Linx continuous ink jet printers are providing the reliability and flexibility to meet leading confectionery manufacturer Thorntons’ coding requirements across the company’s wide range of famous products, as well as premium own-brand confectionery for other well-known high street retailers.
The installation of the two Linx 7900s and three Linx 5900s, to update previously-installed Linx equipment, has reaffirmed the long-standing relationship between the two companies.
The machines are used to print up to three lines of information including best before date, date and time packed and a traceability code onto printed boxes and paper outer labels at Thorntons’ Derbyshire manufacturing base. Their adaptability means they are able to cope with the wide variety of box sizes and shapes.
The printers are in use for at least 16 hours a day, five days a week, coding up to 20,000 boxes per day per line after checkweighing. Production ramps up significantly to meet seasonal demand and the reliable performance of the coders is therefore critical to help Thorntons.
Mark Campion, Project Manager at Thorntons, cites ease of use as the main benefit of the Linx coders. “Linx is a long term partner of Thorntons and consistently deliver a premium service and reliable product,” he explains. “Linx continues to produce machines which meet those requirements at the right price, both in terms of the initial outlay and the ongoing low cost of ownership.”
Delivering simple, automated code set up, the Linx 7900 reduces the risk of costly errors and cuts the time required to switch products, making it ideal for frequent changeovers on busy production lines. The Linx 5900 combines reliability and consistent coding and marking performance with the flexibility to be upgraded as requirements change. A key advantage of the two Linx models is that parts are interchangeable.
Both machines use Linx 3103 non-MEK black mixed base ink, which offers a low odour ink that dries very quickly and adheres well. The use of a common ink minimises the amount of consumables across the Thorntons site.
The Linx 7900 has a range of capabilities to help food manufacturers print perfectly, minimise mistakes and even measure production output. Its software delivers quick, time-saving changeovers between products or messages, while simple automated set-up helps ensure users get it right first time.
The Linx 5900 minimises downtime thanks to its adjustment-free sealed printhead which has no exposed wires and requires minimal maintenance. The printhead also incorporates Linx’s self-cleaning FullFlush® technology to ensure first time start-ups.
The dirt trap-free IP55 rated enclosure, with no doors to open for refills, prevents contaminants getting into the printer to further reduce the risk of unscheduled stoppages and helps to ensure a cleaner working environment, particularly important for food applications.