The need for speed
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Metal cans are widely used for beverage and shelf-stable foods. Filling and canning production lines operate at high-speed. CIJ printers are used with adhesive ink to apply manufacturing dates, expiry dates and traceability information onto materials such as aluminium and tin, often operating in high-humidity environments. Specialist inks that are resistant to the sterilization process may be necessary.
Leibinger printers are well suited to the demands of printing on beverage and shelf-stable food cans. We provide IP65 options and our faster models such as the JET Rapid operate at speeds up to 806 m/min. Codes can be applied to any part of the can and specialist inks are available, such as thermochromic, color-change inks, which change color during the sterilization process.
November 9, 2020
Industrial inkjet printer - CIJ - 6 key facts every production manager needs to know >>>
Marking and coding of cans
Leibinger continuous inkjet printers with Sealtronic speed-up start.
Filling 100,000 bottles per hour is far from uncommon in the beverage industry, which is why coding in small letters needs to be carried out within the shortest possible time. In addition, industrial inkjet printers need to be able to cope with high-humidity environments and flexible enough to print on any part of the container, regardless of the material used.
High dust levels and extremely high line speeds make tea and coffee packaging systems a demanding coding and marking environment. In order to guarantee the quality and consistency of end products, cleanliness is also a key factor.
Confectionery products and snacks need to be coded at high speed, using fast-drying inks. New formulations, flavors, sales promotions and packaging sizes also increase the risk of costly coding errors and require coding and marking solutions that are reliable, fast and flexible.
Designed for the convenience of the customers, these are products that come in an ever-changing range of packaging formats, such as shrink wrap, foil and cardboard. Also, since the information to be coded onto the packaging changes frequently, coding solutions must be highly flexible. The coder must also be able to withstand the extreme temperatures, high humidity and dust levels that are a feature of the industry, and should use inks that are suited to the surface of the packaging.
Marking cosmetics and personal care products takes place according to an international agreement – referred to as the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) – and applies to both ingredients and fragrances. Additionally, throughout the EU, such articles must have a use-by date if their shelf life is less than 30 months. Coding is also used as an anti-counterfeit measure and to aid traceability.
The dairy business is shaped by short product shelf lives and stringent hygiene requirements. Dairy producers also face regularly changing packaging designs, the ever-increasing variety of types and flavors, and frequent production changes. Coding and marking of packagings therefore requires equipment that can print expiration dates and other such information reliably and efficiently on a variety of surfaces.
Furniture and toys come in all shapes, sizes and materials – and high-quality marking is essential for traceability and legal compliance. The wood used in furniture manufacture, in particular, has many different levels of absorbency, which makes durable, legible printing a challenge.
Encodings in the steel and metal industries have to endure a lot: extreme weather conditions, large temperature fluctuations, hard loads, harsh working conditions and a wide variety of surface finishes. The equipment used to apply batch numbers, logos, codes and other text needs to be reliable and the markings themselves need to last.
Packaged food products come in all shapes and sizes, which requires great flexibility from your coding and marking solution. Foods are packaged in a variety of formats, using different materials that can be challenging to print on. The food industry also demands high standards of hygiene compliance, requiring actions such as the regular spray-cleaning of the production environment.
In order to meet the growing demand for animal fodder and cattle feed, increasingly efficient production lines with higher throughputs are needed. Companies producing pet food and animal feed are committed to offering products that ensure the health and vitality of family pets so product traceability is also an important consideration. The coding and marking systems need not only to clearly print traceability information, but also accommodate many different packaging formats, such as retort pouches and club packaging.
Tobacco packaging facilities are particularly dusty environments, which creates quality problems with many printers. CIJ printers used by tobacco producers need robust coding solutions that can cope with such conditions, while also operating at the extremes of packaging line speeds. Additionally, cleanliness is paramount to assure the quality and consistency of the end products, and manufacturers need flexibility to implement country-specific packaging information requirements.