Pacific prides itself with superior packaging
abilities, but the company needed coders that could provide clean, legible
codes in order to keep track of tomato-package freshness. Florida based Pacific
Tomato Growers originally used roller wheels to code tomato packaging, but
found that the code was not as legible as they needed, and constantly required
ink and manual changing of codes.
In addition, as the company’s Director of Packing Operations/food safety and security David Bagley explains, “You must have a lot of numbers and letters on hand to change each coding wheel when there’s a grower change to make.”
The company was recommended the Linx 4900Continuous Ink Jet printer by Linx’s US distributor, Diagraph, an ITW Company, with whom Pacific has a long-term relationship. “We tried other clamshell coders, but we found the Linx printers easier to operate, with little or no maintenance,” David Bagley adds
Today, Pacific has installed at least 15 Linx 4900 printers at various locations to code the polyethylene terepthalate clamshells with a two-line alphanumeric code. The company has reduced its costs in terms of ink savings, and time has been saved when changing messages: the Linx 4900 enables messages to be changed instantly at the touch of a button.
Bagley says the result has been lower costs in terms of ink savings versus the previous coding methods and less labour. The codes can be changed with the touch of a few keystrokes, an important benefit, as Pacific’s packing lines can be changed over frequently from one product to another.
The improved code quality also presents Pacific to customers in a sunnier light. Linx improves Pacific Tomato's growing reputation. Florida based Pacific Tomato Growers is using Linx Printing Technologies’ 4900 Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) printers to deliver a cost-effective method of applying more precise, quality codes onto its primary packaging.
“The main reason we chose Linx is because the codes are clear and concise, and they instil confidence in the tomatoes we’re selling,” explains David Bagley.
Pacific codes the clamshells for tracking and tracing purposes, a process the company implemented upon installing the Linx printers. “ We have gained customers due to the code clarity and improved legibility of the package sell-by dates ” explains David Bagley.
Pacific has already begun to enjoy a return on its ink-jetprinter investment. “We’ve seen a payback already in traceability alone,” concludes David Bagley. “It’s the reason why we have more business.”
About the Linx 4900
The Linx 4900 ink jet printer is designed to meet everyday product coding and marking requirements andto provide low total cost of ownership and simple, trouble free operation. The Linx 4900 ink jet printer prints up to 2 lines of text and logos at production line speeds of up to 6.25m/s, and can print onto virtually any material thanks to the broad range of inks available.
A simple user interface with a WYSIWYG display facilitates message creation, and its stainless-steel,IP55-rated enclosure and sealed printhead valve system are teamed with software that automates controls to maintain superior print quality and performance.
At Pacific, the Linx 4900 prints a two-line alphanumeric code on one end of the polyethylene terepthalate clamshell, in 1/4-in.-tall,7-dot type. The Pacific Tomato Growers name appears on the first line, while a sell-by date and a production number appears on the second line. Pacific’s plants usually run 50-hr weeks or five to six days a week, during peak season. Typical line speeds are approximately 60 to70 primary clamshells/min.