Choosing the correct industrial coding equipment is vital to achieve consistent print quality, reliability and legibility. In some cases there may be several potential coding solutions, and ATD will work with the customer to determine which one is best suited to their application. Often the unique nature of their products, or their marking requirements, will be the deciding factor.
Day-Impex Choose ATD’s Leibinger Jet3pi Continuous Inkjet Printer as their Industrial Coding Solution
ATD were approached by Day-Impex to help them to improve the marking on their range of glass sprinkler bulbs. These liquid filled capsules are designed to shatter when the liquid reaches a well defined temperature, triggering the sprinkler system. The small components range in size from 5mm to 2.5mm in diameter and each must be marked with an identifying code.
ATD considered the products in its range of industrial coding solutions:
Labelling was immediately ruled out due to the small size of the parts and the high production rate.
The ATD IP500 Thermal Inkjet would produce characters of the required size, but none of the available inks would adhere well to the glass surface.
An ATD / MACSA Laser Coder could easily produce the small high quality coding required, and would produce an indelible mark etched into the glass surface. However there were concerns that the mechanical integrity and strength of the thin walled component could be compromised. In such a safety critical component the risk was considered unacceptable.
The Leibinger Jet3pi Continuous Inkjet Printer (CIJ) seemed the optimum choice. It will print small high quality characters using ink that adheres well to a glass surface. In addition it is ideally suited to printing white pigmented ink, which gives very high contrast against the liquid colour in the bulb.
The customer was a little concerned by this suggestion as they were already having unsatisfactory experiences using a competitor’s CIJ printer with pigmented inks. However a trial showed that the advanced features of the Leibinger Jet3pi did indeed provide the coding solution they were looking for.
Day-Impex constructed a unique purpose built line to process and print the glass capsules at high speed. The capsules are fed from a rotary feeder and pass individually through an image processing system that checks the orientation. Incorrect items are rejected and fall back into the rotary feeder. The accepted capsules pass under the inkjet printer and then past air blades to quickly dry them before collection in a bin. The entire process is automated and guarantees that the printing on each capsule identical.
Combining Quality and Reliability
The Jet3pi’s ink system is designed so there are no regions of low flow where pigment can build up. The self-contained pressurised ink delivery mechanism eliminates factory air and gear pumps. Combined with the unique start up and shut down procedure, which seals the nozzle during shutdown and ensures a clean start-up, the customer achieved the combination of print quality, production reliability and print integrity that they were seeking for their industrial coding requirement.
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