Self cleaning barcode system cuts costs and downtime, says company

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Printing

A unique self-cleaning method that ensures low cost of ownership, minimal downtime and high quality printing of barcodes onto outer case packaging are the benefits claimed by the manufacturers of the system.

Linx Printing Technologies said its new IJ350 large character marking (LCM) coding system, launched this year, also delivers “significant cost savings” thanks to its self-cleaning technology.

Self-cleaning technology

“The coder’s innovative fully enclosed self-cleaning technology keeps all printhead nozzles clean, all the time, minimising downtime and removing the need for manual intervention,”​ a company spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com. “Designed to guard against dust or poor carton presentation, the unique nozzle protection system prevents costly damage to ensure clear, accurate printing of text, logos and barcodes.”

Known as “micro-purge​”, the self-cleaning process uses a small film of ink on the printhead to collect dirt and debris prior to printing. This is blasted with air to clean the ink from the printing plate; the ink is collected and recirculated, passing through a high performance filter to maintain clean ink in the system, explained the firm.

“This innovative ink recirculation system reduces the overall cost of ownership and eliminates the need to dispose of waste ink, because every drop of ink is used,”​ said a Linx statement.

Cost savings

UK frozen food manufacturer Freshpack said it purchased the coder after trialling the system for just one week on its production lines that fills around 360,000 cartons annually. The company, based in Stoke-on-Trent, forecasts it will save more than 80 per cent on printing codes using the new system compared with its previous labelling operation. Payback on investment will be achieved within two years, it added.

Freshpack technical director Ann Horne said: “The savings achieved from switching away from labels, coupled with the design of the IJ350, which wastes no ink during the automatic cleaning cycles, ensured that the Linx IJ350 was the ideal solution for our needs. Given our high volumes and speed of throughput, the printer’s low maintenance and reduced downtime adds real value.”

Image creation software

The printer also has CLARiSOFT image creation software for the creation of customised logos and GS1-compliant barcodes. Linx said its highly visual status bar uses a traffic light coded system for easy updates.

“The ability to display messages prior to production means that the chances of error are significantly reduced, while the simplicity of the interface means that little training is needed before our operators have mastered the system,” added Freshpack’s Horne.

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