. Service programs have been designed to match the skill level of customer maintenance teams.Levels range from "DIY" to "never lift a finger". Pro-active need anticipation and one-call-resolutions are guiding goals behind all service programs.
Additionally, customers will notice Diagraph´s new modern logo, updated visual identity and newly updated website (www.diagraph.com).
Context: 125 Years of Thinking Ahead
Diagraph, the world´s oldest product marking company, is celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2018. The company has stayed relevant for over 100 years by anticipating industry trends and strategically realigning the brand to meet evolving market needs.
This approach has allowed Diagraph to remain at the forefront of global product marking needs with an impressive array of breakthrough technologies including: the world´s first stencil cutting machine (1893), the world´s first circular stencil cutting machine – the Diagraph (1902), the world´s first roll coder – the DiCoder (1969), the world´s first integrated valve jet technology (1986), the world´s first high resolution piezoelectric barcode print engine – Trident technology (1990), the world´s first centralized ink delivery system design for high resolution inkjet (1996), the world´s first automated cleaning system for high resolution inkjet technology (2002) and the world´s first all-electric automated labeling system platform (2008).
Diagraph´s new global strategic commitment to making it easy for manufacturers to make the perfect mark on their product represents a new chapter in Diagraph´s forward-looking leadership.
As we pause to fully appreciate the momentous occasion of our 125th year in business, we can’t help but look back on more than a century of important innovations and milestones that have put Diagraph directly at the center of major paradigm shifts in the way industry moves goods to market. You can reminisce on those milestones with us by reading our last blog post.
In the process of celebrating our past, we couldn’t help but look to the future. How are we going to write the next chapter in our 125-year-old story? This is a question that we asked ourselves leading up to this important anniversary. One thing we know for sure is that this chapter is not being written without the direct involvement of our customers as we have turned to them to help us chart a new course.
Our customers spoke, we listened, we deliberated, and now we are emerging in our 125th year in business with our plan for the future. Our plan looks less like an equipment manufacturing company and more like a strategic business solution partner. Our goal? Partner with customers in every aspect of their coding and labeling operations – providing a holistic approach that maximizes efficiencies for customers and drives tangible value throughout a long-term partnership.
As part of this goal, we are excited to introduce the Diagraph Solution Center. With our model, we leverage our full portfolio of coding and labeling solutions that are designed to be reliable, repeatable, and easy to use while at the same time helping our customers push past viewing coding and labeling assets as standalone equipment. We believe that these solutions can be powerful alone, but our customers can overdrive operational efficiencies when used together in combination with Diagraph’s comprehensive services that extend well beyond implementation.
There are four components of the Diagraph Solution Center model that help customers maximize efficiencies and drive value in their own businesses:
1) Solution Matching Services – Our team of product identification sales and service experts are dedicated to fully reviewing your coding and labeling operations to pinpoint opportunities where slight changes can provide big impacts on your production.
2) Diagraph Uptime Advantage – We design every product to deliver more uptime with minimal intervention requirements to ultimately give you what you desire most – the opportunity to focus on your own manufactured products, not down equipment.
3) On-time Delivery – Our philosophy here is simple: get what you need to support your coding and labeling operations, when you need it. We have teams in place to help you understand what a proactive on-time plan looks like for your business.
4) Predictable Service Support – Our happiest customers have service programs that are designed to meet their unique needs. We have doubled down on our commitment to working with customers to ensure that they have their very own service plan for success in place.
Through the Diagraph Solution Center, we are fully embracing the role of marking and coding experts, so you don’t have to be! Stay tuned as we dive deeper into each component of the Diagraph Solution Center model.
Learn more about the four components of the Diagraph Solution Center:
St. Louis, MO. . .Diagraph introduces the LA/4700 High-Speed Label Applicator available either as a wipe or tamp label applicating system.
LA/4700 Wipe Label Applicator
The LA/4700 Wipe High Speed Label Printer Applicator is designed to apply labels ranging in size from ½” W x ½”L to 9”W x 22”L (with optional wide web kit). It has a dispense speed of up to 300 fpm, with maximum throughput of 800 ppm (@ 300 fpm and 1”L label). It utilizes a Heavy-Duty Snorkel Label Dispenser with peel tip sensing, a stainless steel peel blade and accommodates various label shapes.
Key features of the Diagraph LA/4700 tamp printer label applicator include:
• Servo Drive: brushless DC
• Programmable Edge Sensor handles range of label and liner materials
• Standard Brush Applicator helps adhere labels to curved or slightly recessed surfaces.
• Extended Reach models are available
• Configurations: left or right hand.
• Tested & Approved to Meet: UL-60950, CSA-C22.2 NO. 60950, and CE requirements for safety.
• Stainless Steel peel blade and web guides
• Integrated Product Detector at peel tip.
• Independent brushless DC motor rewind.
• Label low sensing.
• Speed Compensation using optional photo encoder.
LA/4500 Tamp Label Applicator
The LA/4700 Tamp Label Printer Applicator is designed to apply labels ranging in size from 1” W x 1”L to 9”W x 13”L. It can apply labels at speeds up to 150 ppm using a 2”L label. A Front Apply Swing Arm is available for leading, trailing or adjacent panel applications.
Key features include:
• Configurations: left or right hand
• Stroke Length: 10” or 20”
• Standard Pivoting Tamp Pad for irregular or non-parallel product surfaces
• Standard Tamp/Blow
• Optional Label Presence Sensing
• Optional Product Surface Sensing for variable height/width products
The Optional Remote Interface makes operating the LA/4700 simple and intuitive. The backlit display is graphics-based, making it easy to understand, and the operator can navigate menus at the touch of a button. The tethered interface can be mounted where it is most accessible to the operator, independent of applicator orientation.
For more information, please call Marketing Services at 800-722-1125 or send e-mails to email@example.com.
Diagraph, a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc., manufactures and distributes automated industrial marking systems and supplies. Primary product lines include: automated labeling systems, small character ink jet systems, and large character ink jet systems. With sales and service offices located across the United States and throughout the world, Diagraph is a leading international supplier of product identification marking systems.
Diagraph is a registered trademark of Illinois Tool Works
As a key component in our Diagraph Solution Center model, the Diagraph Uptime Advantage focuses on delivering more uptime through our products with minimal intervention requirements. We believe that our coding and labeling solutions should be the least of your worries. This is why our equipment solutions are built to withstand the toughest of manufacturing environments and consistently produce high quality marks – print after print after print.
Our product solution portfolio is built around the principles of reliability and ease of use:
Whether you need entry-level thermal inkjet, high speed continuous inkjet, or high resolution, large format printing, we have a wide variety of inkjet coding solutions that are designed to be low maintenance, user friendly, and offer superior longevity.
Because the most common cause of issues with pressure sensitive automated labeling technology is linked back to pneumatic plant air, we have fully embraced an all-electric automated labeling platform that is designed with servo-controlled label dispensing technology and smart sensing controls to achieve precise label placement at high speeds. You get all of the performance without any of the hassle.
Diagraph’s thermal transfer printing solutions offer not only the highest resolution mark on web- and foil-based product packaging, but also the widest print area range, offering ideal solutions for printing simple product codes all the way to complex messages like ingredient panels and ingredient lists.
Using CO2 and fiber lasers, we can offer an eco-friendly and consumable free option to create permanent traceability codes on packaged goods. Laser coding is an excellent low maintenance option for manufacturers that are implementing anti-counterfeit measures or need a discrete code.
At Diagraph, we will help you formulate the ideal coding and labeling solution for your unique manufacturing environment, code durability requirements, and staff capabilities. This is just one of the many ways we partner with customers to deliver tangible value throughout a long-term relationship. How much time and money can you save by taking a new approach to your coding and labeling operations? Let’s find out together.
Learn more about the other three components of the Diagraph Solution Center: