Linx 8900 case study - The Pre-Wired Conduit Company
Linx Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) printing solutions are meeting the high quality coding requirements of leading specialist cabling manufacturer The Pre-Wired Conduit Company Ltd.
Two Linx 8900 CIJ printers have recently joined a Linx 7900 Spectrum already installed at the company’s factory in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, coding onto extruded cables and cable cores.
A major benefit of the Linx coders is the quality of the codes produced. As The Pre-Wired Conduit Company has invested in a BASEC (British Approvals Service for Cables) ISO 9001:2008 quality accreditation, this is essential to meet BASEC standards, and also to reflect the premium nature of the company’s products which are used in a variety of high-end applications and many prestigious building projects.
As part of this, the choice of inks recommended by Linx was important. Linx Black mixed base 3103 ink used in the Linx 8900s offers good clarity across a range of different coloured cables and is equally appropriate for more discreet coding; for example on black cable which is visible in a high-spec building. High-opacity grey 1311 ink in the Linx 7900 Spectrum provides good contrast on light and dark colours. Coding onto cables takes place after they have been extruded and cooled in a water bath, and both inks provide durable codes, even when printing onto damp surfaces.
Another benefit of the Linx coders is their ease of use. In particular, the touch screen interface of the Linx 8900 makes code set up and changes a quick and simple process, with codes easy for operators to store and retrieve. This is important as the Linx 8900s code onto both finished cables and cable cores, meaning more frequent changeovers are required.
Line speeds can vary between products and a shaft encoder linked to the Linx 8900 measures the speed to ensure that the printer always prints at the right rate. In addition, an inter-print delay feature on the Linx 8900 is used to tell the printer to repeat the same message at regular intervals, based on the length of cable that has passed. These intervals are as prescribed by BASEC.
The coders are operating reliably in an environment that can be dusty and where temperatures can vary. Linx’s industry-leading sealed printhead is able to function in harsh conditions, while its pioneering autoflush system thoroughly cleans the printhead every time the printer is shut down, ensuring a fast and clean start-up.
Code heights are 2mm for cores and 2.8mm for finished cables. The Linx 8900s are capable of handling the faster line speeds of the cores, coding at up to 200m/min. without compromising code quality. The coders are operational at a minimum of seven hours a day, five days a week in a single shift. It is vital that lines remain running as much as possible, and the Linx printers have unique features which provide advance warnings when fluids are low or intervention is needed, helping to support production planning and minimise downtime.
The Pre-Wired Conduit Company says the Linx coders offer lower maintenance and service costs than the coders they had previously used.
“We manufacture high-quality products and this needs to be reflected in the marketplace, so printing is very important to us,” says The Pre-Wired Conduit Company’s director Graham Davies.
“The Linx coders give us good quality prints and have the speed and flexibility to deal with our different coding requirements.”