Packaging Resource Center: The Latest in Coding and Labeling Equipment
A family of carton coders is available with either thermal-transfer or hot-foil printing capabilities. The off-line BDSV series of coders features vacuum transport systems designed to handle a range of cartons, sleeves, blister packs, and leaflets. A BDSV coder transports products from the hopper through the printhead with a vacuum drive instead of a traditional belt drive. The vacuum transport system is designed to enable the coder to handle unusual package shapes and sizes as well as thin materials. The coder can handle carton blanks from 3.5 × 3.2 in. to 12.4 × 12.4 in. It also features adjustable feeder and position indicators. Processing parameters such as speed, index length, and batch quantity can be changed via keypad. The coder processes up to 160 cartons per minute. Norwood Marking Systems/Allen Coding Systems, Downers Grove, IL; 630/968-0646; www.itw-norwood.com.
A labeling system is designed to process up to 400 packages per minute. It can accommodate a variety of round, rectangular, or tapered container shapes. The machine features a vision system, PLC, and color touch screen. The vision system is designed to inspect for printer quality and label placement accuracy. The machine is also equipped with thermal-transfer technology for printing dates and lot numbers or variable information on each label. Additional features include a closed-loop servo label drive, remote rewind for roll changes, a sanitary conveyor, and stainless-steel construction. Quadrel Labeling Systems, Mentor, OH; 440/602-4709; www.quadrel.com.
Laser Marking System
A laser marking system produces up to 1200 characters per second and can reach line speeds of up to 10 m/sec. The Videojet 3120 is a 10-W laser coder that features high-speed scanners and digital signal processing capabilities to provide permanent marking with high clarity. It is designed to produce complex, multiline alphanumeric messages, foreignlanguage fonts, graphics, symbols, and machine-readable codes. The laser can also apply codes such as expiration and manufacture dates, ticket numbers and line codes, and identification matrices and bar codes. Logos and data such as serial numbers, batch and lot codes, and contents and weight information also can be printed. The system is designed to mark paper, cardboard, cartons, PET containers, and electronic or semiconductor devices. Videojet Technologies Inc., Wood Dale, IL; 630/860-7300; www.videojet.com.
Redundant Label Dispensers
A high-speed machine features two front-label and two back-label dispensers on one pressure-sensitive labeler. The Model 334 Charger with redundant labeling-head configuration is designed to maximize productivity by eliminating downtime associated with label roll changes. The machine can be set up to label two different products with different labels on one production line. Labels for one product are loaded on one set of front and back dispensers, and labels for the second product are loaded on the other set of dispensers. A sensor identifies the color of the product and is designed to communicate with the labeler to apply the correct label to the corresponding product. The machine can label up to 300 containers per minute. It can accommodate round, oval, square, and rectangular containers from 1 to 14 in. in height and from 5⁄8 to 67⁄8 in. wide. NJM/CLI, Lebanon, NH; 603/448-0300; www.njmcli.com.
Digital UV Printers
A series of digital printers is designed for handling pharmaceutical packaging substrates, including blister foils, paper, PVC, and laminates. The Hapa 700 series uses technology based on a process similar to screen printing and can accommodate smaller batches with frequent changeovers. Printing data are transferred from a desktop computer to the Hapa Digiprint to create a nonerasable master foil. The master is loaded automatically onto the printing cylinder. Used masters are destroyed automatically when the runs are completed. The printers use inks that are free of solvents, odors, and particulates. The UV drying unit is contained within the printing assembly. Hapa & Laetus Inc., Rockaway, NJ; 973/983-2700; www.hapa.ch, www.laetus.com.
A manufacturer offers a wraparound labeler designed to handle a variety of cylindrical containers. The Model 9000VF vertical-fixture wraparound labeler features a peeler plate with web-direction control that allows operator adjustment of label placement. The machine’s vertical-roller fixture assembly is designed to ensure continuous and precise label application. Inspection systems can be incorporated easily into the labeler. Accraply Inc., Plymouth, MN; 763/557-1313; www.accraply.com.
A manufacturer of packaging systems offers three styles of thermal-transfer ribbons. The AutoLabel Ultra-V ribbon is designed for durability in printing high-resolution bar codes, text, and graphics. It is a specially formulated, resin-enhanced wax ribbon designed to resist scratching, smearing, flaking, and UV rays. It is available in a range of colors. The UltraPrint resin-enhanced wax ribbon features a multilayer construction with quickrelease and binding properties designed to handle extreme environments and frequent scanning and handling applications. The Ultra Wax ribbon is a full-wax, general purpose ribbon developed for high-volume applications. High-density black images can be achieved at speeds of up to 12 in./sec on both coated and uncoated paper. Automated Packaging Systems Inc., Streetsboro, OH; 330/342-2000; www.autobag.com.
A corner-wrap label printer and applicator is designed to apply a single label with high-quality printing around the corner of a carton. The Model 5200 labeler is available with an optional RFID printing engine and encoder. Standard thermal and thermal- transfer print engines are equipped to produce text, bar codes, and images at 203 or 300 dpi. Weber Marking Systems, Arlington Heights, IL; 800/843-4242; www.webermarking.com.
A company has redesigned its rotary flexographic printer to offer high throughput speeds. The servo-driven Black Max II prints single-color graphics and bar codes on 4- to 100- in.-wide webs. It features a userfriendly touch screen and upgraded bearings and belts. It also features a Teflon coating on key components to eliminate unintentional transfer of wet ink to the material. The printer works in conjunction with the company’s Advance Trax web-handling system, or it can be mounted on a continuousor intermittent-motion form-fill-seal machine. Designed to print during either the index or dwell cycle, the Advance Trax system can also be used without a printer. Greydon Inc., York, PA; 717/848-3875; www.greydon.com.
Short-Run Label Printing
A manufacturer of specialty printing equipment offers a color label printer designed for producing short runs of high-resolution labels. The ink-jet LX400 printer can produce up to 4800-dpi print resolution. It prints fullcolor photos, text, graphics, and bar codes. The labels are designed to be virtually scratchproof and waterproof. Semi- and high-gloss substrate materials in paper and polyester are available. The printer accommodates label sizes from 0.75 × 0.75 in. to 4 × 24 in. Primera Technology, Plymouth, MN; 763/475-6676; www.primeralabel.com