Product Update: Cutting-Edge Coding & labeling
Multitasking systems are handling coding, labeling, RFID writing and reading, and data acquisition.
An ink-jet printhead utilizes a print engine from Trident and uses a new pigmented ink that minimizes the ink bleed for bar codes and small text. The IJ/384, designed for use with the IJ/3000 impulse jet large-character ink-jet system, offers an automatic cleaning feature that allows the operator to program the IJ/3000 controller to self-clean at selected times over a 24-hour period. The printhead features a 2-in. imaging height at 192 vertical dpi for smooth fonts and logos, as well as UPC/EAN and SCC-14 bar codes at 200 horizontal dpi. The IJ/3000 is engineered to drive high-resolution printheads, integrated valve printheads, or label printer/applicators. It offers smart features such as touchscreen controls, worldwide network connectivity, and high-resolution printing. Diagraph, an ITW Co., St. Charles, MO; 800/722-1125; www.diagraph.com.
RFID Labeling System
A company offers an integrated RFID labeling solution. The RFID Plug-and-Comply system includes an RFID applicator that can validate, write, and affix RFID labels in a single process, or a label printer/applicator that eliminates the need for preprinted RFID labels. Both of these options can be incorporated in a scalable and modular conveyor-loop system that is customized to fit each customer’s existing space configurations. The compact system also features automatic labeling capability paired with a loop configuration to allow the system to function with only one operator. In addition, it can accommodate cases up to 34 in. in width and/or length. MPI Label Systems, Sebring, OH; 800/837-2134; www.mpilabels.com.
A high-speed shrink-sleeve label applicator is capable of applying labels in excess of 600 containers per minute. The E-Z Seal 600SL is capable of operation in either single- or dual-head mode and is designed to provide added security over other single-head applicators. In addition, the applicator has a small footprint to allow it to fit easily into production lines. The system, which includes an applicator and heat tunnel, will also integrate with existing conveyors. It features an all-mechanical design with minimal moving parts to ensure smooth operation. A cutting assembly provides high productivity and long blade life. In addition, the E-Z Seal features quick and easy container-size changes, according to the company. Axon Corp., Raleigh, NC; 800/598-8601; www.axoncorp.com.
Laser Code Engraver
A company has developed a new method of code engraving using a high-performance laser. Using the laser, a company can quickly engrave a unique code on glass bottles, syringes, vials, or cartridges in a secure manner. In addition, the solution allows an invisible signature to be integrated within a visible DataMatrix code. This reportedly enables a company to prove authenticity of a product or to validate an illegal counterfeit origin. The new technology provides automated traceability control throughout the production line. Frewitt Printing, Corminboeuf, Switzerland; +41 264607420; www.frewitt.com/printing.
A case erecting technology allows packagers to print logos, batch codes, or product identification on cases in-line during high-speed case forming and sealing. Once erected, graphics may appear on multiple panels of the case. Cases are automatically printed on two sides utilizing one print head, or all four sides utilizing two print heads. The erector/printer offers maximum print resolution and clarity. The print control station is located next to the case erector’s control panel, making it easy to switch cases and/or product labeling data in seconds. Each control station operates independently and allows print data to change at any time. Speeds of up to 35 cases per minute are achievable. A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp., Tarpon Springs, FL; 800/237-5975; www.abcpackaging.com.
A redesigned product line offers a low-cost version of the firm’s popular front/back/wrap labeling system. The VersaLine L.C. may be configured for any application. The stainless-steel system features high-speed stepper and servo-driven drive applicators and ac inverter product handling. Parts do not need to be changed. The L.C. can operate at speeds of up to 300 PPM in the harshest environments. Options include the addition of vision systems, eject stations, touch screens, and nonproprietary controls. Quadrel Labeling Systems, Mentor, OH; 800/321-8509; www.quadrel.com.
RFID Label Applicator
A labeler applies and verifies preencoded RFID tags on bottles and other item-level containers. After applying a label, the RFID Integrated Auto-Colt III System reads and verifies every tag and automatically rejects bottles with nonconforming tags from the production line. The servo-driven unit handles round, oval, square, and rectangular containers from 1 to 14 in. in height and from 5¼8 to 7 in. diam. at speeds up to 250 containers/minute, depending on tag type and reader components. It can apply wraparound labels as well as single- and multiple-panel labels. The labeler can be changed over in less than 15 minutes with no tools required. NJM/CLI, Lebanon, NH; 800/ 432-2990; www.njmcli.com.
A thermal-transfer printer is designed for dusty, wet, or other harsh environments. The EasyPrint X offers high-speed printing of up to 1200 mm/sec. Available in both 2- and 5-in. widths, the system can print variable data directly onto poly, film, foil, and Tyvek substrates. To help users reduce consumable costs, the printer features advanced ribbon savings and printhead management. Because it can operate either intermittently or continuously, it can be mounted on a form-fill-seal machine. Bell-Mark Corp., Pine Brook, NJ, 973/882-0202; www.bell-mark.com.
Laser Coding System
A high-resolution laser printer marks paperboard, clay-coated paper, labels, PET, PVC, and other plastics. Designed to attain high-speeds, the Focus S25 laser coding system can print date and time inserts, RSS/composite bar codes, 2-D symbols, and custom graphics at heights of 0.01 in. (0.025 cm) to 5 in. (12.7 cm). A simple user interface eases operation and limits operator training. A feature that scales fonts at production speeds reduces changeover time and increases throughput. An optional graphical user interface offers an intuitive color touch screen and WYSIWYG display to make operation simple and fast. For applications that require 21 CFR Part 11 compliance, the Focus S25’s software provides built-in, password-protected audit trails of all actions. Videojet Technologies Inc., Wood Dale, IL; 800/843-3610; www.videojet.com.