Products containing animal milk are on a constant time clock. Cows must be milked every day, meaning it is possible for dairy operations to be running 24/7 to get products with an under 20-day expiration period out the door and onto shelves. In these fast-paced manufacturing environments for fluid milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream products, there are several factors that impact the method and features required for achieving legible marks and labels onto packaging. DOWNTIME With perishability of dairy products, there is great urgency for products containing milk to make it to grocers’ shelves with the right product identification. Without proper codes, products won’t even be allowed to ship. Any delay could have health risks for consumers and potential negative financial impact for the manufacturer. Look for non-contact coders with features focused on maintaining maximum uptime such as: Self-servicing: For example, Linx 8900 Series continuous inkjet coders can be serviced on the line using the Easi Change Service Module–eliminating the need to wait for a technician. Pre-programmed line settings: When switching between packaging sizes, like pints to quarts to gallons, stored line settings with accurate codes for each type speeds up the changeover process and reduces errors. ENVIRONMENT Cold, wet environments characterize dairy manufacturing facilities. Fluid milks and cheeses can perish quickly and require constant refrigeration from the production line to the delivery truck all the way to the grocery store. Mixing and filling stations call for washdown procedures to prevent contamination and create a damp environment for coding and other equipment. Coding equipment should include the following features to uphold against these environmental factors: Stainless steel finishes withstand washdown environments better than anondized finishes. The Linx 8900 Series IP ratings ensure no ingression of moisture into critical parts of the printer and continual reliable printing. Internal t emperature monitoring in the printhead makes the necessary adjustments to maintain ink viscosity –ensuring your code quality is consistent, even if the ambient temperature fluctuates. We recommend the Linx 8900 Series printers for their reliable performance in dairy processing environments. To further improve your batch and date coding in the dairy industry, we can suggest additional accessories like fork style photocell sensors for the most accurate coding, positive air added in the printer cabinet to protect against contaminants entering system and end coders. Contact Diagraph today to learn more about how these small character inkjet printers can improve your date and batch coding operation. Click here to learn what marking & coding solution is right for your dairy application.