2020 will go down in history as a challenging time for food producers. It is vital that food supplies to supermarkets and shops are uninterrupted and rigorous hygiene maintained – but we should not forget the importance of the printed information that is provided to the consumer when it is on the shelf. There are heavy fines for batch and date codes that do not meet the required legislation, and the printed codes must meet stringent traceability requirements should any recall be needed.
What to research
So, how do you go about ensuring you have the best possible coding equipment for the job in hand? As with any purchase, it always pays dividends to do your research and you may want to take into account the following:
- Substrate – think of the range of different materials you will need to print on. It’s a good idea to ask for samples coded by the printer you are considering. Rest assured Linx offers this as standard!
- Line speed – can the printer keep up with your line speed and what will the degradation be to the code if it cannot? Also, make sure you future-proof your printer for a potential increase in output. No-one likes to buy twice!
- Factory environment – this can be tricky for coding onto food products. You need to ensure your printer and ink can cope with greasy environments, plastic film and the cooking process to name but a few. (Check out our ink blog for the latest ink developments at Linx, specifically developed for the food industry).
- Budget – don’t be swayed to purchase based on the printer price alone. Take into account the total cost of ownership and factor in reliability – there is nothing more costly than a breakdown and we all know they never occur at a convenient time. Also bear in mind that there are a number of options when it comes to financing your equipment, to give you the best value in the long run.
Why Linx is a good choice for the food industry
Linx’s Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) printers, with a minimum IP55 rating to withstand washdown, are an excellent choice for the food industry. They deliver quality coding with exceptional reliability, ease of use and efficient operations. Simple user interfaces with built-in mistake proofing help keep uptime to a maximum. Touch screens are solvent and alcohol resistant so they can be operated while wearing plastic or rubber gloves, and operators can use hand sanitisers to stay healthy and still operate the printer.
Linx CIJs are the optimum coders for the harsh environment of food production, and reduce stoppages through:
- extended service intervals
- three monthly printhead cleans
- fluid refills during printing and eight-hour fluid reserve
Linx PrinterNet – The Linx IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) solution
With the added bonus of Linx PrinterNet you will have complete peace of mind by being able to see the status of your coding and marking lines, along with alerts and notifications, even when you are not in the building. The units also sport large-screen intuitive UI and low-touch operations to minimise contact. Responding to customer requirements, a change log records when edits are made and by whom.
Through PrinterNet Linx can identify the root cause of a problem and possibly resolve it remotely. If an engineer does need to go to site, a replacement part can be pre-ordered to deliver a first-time fix – reducing downtime and keeping the number of people on site to a minimum.
What are the benefits of Linx CIJ printers?
Linx’s extensive experience in the food industry translates into coders that are perfectly suited to the challenging environments. Add to this their exceptional customer service and remote capabilities and you have reliable production, improved output and maximised uptime.
View our food industry infographic to see the benefits of CIJ printers and the options that are available to food manufacturers.
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