“Our coder needs to be reliable as a pulse” – so said the Director of a contract packing company recently when we asked him for his views on coding and marking. And as we nodded enthusiastically and noted down his answer in our efforts to understand the changing needs of our customers, this got us thinking…
A coder really is like the heart of a contract packer. First, the obvious parallels. It is relied upon to distribute liquid (assuming it’s ink jet) regularly and reliably, day in and day out. Only when it does so can its host function throughout a busy and varied day. And if it fails, everything grinds to a halt.
But the comparison doesn’t end there. Both are intuitive to use. Just as you don’t need to read a manual to learn how to make your heart beat, so operating your coder should be so easy it’s second-nature. And with the clear and simple smart-phone inspired display screens on Linx coders, it is.
Sometimes, of course, unusual exertion is required. Just as your heart speeds up when you need to run or lift a heavy object, so it is essential that, in the unpredictable world of contract packing, your coding solution can cope with sudden spikes in production or the upturn in work caused by a new contract.
The worst thing that could happen with either is that they stop working. If a coder breaks down during a busy period for a contract packer, the situation will be hardly less dramatic than cardiac arrest – and may even precipitate one in the line manager!
Thankfully, this seldom happens, and printer health is comfortably ensured through good practice and regular maintenance. Their excellent design means some Linx machines require maintenance as infrequently as every 18 months to two years, enabling production managers to plan servicing around their production schedules and keep the line running. Other models allow for simple and quick self-maintenance – not recommended for hearts.
Linx Printernet, our Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) capability, even provides users with a detailed, real-time ECG of their printer’s activity, enabling them to analyse its performance and that of the production line, and through this maximise them both.
And not only does this ability to monitor tell you about the health of your coder – it also keeps you updated about the health of your entire line. When the printer is fine but not printing, you can deduce that there is a problem elsewhere, enabling you to address it much earlier than would have been likely earlier. When your heart sends you a warning message, it often a signal that another part of your body is unwell.
Little wonder, then, that when we finished by asking the Director if he was happy with his Linx coder, he responded with another heart-related phrase: “I love it.”
For more information about finding the right coding and marking solution for your business, read our new Contract Packing white paper