ATD Marking Systems

We have recently installed a bespoke publication printing solution for a commercial print house in Dorchester. Henry Ling Limited, is a leading manufacturer of journals and books. They came to us to solve a problem they were experiencing with their production process.

During the production of their books a pre-printed data matrix code is needed on the edge of each book being printed. The code carries all information the production process needs about the size of the book, thickness of the book and the hardback cover size to be applied.

The data matrix code needs to be present on the publication throughout the production process but during the final stage when the book is cut to its final size, the code would then need to be removed.

It sounds fairly simple, but an additional challenge was the thickness of the books. They produce publications that range between 5mm and 75mm, which in terms of a printing solution is a big variation.

This type of printing quandary is right up our street. We were able to design a vertical positioning system for moving the ink jet print head to the optimum position to print reliable data matrix codes on any book thickness.

It was our ATD Leibinger Jet 3 UP continuous ink jet printer (CIJ) which was the perfect print solution for us and Henry Ling to work with. It is able to mark the individual publications of varying thicknesses with the required data matrix code directly onto the book face prior to binding so the code can be scanned at all the various points in the production line.

As part of this solution, there was another element we needed to incorporate. Each publication has its own data matrix code that is pre-printed to get it to this point in the process. It isn’t in a location that can take it on it’s next journing but we needed to scan it to allow the Leibinger Jet 3 UP to print it in the correct location.

To do this, we installed an ATD Sick Lector 620 scanner, to decode the data and send it via a PC to the Leibinger Jet 3 UP for printing onto the book to take it through the rest of the manufacturing process.

Our video clip shows the publication printing solution in motion. The print is applied using a vertical motion system which moves the ink jet print head to the correct height position to allow for the varying book thicknesses.


The entire cycle time from detecting and decoding the pre-printed data matrix code, positioning the print head, re-printing the code on the book and returning to start position is less than 5 seconds.

The team at Henry Ling now have the perfect publication printing solution in place. 

If you have a manufacturing process that would benefit from us having a look at how you could make adjustments to save time, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

For more information on how we helped Henry Ling Limited, or to explore our other print solutions, please contact our team on + (0) 44 1858 461014.