The company said the improvements are so that label data and formats can be more easily controlled. Downtime is also reduced by the ability to preview and adjust labels digitally. It is also improved by a large touchscreen to help operators work more quickly.
With downtime, rework and recalls eating into profits, manufacturers need to minimize these elements. The 2200 Series Print & Apply (P&A) labeling system for cases and pallets can save up to six days of downtime per year, Markem-Imaje said.
Traditionally, labels have been created and stored away from the production line. Untrained or distracted operators can make mistakes by picking the wrong product label and/or inputting the wrong data from the remote location (e.g. in an office or separate line PC). With no label preview function at printer level, mistakes can only be spotted after printing has started, resulting in production stops and rework; undetected, this can result in recalls.
The Production Interface minimizes scope for such mistakes and accelerates changeovers, the company said. It also makes case and pallet labeling less resource-intensive to manage, freeing up operators to do other activities.
The improved storage capacity means labels can now more effectively be stored en masse at printer level with limited image editing capabilities, protecting layout and data integrity, while increasing speed. Enhanced connectivity also makes it easier for label formats and data to be retrieved, on demand, from a remote location directly to the printer via the CoLOS information management system.
Incorrect label selection by operators can also be eliminated by enabling keyboard-free label selection and variable data updating through a connection to a hand-held barcode reader that could, in turn, be linked to a production manifest.
The Production Interface’s large touchscreen also shows how variable content will appear on the final printed label. If needed, operators can make minor adjustments, such as label position and print contrast, digitally via the interface.
The full-color interface is available in 10.1-inch (261 mm) or 15.6-inch (396 mm) touchscreens.
Warnings and alerts can be viewed in the user’s chosen language, which also speeds up problem resolution, without needing to look up error codes.
The entry-level Production Interface can control one 2200 Series P&A system, while the advanced version can handle two on the same or different lines. The CoLOS Line Terminal variant can manage up to four printers of any type (not only P&A) while also deploying other applications, such as COLOS Mark & Read and CoLOS Printer Performance.
Markem-Imaje is a wholly owned subsidiary of the US-based Dover Corporation.