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!

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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).

ScreenHunter 101.pngFigure 1

 

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.

ScreenHunter 103.pngFigure 3

 

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!

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The Linx CJ400: The Lightest InkJet Printer on the Market.

FoxJet’s Linx CJ400 models are the lightest printers on the market, weighing just under 30 pounds. This lightweight model is equipped with several useful features to compliment its portability:CJ400

  • Easi-Change service module allows up to 6,000 hours between scheduled maintenance
  • Color touch screen
  • 4 line settings to allow for speedy changeover between production lines
  • USB message and printer back up for sharing messages and settings between printers
  • Auto-Flush printheads that provide a flush cleaning upon start-up and power-down (reducing manual maintenance requirements)
  • SureFill fluid replenishment ensures fast, mistake-proof refills while printing to reduce downtime
  • 62 micron printhead nozzle saves up to 40% on ink usage (compared to other CIJ printers)
  • Can store up to 1,000 messages on internal hard drive

Check out this video for another look at the CJ400!

Now is not the time to pass up the versatile CJ400. Click here to request information about our current discounts for this model!

Automated Packaging Systems – Poly Bagging Solutions Part 3 of 4 – Infeeds and Printers

Many of the Automated Packaging systems mentioned in part two of the Automated Packaging Systems – Poly Bagging Solutions series can be paired with different equipment to enhance the process of bagging. Here is a brief overview of the different infeeds and printers that can be added to the Automated Packaging systems.


Infeeds

Autobag Accu-Count 200 Counter beauty

The Autobag Accu-Count 200 system is a vibratory counter infeed system capable of counting and batching at speeds up to 2,500 packages per hour. Industries that use this system are:

  • Fastener
  • Electrical
  • Automotive
  • Hardware and more

This system can be easily paired with the Autobag AB 180 to automatically count and batch a pre-set quantity that is funneled into a pre-opened poly bag that gets sealed and dispensed. The measurements for this system are:

  • 575 lbs
  • 43” X 79“

This counter can also be paired with the Kit-Veyor to provide a more integrated and efficient way of packaging kits.

Autobag-Kit-Veyor-beautyThe Autobag Kit-Veyor is an infeed conveyor system that automatically places small parts into packaged kits. This system combines multiple Autobag Accu-Count 200 systems and an Autobag bagger to fill kits with mixed parts at speeds up to 35 bags per minute. Industries that use this system are:

  • Electrical
  • Hardware
  • Fastening and more

The measurements for this system are:

  • 400 lbs.
  • Between 10 and 40 feet long, depending on how many add-on sections are used.

Autobag-Maximizer-AB180-beautyThe Autobag Maximizer can convey and detect hand loaded items at speeds of up to 50 batches per minute. This system can be paired with the Autobag AB 180 machine by taking the products, placing them in the Maximizer, and from there, the machines will funnel the products into pre-opened bags and seal the bags. Industries that use this system are:

  • Automotive
  • Electrical
  • Hardware
  • Fastening and more

The measurements for this system are:

  • 200 lbs
  • 90” x 42” when paired with the Autobag AB 180.

Takeaway Conveyor aloneThe Autobag Takeaway Conveyor provides continuous motion in an assembly line. This conveyor moves filled bags from the packaging location up to another location. It is available in 4 different angles that make it easy to integrate with different Automated Packaging systems. The conveyor is 20” wide with a 40” incline and the belt goes at 26’ per minute.

Accu-Scale-220-beauty

 

The Autobag Accu-Scale 220 is specially designed to be paired with the Autobag AB 180. The Accu-Scale features a highly sensitive infeed system that weigh-counts small parts and dispenses each batch into pre-opened bags. This infeed system is ideal for products that tangle easily. Industries that use this system are:

  • Automotive
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing and more

Measurements for this system are:

  • 152 lbs.
  • 36” x 48”

Autobag-Linear-Weigh-Scale-BeautyThe Autobag Linear Weight Scale is a vibratory linear pan-feed and weigh count scale system that can count up to 45 batches per minute. This machine has the ability to increase productivity up top 5 times the speed of hand loading bags. This infeed system can be paired with the Autobag AB 180 or the Autobag AB 255. Industries that use this system are:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Automotive
  • Fastening and more.

Measurements for this system are:

  • 500 lbs.
  • 53” x 74”

Printers

AutoLabel PI 412c Imprinter beauty

The AutoLabel PI 412c Imprinter offers high resolution inline printing for optimum packaging productivity. It is capable of thermal bag printing at speeds up to 80 bags per minute. It can be used
alone, or can be combined with Automated Packaging systems for inline printing and packing. When paired with the Autobag AB 180, this system can print custom labels with barcodes, text, and graphics. Measurements for this system are:

  • 41 lbs.
  • 34” x 45”

The AutoLabel PI 412c Imprinter can print labels up to 4” wide by 20” long.  It only pulls ribbon when it is printing, not the length of the bag.

AutoLabel-PI412cw-Prism-Thermal-Transfer-Imprinter-with-bagsThe AutoLabel PI 412cw Prism Imprinter is a two-sided inline printer that can print either on two sides of a bag, or two colors on one side of the bag. The thermal bag printing is able to print at speeds of up to 12” per second. The labels can be up to 4” wide and 20” long. The measurements for this system are:

  • 252 lbs
  • 28” x 59”

 

AutoLabel-Thermal-Transfer-Ribbon-collageThe AutoLabel Thermal Transfer Ribbon is great for printing high resolution graphics, barcodes, text, and custom logos. There are four types of Thermal Transfer ribbon. They are:

  • AutoLabel UltraPrint Thermal Transfer Ribbon – Optimum Performing Resin Enhanced Wax Thermal Ribbon
  • AutoLabel Ultra-V Thermal Transfer Ribbon – Premium Resin Enhanced Wax Thermal Ribbon
  • AutoLabel Ultra Wax Thermal Transfer Ribbon – Full Wax Thermal Ribbon for High Volume Applications
  • AutoLabel Specialty Ribbons – Solutions for unique printing requirements

AutoLabel-Designer-14The AutoLabel Designer 14 is software that allows the users to create custom bag labels with high-resolution bar codes, text, and graphics. This software works with Autobag Thermal Transfer Imprinters and Print-N-Pack systems as well as remote demand label operations.


As an authorized distributor for Automated Packaging Systems for over 35 years, R.V. Evans Company can help you identify the complete poly bagging and packaging system for your business. If you are looking for some assistance in determining which automated packaging system and optional equipment is right for your company, contact R.V. Evans Company for your very own site needs analysis and packaging recommendation, or visit us at www.rvevans.com.

If you missed part one of the Autobag series, you can find it here and learn about when an automated bagging system is right for you. If you would like to read part two of the Autobag series, click here and see an overview of a few different Automated Packaging Systems.  Stay up-to-date with R.V. Evans Company by following our blog, and don’t miss the 4th and final blog in our Automated Packaging Systems four part series where we will cover which bag is the “right bag” for your application.

Connect with R.V. Evans Company for new packaging and fastening system updates, tips, application solutions, and more:

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When is a label the best solution?

Even with improvements in the inkjet world on printing consistency, resolution, and bar code readability, these newer solutions are not always on par with some classic methods of labeling.

Below are 4 instances where a printer/applicator and label is the best option; saving time, money, and preventing a lot of headaches.

1. Requirement of a high bar code grade.

Some end-users require an “A” or “B” grade on all bar codes that enter their building or warehouse. If a bar codes need to be on a brown corrugate box, and requires an “A” or “B” grade, then a label is the only solution for that prospect. Inkjet bar codes on brown or kraft cases will only scan at a grade “C” level at best due to the contrast (dark to light) between the corrugate surface and the ink. The final grade for a bar code is only as high as its lowest variable. Therefore, it could have all grade “A” variables except for one, and it would still receive a “C” grade. A label, being white, produces a high contrast bar code at a higher resolution, eliminating poor bar code grades.

2. Dense bar codes.

A bar code that requires very narrow bars and spaces is difficult for an inkjet system to produce consistently. Since the inkjet system is printing directly on the carton, a mishandled product can lead to an unreadable code. Thermal transfer printers, however, can produce 300dpi bar codes and produce much denser bars than most inkjet systems. Since the labels are printed inside the printer and then applied to the case, product handling plays a smaller role in the ultimate readability of the code.

3. Glossy, Decorative Cases or Clay-Coated Chipboard

Most hi res, large-character inkjet systems do not use inks that will dry on these types of surfaces. There are some that do, but the capital is more and the consumable difference between ink and labels is less. These substrates are best suited for a printer/applicator.

4. Code location.

Needing a code on the top, bottom, front, or back of a case is another instance of needing a printer/applicator and label. Some inkjet systems can print in a downward or upward orientation, but usually with significant limitations. Having to print on the front or back of a case as it moves down a conveyor rules out an inkjet system without the process requiring additional product handling. Printer/applicators have no problem applying labels to the front, side, front and side, side and back, back, top, or any other part of a box. The more complex the application, line speeds, and label size, the more placement accuracy and other factors will need to be addressed to make sure it will be a successful fit.

Technology has had a significant impact in the marking and coding world, but a good ol’ printer/applicator and label will always have its necessary place. To learn about all the great printing solutions R.V. Evans has, visit our website or contact our printing product manager Craig Fox at cfox@rvevans.com.

Manufacturer of Polyurethane Components Increases Productivity with Dual-Tamp Labeling Solution

Paragon-Labeling-PLS-420-Print-Apply-LabelerPre-Solution Application

The client, a manufacturer of polyurethane components for the heavy truck and trailer market, was previously manually applying labels to their cartons before feeding the cartons into an automatic case sealer.  This method was time consuming and labor intensive.

The R.V. Evans’ Value Added Solution

After performing a Site Needs Analysis and thorough review of the application, an R.V. Evans’ Packaging Sales Specialist determined the appropriate value added solution.  The recommendation:  A Paragon Labeling Systems Model PLS-420 Plus automated labeling system with 12” dual tamp to print & apply a 1” x 6” label as a corner wrap label onto the corrugated case traveling on a conveyor at a product rate of 20 cases per minute before proceeding to the carton taper.

Key Benefits of the PLS-420 Plus Automatic Labeling System

  • Modular and flexible design that allows you to reconfigure your labeling system as your needs evolve without purchasing a whole new system
  • Features an Allen Bradley PLC with color touch screen interface to print and then immediately apply labels to products, cartons, cases, pallets, and totes
  • A variety of print engines available from Zebra Technologies, Sato America, Datamax, or Intermec to meet the most demanding label requirements
  • Includes a plate aluminum chassis, PLC controller with remote mount interface, and other features that are optional on other systems
  • 100 Built-in label location “Recipes”

Measurable Savings Realized

This print and apply labeling solution has enabled the client to reallocate labor elsewhere in their plant thanks to the system integrated approach provided by the R.V. Evans Company.  This labeling solution has increased productivity, efficiency, and ultimately reduced this business partner’s overall packaging costs.  As part of this integrated packaging system, the R.V. Evans Company also provided the client with a BEL 505 semi-automated carton former used by the operators prior to the carton moving to the PLS 420 Plus mounted on a 12’ x 6’ conveyor with integrated upright.

Connect with R.V. Evans Company for new packaging and fastening system updates, tips, application solutions, and a little fun stuff too!

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Bar Code Printing

One of the most commonly applied bar code in packaging is the GTIN-14 Interleaved 2 of 5 (also known as I 2 of 5). A few features about GTIN-14 I 2 of 5:

  • 14-Digit I2OF5
  • ITF-14 is the GS1 implementation of an I2OF5 format to encode a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
  • Minimum height 1.25”
  • The target bar width ratio is 2.5:1, meaning that the wide bars are 2.5 times the width of the narrow bars.
  • While the preferred bar width ratio is 2.5:1, the acceptable range is 2.25:1 to 3:1.

This ends up looking like this:

thick outside borders

The thick bars that you see around the outside are known as Bearer Bars. The purpose of Bearer Bars is to equalize printing plate pressure. Bearer Bars also prevent short scans. They end up costing companies a lot of money to print as outlined below:

  • 100% with full bars, 300 DPI, using the FoxJet ProSeries 768
  • How Much?
  • .014 mL = 35,507 prints/bottle

Obviously, this begs the question, Can Bearer Bars be removed? The answer is mostly. You are allowed to remove the sides and reduce the top and bottom (2X width of small bar). What is known as the Quiet Zone is also removed saving more ink.

The end result is this.

thick outside bordersarrowthin bar

How much did we save?

By minimizing the Bearer Bars while maintaining 300 DPI and scanability…

  • .009 mL = 54,444 prints/bottle)
  • Versus the original…
  • .014 mL = 35,507 prints/bottle)

This is a savings to our customers of 35%!

An important thing to remember with bar codes is their decodability. Decodable means that a scanner can read the barcode. The R.V. Evans Company guarantees decodability provided the system is installed and maintained to standards outlined by our vendor FoxJet.

Find out more on how you can reduce your printing costs at www.rvevans.com or by calling us at 1-800-252-5894.

Don’t forget to connect with us on our social sites and follow this blog!

Happy Bar Coding!

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