Coding at Jet Speed

New print heads use Power over Ethernet technology to deliver coding data to the packaging line quickly and reliably.

Imagine having your coding data and your power delivered by one cable. What benefits could such a system deliver to your packaging line?

Code Tech Corp. (Princeton, NJ) is introducing the first Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) self-contained HP print module, the I jet. Manufactured in Germany by Mark-o-Print GmbH and distributed in the United States by Code Tech, this new HP printer can interface with all vision systems platforms and acts as a discreet device on the line.

“The concept is to provide a printer solution to pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers that can be easily integrated into existing or new SCADA or other line control networks,” explains Mike Shaw, Code Tech’s founder. (He was a cofounder of Nutec Corp. and was vice president, sales, from 1999 to 2010.) 

The I jet features real-time printing capability and automatically formats incoming data strings into various 2-D code standards such as GS1-compliant Data Matrix ECC200, including special-function characters. “This makes the product ideal for track and trace implementation,” notes Shaw. It offers full Ethernet IP, Profinet, USB2, and Bluetooth connectivity. 

The system is designed for simple installation and set up. It can be integrated into OEM cartoners or blister machines or mounted onto conveyors. OEMs and end-users simply need to mount the head. The system uses a patented click-and-print HP cartridge holder that eliminates the traditional HP latching mechanism, which is prone to breakage, Shaw reports.

The complete control system is built directly into the print-head enclosure, which measures 180 mm × 38 mm × 96 mm. The system features integrated diagnostics, including status/warning lights. It also has an easy to use on-board control interface for adjusting photo cell delay, print resolution, and other print parameters. Connectivity is via USB2, Ethernet, and RS232.
Also available is the Compactline Cube that offers built-in label creation software and a full Windows HMI to support the I jet. “Users can create a label template from scratch,” says Shaw. (The HMI does not run the print heads themselves.)

Code Tech has also just released an HP ink that is specially designed for 2-D code printing. It features a 15-hour decap time and prints clear sharp ANSI “A” codes even after extended periods of nonprinting.

Power over Ethernet also offers several benefits for handling data and more, Shaw says. A Gigabit of data can be transmitted per second to every device, which exceeds 2009 USB and the ac powerline networking capabilities, he explains. In addition, “global organizations can deploy PoE everywhere without concern for any local variance in ac power standards, outlets, plugs, or reliability.” Cables may be cheaper, and cable routing and general wiring “housekeeping” cleaner, he adds. “It is also safer, owing to no 110 V ac power outlets.” 

Code Tech was founded in 2010 by Shaw. Shaw brings his 12 years of HP specific industrial ink jet knowledge to expand the distribution of Mark-o-Print GMBH into North America. Shaw has experience in HP hardware systems, software systems integration, ink chemistry, and vision systems integration.

Code Tech provides support through multiple sales channels including full line distributors, representatives, OEMs, and sales agents. Mark-o-Print provides Code Tech local and worldwide support through its brand new facility in Cologne, Germany. 0

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