Choosing a CIJ Printer: A 60-Second Analysis

Choosing a continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer can be complicated. Choosing what is right for you is always best done by working with a solutions representative. However, to get you started, it is best to know which manufacturers offer a specific key advantage you need- extended service intervals for more production time, lower maintenance costs, printing speeds, etc.

Here, I will provide you with an overview of key advantage areas of the Linx 8940 vs. four leading competitors’ comparable models.

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Many continuous inkjet printers sport similar advantages, but the Linx 8940 leads the industry in energy consumption and operating temperatures, while matching  many industry-leading advantages as well. Blending these advantages together provides for a high-quality CIJ printer with a low total cost of ownership (TCO).

Additionally, printing speeds up to 1,230 feet-per-minute (FPM) allow users to print very quickly, despite other machines being able to print faster. 1,230 FPM is about 4,920 20-ounce soda bottles per minute. Printing that fast and only consuming a fraction of the energy certain competitors consume provides for a significant operating cost advantage.

The very best way to see the benefits the 8940 can bring to your operation is by requesting an on-site demonstration. To do that, fill out this short form here and comment that you’d like us to demonstrate our leading CIJ model!

Questions?

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http://www.rvevans.com

800-252-5894

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Marking Pallets: Branding vs. Printing

Marking your pallets’ lead boards is an essential means of communicating information about the pallet or the timber from which it is constructed. Many manufacturers will mark their pallets with an electric brander or other pallet branding tool (see Figure 1).

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This traditional method of producing pallet markings is used by many pallet manufacturers to stamp their pallets with logos, lot codes, IPPC compliance, and any other information. However, this application is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and potentially dangerous due to the hot iron.

A much better alternative to manual pallet branding is the implementation of a printing application. Such an application provides manufacturers with the ability to avoid many direct labor costs, eliminate potential injuries from the heated brander, and increase speed and throughput in the pallet marking process.

The FoxJet ProSeries 384e is an industry-leading pallet-marking solution (see Figure 2)

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With the ability to print small images and up to 14 lines of text at high resolutions, this powerful printhead produces a clean, crisp marking every time.

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Additionally, the higher the volume, the higher the realized savings after switching to this alternative to expensive pallet branding.

Contact R.V. Evans Company for assistance in implementing your new pallet marking system!

Call us at 800-252-5894 or click the 5-line “tell me more” form below!

Tell me more!

 

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The Linx 8920 and 8940 Models

The new Linx 8920 and Linx 8940 combine the proven benefits of the Linx 8900 with a series of additional enhancements that deliver even faster line speeds and easier set-up along with a further extension to service intervals, enabling the coders to deal with the most demanding of applications.

A unique feature of the new models is the first-in-class Advanced System Monitoring feature.  The Linx 8920 and 8940 have extended the original 8900’s already impressive service interval of 13,000 hours or 18 months, to 18,000 hours or 24 months.  At the same time, in recognition that all printers are used differently, Advanced System Monitoring provides a continual check of the printer’s operation in terms of ink system running parameters and environmental conditions.  This enables it to identify simple actions that users can take to prevent unscheduled stoppages, helping to ensure the continuous reliable operation of the printer and avoiding unplanned downtime.

The two new models also offer a ‘50 named lines’ feature that further increases flexibility and ease of set-up, ideal for operations that have frequent changeovers.  The coding requirements for each different production line can be given a specific name, which can be called up and selected from a pre-loaded list.  This both saves time and minimizes the danger of set-up errors.

In addition, the Linx 8920 and Linx 8940 are able to print up to five lines of code.  Both offer a top speed of 6.25m/s for single line coding, with the 8940 being able to print up to 16% faster than the Linx 8920 for other print formats.

The Linx 8940 meanwhile improves on the IP55-rated construction of the 8900 and 8920 with an IP65 rating that prevents dust ingress as well as providing wash down protection, offering a higher level of protection for a coder that has to operate in more challenging environments.

Linx says the new models are part of its continuing Voice of Customer program that ensures its ranges of coders remain in line with current and future market requirements.

“Feedback on the Linx 8900 has been hugely positive with customers particularly highlighting its ease of use, simple servicing and reliability,” explains Charles Randon, Linx’s Senior Product Manager.

“Nevertheless, many companies now have to ask even more of their coders in response to the changing requirements of their customer base.  While retaining all of the proven features of our original model, the new Linx 8920 and Linx 8940 models have therefore been developed to meet ever-more demanding applications.”

Launched in 2015, the Linx 8900 has proved an instant success with strong sales.  Popular user features include its large high resolution touch screen, which is able to be customized for quick access to regularly used functions and features on-screen message editing prompts for accurate inputting, and the simple Self-Service Wizard, which guides operators through the process for an engineer-free service module change that minimizes downtime.

One of the range’s most innovative features is the ability to provide at-a-glance real-time data on the overall production line performance.  This enables operators to identify patterns or reasons for any stoppages, allowing them to quickly implement changes, solutions or countermeasures to improve efficiency and productivity.

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Source: Linx, 2016

Rising Turnover Costs in Manufacturing: Mitigation Through Automation

Employee turnover can be expensive. In fact, Josh Bersin of Deloitte believes the cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5–2.0x the employee’s annual salary. These costs include hiring, onboarding, training, ramp time to peak productivity, the loss of engagement from others due to high turnover, and higher business error rates. (Altman, 2017).

In a time when speed-to-market, low defect rates, and low cost-per-unit levels drive profitability more than ever, manufacturers are particularly affected by employee turnover. In 2016, manufacturers experienced turnover rates of 16%. (Bares, 2017). Doing the math, one can see that if their company turns over 16% of their operating workforce, and turnover costs are 2x the lost workers’ salaries, then annual turnover costs can equal up to 32% of your total operating payroll per year (assuming equal wages for simplicity’s sake). The “learning curve” effect also plays its part in higher defect rates and lower productivity, decreasing product quality and speed-to-market (Argote and Epple, 1990). In other words, turnover can severely affect profitability, especially in manufacturing.

So, what can manufacturers do about it? The psychology and social science on this subject has been published for many years, yet turnover rates are still high and have risen consistently over the past five years. Let R.V. Evans Company take a different approach. If you’re a manufacturer, do any of these activities fall under any of your workers’ job descriptions?

  • Forming cases and boxes
  • Closing and stapling boxes/cases
  • Sealing/taping cases
  • Bagging parts
  • Stretch-wrapping pallets
  • Printing images, date and batch codes, or barcodes on products or cases
  • Applying labels
  • Manually creating void-fill protective packaging for cases
  • Manually shrink-wrapping products
  • Applying strap to bundles, boxes, pallets, etc.

If you answered yes to any of those, there is room for automation.

Automation doesn’t always come in the form of complete robotics; there are ways to semi-automate as well. Semi-automation reduces the amount of laborers required to perform certain tasks in the manufacturing process, particularly in packaging processes. Examples of automation and semi-automation include:

  • Incorporating a WFPS 3290 Combo to allow a single operator to form, pack, and seal up to 30 cases per minute
  • Using an AutoBag 550 to allow a single operator to bag up to 45 parts per minute
  • Install an Orion Flex Series stretch wrapper to wrap pallets much faster than by hand
    • with a 260% pre-stretch that can save up to several thousand dollars in stretch wrap per year
  • Implementing a Samuel Model P715 automatic plastic strapping machine to apply plastic strap to your packages at speeds of up to 60 straps per minute- without an operator
  • Connecting many of these systems and others via conveyor equipment
  • Much, much more

There are numerous ways R.V. Evans and its team of packaging solutions representatives can help you reduce turnover by eliminating some of those high-turnover positions entirely. This is not a recommendation to replace your good, high-quality people that make your operation great. This is a recommendation to allow R.V. Evans to help you find ways to eliminate positions that are difficult to keep occupied due to high turnover. Equip your good workers with the means to produce more and add more value- at a lower total cost. Automating, semi-automating, and/or streamlining your processes can increase your speed to market, decrease your cost-per-unit, lean out your labor force, and make you more money. 

Why R.V. Evans? Because we are a team of experts whose core competencies are creating packaging solutions and giving great customer service. We spend every day staying up to date with the latest technology, studying that technology, and creating ways to implement it in various manufacturing environments. You are the expert in your operation, and we are packaging solutions experts. Team up with us so we can create a packaging solution that is right for you. We will forever follow up with great service.

Here is how to get started. 3 options are included below.

  1. Click here to schedule a site needs analysis with one of our packaging experts
  2. Click here to request general information about a specific product or product line
  3. Call 800-252-5894 to speak to one of our wonderful customer service representatives

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Shrink and Stretch Wrapping: Differences and Applications

“Go ahead and shrink wrap that pallet”, my boss said before he walked out of the warehouse. I leaped into action only to waste 15 minutes searching for a shrink wrapper in the warehouse. There wasn’t one. As my boss returned, he said to me in an annoyed voice, “Ok, what was confusing about shrink wrapping the pallet?”. “I noticed there isn’t a shrink wrapper here, sir”, I said. He stared at me for a second before replying, “Ok…I guess it is hard to miss”, then he grabbed the pallet jack and wheeled the pallet over to a large, conspicuous stretch wrapper just 20 feet away.

There is a common confusion regarding shrink wrapping and stretch wrapping. These two applications have something in common: they are both methods of packaging something in plastic. However, these applications package things much differently and for different purposes.

Shrink Wrapping

Shrink wrapping is the process of using shrink film, a material comprised of polymer plastic, and heat to seal products inside of the shrink film. The heat application process can be done via either a heat gun or a shrink tunnel. Packaging manufacturers like Seal-A-Tron produce shrink wrapping systems for industrial applications. A shrink-wrapped item will look something like this:

Image result for shrink wrapped product

In some cases, entire pallets of produce can be shrink wrapped to provide a form of product protection in transit and/or storage. However, most applications involve individual products, especially food products.

Stretch Wrapping

Stretch wrapping is the process of wrapping stretch film, a highly stretchable and elastic plastic film, around products. The elasticity of the stretch film pulls the products together and keeps them secure. This process is often performed with a turntable stretch wrapping machine like Orion’s Flex CTS Twin Station Stretch Wrapper, although many options are available for different user needs. A stretch-wrapped pallet looks something like this:

Image result for stretch wrapped pallet

This particular pallet was also strapped and equipped with corner board, a form of protective packaging, for optimal protection and security in transit and in storage.

Which One Should You Use?

This question is best answered by requesting more information from the R.V. Evans team. However, to get you started, a brief breakdown of a couple advantages and applications is shown below.

Stretch Wrapping Applications/Advantages Shrink Wrapping Applications/Advantages
· Wrapping boxes and pallets of products

· Cost-effective (particularly with pre-stretch)

· Protection from dust, dirt, and moisture

· Typically used to secure single products

· Best choice for food products

R.V. Evans Co. would be happy to provide you with any additional information you need at 1-800-252-5894 or via the website.

Why 2013 is the Best Time to Purchase New and Used Equipment

As we approach the end of the 2013 calendar year, many companies begin looking at their current equipment situation to determine if a new or used piece of equipment is needed. Fortunately for these companies, the Section 179 Deduction for 2013 exists.

What is it?

The Section 179 Deduction is a 154 page bill better known as the “Fiscal Crisis Bill”. To read all 154 pages click here. To summarize, the Fiscal Crisis Bill provides three things:

• 2013 Deduction Limit = $500,000 (2012’s old limit was $125,000 deduction)

• 2013 Limit on Capital Purchases = $2,000,000

• 2013 Bonus Depreciation = 50%

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Important things to note:
According to section179.org there are three important things to note about this bill:

• Section 179 Deduction is available for most new and used capital equipment, and also includes certain software.
• Bonus Depreciation can be taken on new equipment only (no used equipment, no software)
• When applying these provisions, Section 179 is generally taken first, followed by Bonus Depreciation – unless the business has no taxable profit in the given tax year.

So, with a $500,000 deduction and a Bonus Depreciation of 50% on new equipment placed in use through December 31st, 2013, that makes 2013 the best time to invest in new equipment. And best of all, packaging equipment distributed by R.V. Evans Company qualifies for tax incentives! Unfortunately this deduction only lasts through December 31st, 2013.
As the end of the calendar year approaches, be sure to take time to schedule a review of your facilities. Feel free to contact us for a free Site Needs Analysis and let us help you determine if new or used equipment can benefit your packaging process.

You can reach us at 1-800-252-5894 or visit us at www.rvevans.com
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