Product Update: Efficient Labelers & Coders
Systems apply labels and print codes to help track, authenticate, and identify products.
A supplier of inks and replacement parts for the coding and marking industry offers a nozzle for Videojet Excel–series systems. The EZ Jet nozzle features individual components that can be cleaned or swapped out for replacements; the entire nozzle assembly does not need to be replaced. An alternative to OEM nozzles, the EZ Jet reportedly reduces operating costs and enhances printer performance. Its orifice and filter can be changed, and the whole nozzle can be flushed out. As parts wear or problems arise, the customer can replace the orifice at minimal cost, thereby avoiding having to purchase an entirely new unit. The nozzle can accept all orifice sizes used with Videojet Excel–series printers, from 36 to 120 µ. Applications include use with pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and various industrial goods. InkJet Inc., Elk Grove Village, IL; 847/956-7332; www.inkjetinc.com.
A compact scribing laser coder weighs less than others in its class. The mid-powered system is based on steered-beam laser technology and is suited for a wide range of coding and marking applications on medium-speed production lines. Xymark 300SL is an addition to the manufacturer’s existing line of laser coders, and it complements the Xymark VW50 scribing laser for applications requiring more power. The machine is designed for a variety of customers, including long-standing users of traditional coding systems who want to modernize their equipment and users of low-powered, lower-priced laser coders who are looking to upgrade for more power and better performance. Full alphanumeric, graphics, and bar code printing capabilities aid in coding tasks more complex than simple date-and-batch coding. The machine codes onto packaging materials including paper, card, glass, PET, painted metal, laminated foil, and polystyrene. A large scan area (up to 2.4 in. tall) produces more clear print per square inch. Linx Technologies Ltd., Earth City, MO; 314/209-8802; www.linx-us.com.
Labeling for Vials and Bottles
Three machines perform labeling of vials and bottles for the pharmaceutical and medical product industries. The Sensitive 350 is a completely automatic labeling machine for applying self-adhesive labels to the bodies of cylindrical containers made of glass, metal, or plastic. Its maximum speed is 350 pieces per minute. Designed for easy application in line with packing machines and up- or downstream rotating accumulating tables, the labeler’s feeding and transport of containers is achieved by the use of a conveyor belt with independent motorization and automatic speed synchronization. The Sensitive ECO reportedly applies self-adhesive labels onto cylindrical vials; its maximum speed is 150 pieces per minute. Its changeover is limited only to the adjustment of transport systems. The containers that arrive via the conveyor belt are distanced and separated by a rubber roller with adjustable passage, then they are transferred to the labeling station. The roller, conveyor belt, winding belt, and stepping motor are automatically synchronized to the desired speed, to achieve labeling precision. The Sensitive 200 1T/2T is an automatic labeler that applies self-adhesive labels onto two sides of containers that have rectangular, oval, or elliptical shapes. Libra Pharmaceutical Technologies/IMA, Fairfield, CT; 203/331-0331; www.ima.it.
Labeling for RFID Packaging
An automated labeling system is designed especially for RFID packaging applications. The labeler combines an Encode & Apply module with the control and integration functionality of the PLS-400 chassis. The labeler’s modular construction permits customers to encode and apply EPC smart labels immediately, and change to the Print, Encode & Apply module in the future. The PLS-430 system encodes Class 0 and Class 1 tags. As standards develop, the manufacturer reports, additional classes will be added. The system includes a bad-tag disposal feature with a patented flexible peel tip that keeps nonreadable tags on the roll liner. The Encode & Apply system is beneficial for supply-chain labeling of products, cartons, cases, and pallets that use RFID labels. The PLS-430 can be configured with various print engines and applicator modules, depending on the application. Paragon Labeling Systems Inc., White Bear Lake, MN; 888/317-2633; www.paragonlabeling.com.
A printhead performs sharp, clear, high-resolution ink-jet printing of alphanumeric information and graphics. The 4-in. printhead can accommodate almost any marking or coding application at production line speeds up to 200 ft/min. For true-type fonts and logos, the printhead provides 192 vertical dpi. For bar codes, including UPC/EAN and SCC-14, it provides 200 horizontal dpi. The IJ/768 includes an automatic cleaning feature, which allows operators to program the unit to self-clean at specific times over 24 hours. At the programmed times, the pump and vacuum devices in the central ink delivery system are automatically activated to remove accumulated contaminants from the faceplate of the printhead and transport them to a reservoir for future disposal. The automatic cleaning system can enhance preventative maintenance, improve print-quality consistency, and prolong printhead life. Diagraph, an ITW company, St. Louis, MO; 800/722-1125; www.diagraph.com.
A supplier of product-identification, coding, and marking equipment offers a series of label printers. Engineered for long life and nearly trouble-free operation, the printers combine high-speed throughput with ease of use. Resolutions of 203 or 305 dpi are available, as well as a maximum print width of 104 mm and length of 400 mm. The print process is direct thermal-thermal transfer or direct thermal only at up to 150 mm per second. A range of interfaces enables the printers to be connected to almost any PC or terminal. The printers process data nearly instantly, and they print continuously, even in cases where the data and graphics vary from label to label. Lenox Systems Ltd., Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland; +35 31 2022222; www.lenoxsystems.com.
Printer and Applicator
An RFID printer-applicator incorporates print-engine technology from Avery Dennison, Datamax, Sato, and Zebra and is available in blow-on and tamp-on application technologies. The PLC-controlled unit can be integrated into automated conveyor systems that incorporate additional antennas for RFID label verification after application, and into product-rejection systems for nonwritten or bad tags. The 155R model is an on-line RFID labeling system that upgrades customers’ current “slap and ship” methods. Options are also available to upgrade existing printer applicators in the field to RFID-ready machines. Auto Labe, Ft. Pierce, FL; 800/634-5376; www.autolabe.com.
Wrap Labeling System
A high-speed pharmaceutical-grade labeling system is designed specifically for the exacting needs of pharmaceutical companies. The system features a vision system, Allen-Bradley PLC, color touch screen operator interface, and a full validation package. The system is capable of labeling up to 400 ppm and can also accommodate a wide variety of round products (10 to 250 ml) as well as tapered products. The system is all stainless-steel construction and includes a sanitary-style conveyor, closed-loop servo label drive, vacuum liner take away, and an R220 remote unwind, which allows on-the-fly roll changes. The Markem 3i printer prints a date and lot number on each label. The vision system inspects for printer accuracy as well as labeling accuracy and skew. Quadrel Labeling Systems, Mentor, OH; 800/321-8509; www.quadrel.com.
A coding system can print up to two lines in a variety of print formats, which include logos, automatic serial numbering/batch coding, and real-time clocks. According to the company, it provides the only sealed-nozzle technology on the market, ensuring clean, dependable start-up, even after extended periods of shutdown. The rugged cabinet is constructed in 304- grade stainless steel suitable for use in a wide range of general manufacturing environments. An easy-to-operate, easy-to-read backlit display with a big- button keyboard provides access to intuitive control and data entry software. The most commonly used functions are made accessible using topic keys. The color coding and sealed container design make sure that the right fluids are filled without spills. Domino Amjet Inc., Gurnee, IL; 847/244-2501; www.domino-printing.com.
Thermal Transfer Printer
A company introduces its H-426 and H-434 series of thermal-transfer label printers, suited for high-volume printing. These all-metal printers are available in 203 or 300 dpi. The printers feature a full backlit LCD and standard real-time clock. They use ink-in or ink-out ribbons and have a 450-m capacity. Serial, parallel, PS/2, and USB interfaces are standard. A stripper sensor is included for strip-and-peel or tear-off applications. The printers also contain internal memory for storing downloaded label formats, graphics, and fonts. Using this memory, the printers can be operated without being connected to a computer. Along with these features, the systems also ship with a free version of the company’s Easylabel Start software for custom designing and printing bar code labels. Tharo Systems Inc., Brunswick, OH; 330/273-4408; www.tharo.com.