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How to Cut Fertilizer Packaging Costs on the Production Line

Thanks to rising energy costs and tougher emission targets, many fertilizer packaging companies are seeing squeezed profits on already tight margins. But how can costs be cut to improve profitability? In this article, we’ll look at some ways this can be done, including reducing unnecessary down time, reducing set up times between product runs, and improving reliability.

What Are the Needs of Fertilizer Packagers?

For most fertilizer packaging, codes need to be legible and resist reasonable wear and tear (protection from water, dirt, oil, chemicals etc). Many fertilizer packagers require the ability to switch between different codes and message types at will, as they also contract pack, so a versatile coding solution capable of printing onto different substrates is useful. A single production line may be used around the clock to produce several different product runs per day, each with different coding requirements.

Reducing Unnecessary Downtime

Because production lines are expected to run continuously throughout the day, it is important that packaging coders can keep up, avoiding the unnecessary downtime related to servicing or breakdown.

In this industry it’s therefore essential to choose a coder that has been designed for continual operation, without regular servicing that can interfere with meeting production targets.

Reduce Set up Time between Product Runs

Set-up times between product runs is another area where there are likely to be hold ups to production, costing time and money. If your production line handles multiple products per day, then ensuring your coders can switch between different types of code and messaging quickly is an easy way to increase productivity. To achieve quick product run changes, look for a coder that offers the features you need to achieve this. For example, certain Linx coders feature the ability to code messages in different orientations, meaning quicker changeovers, where in the past you may have had to manually change a printer’s orientation.

Meanwhile, the user interface plays a key part in how quickly coders can switch between products. Simple, intuitive interfaces found on Linx CIJ printers ensure that operator errors are minimized, reducing wastage when product runs are changed over.

Finally, does your coder have the ability to store multiple messages for quicker changes between products? This feature ensures codes do not have to be manually re-entered, saving time.

Improve Reliability and Cut Unnecessary Downtime

Improving reliability is essential for cutting costs and increasing profits. For every minute that any part of a production line stops working no products are completed, while fixed costs remain, reducing the overall equipment effectiveness.

In order to reduce this impact, Linx coders are designed to operate around the clock on high volume production lines, no matter what the operating environment is. A wide range of coders are available for different conditions, including wet, dusty or clinical environments. Choosing a coder for your specific needs ensures that no money is wasted on unnecessary features, or ending up with a coder that doesn’t suit your production environment. Linx 8900 ink jet coders include an IP rating of IP55 as minimum, with an option of IP65 for protection against dust ingression, ensuring optimum performance in a range of production environments.

Printheads on Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) printers can also be protected against dust ingress thanks to positive air options, again facilitating continual, reliable operation. Both laser and ink based coders ensure the chemical resistance of coding, meaning there is no need to recode products or risk the removal of code during transit or end use.

Non-contact coders such as CIJ coders, allow coding onto different shapes, sizes and materials, ensuring a single coder is versatile enough to handle whatever products are put through the production line, be they card boxes or plastic woven sacks. Ink adherence onto plastics can be a problem, but Linx CIJ coders are available with a wide range of inks so you can be sure to find coding solution for your needs. Simply ask for Linx’s sample marking service to find out which ink is best for you.

Wrapping Up

While only a small part of a production line, the effectiveness of your coder really does make a difference to the overall equipment effectiveness of your line, as the last step in production for your fertilizer products. If you recognize any of the issues above as a reason for not hitting your production targets, maybe it’s time to look at replacing your coding solution?

Discover more about how Linx coders can improve productivity and profitability in the chemicals industry here.

Read how Micromix Plant Health improved their coding after installing a Linx 8900 CIJ printer.