The QuickSwitch Plus: Make it Easy!

Production should be as seamless as possible. Changeovers can inhibit seamless production. If you are a manufacturer that runs multiple products down the same line, we’ve got a solution to help you switch to different batch/date/lot codes more simply, accurately, and timely.

By combining the Linx 7900 CIJ printer with the QuickSwitch barcode scanner, operators can scan codes to automatically call up a pre-defined message from the 7900’s memory. This message contains the message, date, and other parameters pre-determined by the operators. Data can also be sourced from a PC or PLC, providing more automated code set up options. With this capability, there is no need to manually search for and select a message during each change over. Simply scan, confirm, and resume printing!

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Check out a video demonstration by clicking here!

For an on-site demo or to inquire about pricing, click here!

For another perspective on high-speed, low maintenance continuous inkjet printing, click here!

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Why Thickness and Price are not Indicators of Tape Quality

When many manufacturers go to market in search of tape to use for case sealing applications, the primary concern often seems to be the tape’s thickness (in mils) and the price. Purchasers often think to themselves, “Okay, which tape has the best mil rating/price ratio?”. However, this can cause many problems.

Let us take a look at a comparison between Shurtape’s AP 180 emulsion acrylic carton sealing tape vs. a competitor’s version.

Shurtape Competitor
Mil 1.9 1.9
Tensile (lbs./in. width) 27 30
Adhesion to Steel (oz/in. width) 44 4
Elongation % at breaking point 150 130
Holding Time (in hours) 15,000 6,000
Figure 1

Figure 1 indicates that the Shurtape brand shares the same mil rating as the competitive tape, and even has a lower tensile strength. However, 27 lbs./inch width is still relatively strong! Additionally, Shurtape’s version maintains 11x the adhesion to steel than the competition, a longer elongation-to-break, and a much longer holding time! This longer holding time and better elongation rate both translate to more economical tape usage and a much longer-lasting seal on your packages. If you are in need of a strong seal that will last long enough for your needs, Shurtape is the way to go.

Of course, it always comes down to the application and its needs. No tape is the single best tape. However, in search of your next tape source, it is very important not to default to the very common, yet flawed analysis of mil thickness/price.

If you need help determining the best tape for your specific needs, contact R.V. Evans Company by clicking here or calling 800-252-5894!

Click here for an overview of case forming and closure/sealing solutions!

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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High-Speed, Low Maintenance CIJ Printing: The Linx 8940

The Linx 8940 is part of the Linx 8900 range of CIJ printers designed to make your coding life easier.  With its IP65 rating (dust and washdown tight) and highest printing speeds (up to 16% faster than the Linx 8920), the Linx 8940 is designed for the most challenging coding applications.  The Linx 8940 makes code creation easy with the large touch screen interface, and downtime is reduced with the self-servicing module, unique system monitoring and click-into-place fluid cartridges.

Linx 8940 CIJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Linx 8940 offers crucial advantages: 

  • Printing speeds up to 1,230 feet-per-minute (one line of text)- up to 30% faster than most high-speed CIJ printers
  • Extended service intervals- up to 18,000 hours!
  • Simple printhead cleaning- cleans in just a few minutes and can go up to three months without cleaning!
  • Prevent avoidable downtime via the system monitoring capability 
  • Flexible capabilities: 5-line coding, Data Matrix and QR code printing 
  • Self-servicing with the Easi-Change® Service Module which can be changed in minutes with no Service Engineer visit required
  • No pump change requirements during periodic services- guaranteed for life!

Linx 8940 CIJ Linx 8940 CIJ

 
These advantages allow the user easily produce clear prints at high speeds in challenging environments- with very little maintenance! To complement this, the Linx 8940 also sports a number of usability features, such as:

  • 10” color touch screen with icons, drag-and-drop field positioning, and zoom function for longer messages
  • Ability to store 1,000 messages
  • On-screen, real-time output measurements
  • USB port for copy and back-up of message and printer settings
  • Much more, just ask!

The Linx 8900 series is highlighted in this video here

For more information, please call 800-252-5894 or click here

Unitizing and Stabilizing Your Products: Strapping

Strapping, also known as banding or bundling, is a common way to unitize, stabilize, and secure products. The strapping process involves applying straps (or bands) to a unit or collection of units in order to hold those units in place, or to further secure boxes or crates in which products are packaged or stored. An example of a strapped pallet of products is shown in Figure 1.

 
WPCB_00_SIG_WIDE.jpgf89871d6-7728-4361-8336-3f32e0a77713Original

Figure 1

 

Many applications involve strapping individual boxes for further package integrity. An example of such is shown in Figure 2.

 

Image result for plastic strapped box

Figure 2

 

The straps help hold the boxes in place, providing stability and therefore protection for the products inside the boxes. Combining strapping with stretch wrapping and corner board provides for a well-protected pallet of product. An example of such is shown in Figure 3.

 

Related image
Figure 3

Types of Strap

There are many different types of strap. However, these many types fall under two primary categories: steel and plastic.

Steel Strap

Steel strap is used for medium- and heavy-duty applications. Steel strap is manufactured with many different widths, thicknesses, tensile strengths, etc.- all designed for a certain set of applications. Determining an appropriate type of steel strap is best performed by an R.V. Evans solutions representative. 

Plastic Strap

Plastic strap is used for light- and medium-duty applications. There are three primary types of plastic strap: nylon, polyester, and polypropylene. Additionally, each of these three material categories have been included in many different products designed for different applications. Determining the appropriate plastic strap for your application is best determined by an R.V. Evans solutions representative.

Strapping Equipment

Strap can be applied with manual hand tools, battery-operated hand tools, pneumatic tools, or semiautomatic and automatic strapping machines. Each type, size, and model of strapping tools provide a unique set of benefits. Finding the best one for you is, of course, best performed by an R.V. Evans solutions representative.

 

For more information on strapping applications, click here!

Successful Value-Added Application: The HandJet EBS-260

Pre-Solution Application
The client, an aluminum supplier to the die-casting and gravity-casting indust
ries was preprinting and applying labels to identify multiple batches of
aluminum sows for their clients. Due to the fact that the aluminum sows are often stored outside,the labels frequently came off and required employees to continually check on each batch to ensure all remained correctly labeled.
The R.V. Evans’ Value Added Solution
After performing a Site Needs Analysis and thorough review of the application, an R.
V. Evans Packaging Solutions Specialist determined the appropriate value added solution.
The recommendation:
The HandJet EBS-260, EBS’s newest portable inkjet system.
download
Key Benefits of the HandJet EBS-260
  • Portable and lightweight – only 3.5 lbs
  • Capable of printing detailed messages an
  • 2D images including logos and 2D barcodes
  • Up to four separate lines can be printed in a single pass
  • 3.5” diagonal touch-screen controller to simplify on-the-fly adjustments
  • Built-in laser guidance for the precise positioning of the message
  • Variety of inks and colors available
  • Cleaning cartridge can be installed in seconds for near-effortless clean up and maintenance
Measurable Savings Realized
This handheld printing solution has proven to provide the client with consistent and permanent marking of each batch of aluminum sows allowing them to eliminate the purchase of labels and reallocate labor to other areas of their facility. After using the HandJet EBS-260 for a short time, they were also able to identify other areas to
utilize it throughout their facility.
See the HandJet EBS-260 in action right here in our YouTube video!
For more information, visit our website by clicking here.

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.