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Hitachi printers improve traceability for dairy industry

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By Jenny Eagle+

Last updated on 28-Feb-2017 at 13:25 GMT2017-02-28T13:25:41Z

Pensworth UHT Cream milk. Picture: Pensworth.
Pensworth UHT Cream milk. Picture: Pensworth.

Pensworth dairy company has partnered with Allen Coding to install five Hitachi UX inkjet printers to improve efficiency.

The family-run UK firm employs more than 250 employees and processes 65m liters of milk a year.

Hot foil systems

The technology has an ergonomically-designed print head for printing onto drinks containers, which apply use by dates and traceability details onto plastic cartons of milk once they have been filled, capped and labelled.

Scott Walker, site manager, Pensworth, told DairyReporter the UX printers are installed on separate lines at its Southampton facility operating at speeds up to 175 units per minute on the filling lines.

The UX printers replace our old hot foil systems which were unreliable and uneconomical,” he said.

They were installed across two days and are easier to use than the hot foil units. We were always changing foil before and the print was poor. The new printers have reduced customer complaints about print quality from one or two a week to zero.

With less downtime and faster operating speeds, the UX printers have increased production efficiencies by almost 10% plus we don’t have to buy foils now so the lifetime cost of ownership is lower.”

The UX inkjet printers come in three models; Basic Entry Level, Flexible Standard and Premium and the cartridge bottles can be used up until the last drop which prevents wastage.

Milk and juice cartons

They are ideal for printing onto drinks containers such as milk or juice cartons.

The operator can check the finished image on a 10.4 inch touch screen before going ahead with printing to avoid errors.

It operates at a maximum rate of up to 1,148 characters per second for the Basic and Standard models with the option to upgrade the latter to 2,296 characters.

The Premium model allows up to six lines of printing from a single print head and up to 2,296 characters per second. Bar codes, 2D code printing and the ability to store between 150 and 2,000 messages are also features of the UX range.

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