Avon Cosmetics has taken delivery of two CleanCode EV1 thermal ink jet printers, fitted with porous ink cartridges, supplied by Open Date Equipment, to print fixed information to outer cases, containing individual customer orders.
Based in Corby, Northamptonshire, Avon Cosmetics is one of the largest cosmetics manufacturers in the world producing more than 1.5 million orders annually at its Corby facility. The company needed a reliable coding system to improve efficiency on its two packing lines, with a capacity around 20 cases/minute.
"Previously we had been using continuous ink jet machines from another supplier," explained engineering team leader at Avon, John Hurst. "Unfortunately they proved to be unreliable and quite messy due to the intermittent nature of the lines and the fact that stops can be frequent. So we urgently needed to find an alternative machine to print customer messages onto the outer cases."
Open Date suggested the CleanCode EVI as it is significantly less expensive to buy than CIJ printers and has much lower running costs than either CIJ or DOD machines, it says. Yet they can provide highly legible and fully formed characters with a print resolution of 300dpi.
Compact in design, the units use Hewlett Packard TIJ technology. Ink is stored in 42ml cartridges and the print head is integral to the ink cartridge, which means that when the cartridge is replaced, so is the print head. No make-up is required for the inks.
The EVI can print a one line message in 12.5mm characters or two lines with 5.5mm high characters. Selecting the size is done via the font key on the hand held controller. The standard message length is one line of 24 characters or 48 characters in two lines of 24.
Four software options are available which convert the machine from a simple system to one comparable with higher priced, high resolution coders, or offering the functionality of small character DOD, CIJ and laser printers, claims Open Date. The software is supplied on Data Flash Cards and can be
easily installed in situ.
Ready to install straight from the box, the systems include mounting brackets, a hand held controller with WYSIWYG display and keypad for message entry, plus the print head module with an internal product sensor. Maintenance is minimal as the coder can be switched off when not in use and the cartridge stored. To start up again the cartridge is simply re-loaded.
Machines can operate independently or in a network. The basic CleanCode EV1 is designed to be completely expandable yet priced to be highly competitive with the lowest cost coders currently on the market.
John Hurst concluded, "We have already seen a reduction in our print costs and a big improvement in the reliability of the coders."
Open Date Equipment (UK) Ltd
Units 8-9 Puma Trade Park,
145 Morden Road,
Tel : +44 (0)20 8655 4999
Fax : +44 (0)20 8655 4990