Contract packer Universal Flexible Packaging says the reliability and simplicity of the Linx CJ400 continuous ink jet printer is helping it meet the increasingly exacting demands of its customers.
After trialling it against a competitor machine, the company was so impressed it bought six Linx CJ400s to replace various thermal transfer printers, label printers and drop on demand printers.
The award-winning printers are now coding onto an array of containers at the family-run company’s Leicester factory, where the engineering supervisor Steve Potter enthuses: “We simply turn them on at the beginning of a shift and turn them off at the end.”
Universal Flexible Packaging produces high-end bag-in-box confectionery products which then go into a shipping carton. The Linx CJ400s print onto filled preformed pouches while the pouch is passing through a sealer. They also code onto inner and outer boxes on a semi-automatic line and onto secondary packaging, where the coder is placed on the out-feed of a case taper.
Different packaging requirements can mean that new lines are built ad hoc to meet demand, so Universal Flexible Packaging was looking for the flexibility to move printers easily between lines
The versatility of the Linx CJ400 has even enabled Universal Flexible Packaging to expand its range of services, as Steve Potter explains: “We can now also code onto plastic tubs, bottles, buckets and all manner of shapes and sizes – some of which we were unable to do before we used the Linx. We’ve even used it to print on to a label while the label is being automatically applied to a bag.”
Using Linx Black versatile mixed-base ink T583, the Linx CJ400 copes easily with coding onto the varnished card of high-value packs, where ink adhesion can be an issue. The machine’s clean operation is also important in a hygienic environment; staff wear gloves, hair nets, no jewellery, and use hand wash stations.
Steve Potter adds: “We have a huge range of customers to satisfy who are becoming increasingly involved in the production process, including auditing the site and watching the first production run.
“The Linx CJ400’s compact foot print and ease of operation were also important - our operators and engineers found them to be far more user-friendly than other coders. They were also easier to move from one line to another due to their low centre of gravity and compact size, while servicing via the service module is also very easy.
“The printers are very good for our high end premium products that are usually quite small or present a small target area for coding. The user interface is very easy to use – if you are able to use a phone then you can use the printer. Service modules are quick and easy to change … the Linx CJ400 is a very clean machine and requires little in the way of upkeep.”
Launched in 2011, the Linx CJ400 was the winner of the ‘Most Innovative Processing or Packaging Machine’ category at the PPMA (Processing & Packaging Machinery Association) Group Industry Awards 2012.