Egg Processor Cuts Costs

Replacing labeling with thermal inkjet coding streamlines “Best Before” coding.

Matthews’ MPERIA-driven VIAjet L-Series TIJ system
Matthews’ MPERIA-driven VIAjet L-Series TIJ system

Show Daily Exclusive - To reduce packaging costs and downtime, egg processor and packer DAVA Foods Sweden sought to replace its existing label printer/applicator machines with a direct marking system for “Best Before” date codes. Matthews Marking Systems (Booth C-1841) implemented a low-maintenance thermal inkjet (TIJ) printer with cartridge-based ink supply, controlled by the MPERIA platform, for ease of message creation, system control and future expandability.
OBJECTIVE
DAVA Foods Sweden washes, sorts and packs 1.5 million eggs/day on 17 production lines within its fully automated processing facility in Skara. The company was using label print-and-apply technology to imprint “Best Before” codes and tamp on self-adhesive labels. However, the system experienced frequent downtime for label replenishment and removal of the waste paper backing. It also required operators to change the messaging manually for each product run, a process prone to errors and subsequent rework. To minimize packaging costs, downtime and errors, the company sought alternatives.
THERMAL INKJET
Matthews Marking replaced the printer/applicators on all 17 lines with 25 easy-to-use VIAjet L-Series TIJs with 0.5-in.-tall printheads. Eight of the lines are equipped with two printheads, allowing DAVA Foods to run six- or 12-packs on the same line.
The system marks the variable “Best Before” code directly on top of the egg packs at a high resolution (600 x 600 dots/in.) for maximum clarity and reaches speeds up to 1,200 ft./min. It also starts up and shuts down in seconds to minimize downtime. For gentle handling and to accommodate the height variations of the different egg packs, each printhead is attached to the line with a spring-mounted stand.
Because the VIAjet L-Series printer utilizes a cartridge-based ink supply, it is inherently clean and nearly maintenance-free. The operator simply replaces the cartridge to refill the ink supply, a process that takes 10 to 20 sec. The cartridge format also eliminates the potential for clogs, spills and associated downtime for cleaning.
All of the VIAjet L-Series printers are managed and controlled by Matthews’ MPERIA marking and coding automation platform. This allows an operator to change the messaging for each printer from a single location via a touchscreen graphical user interface. The MPERIA platform allows marking in multiple languages. Further, it supports future expansions, easily controlling and managing the addition of printheads or production lines should throughput levels increase.
RESULTS
By replacing the label printer/applicators with Matthews’ MPERIA-driven VIAjet L-Series TIJ systems, DAVA Foods Sweden significantly reduced packaging costs by eliminating the time and expense associated with handling labels. With the L-Series printer’s cartridge-based ink supply, the company now can mark 120,000 packs/printhead before the cartridge must be changed. Additionally, with the simple-to-navigate MPERIA system, operators can easily set up and edit manufacturing date and lot codes with minimal training, significantly reducing errors.
For more information, visit www.matthewsmarking.com. SD

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