An inkjet printer customised for egg production and capable of coding over 250,000 eggs per hour on an eight-track grading machine is launched by Markem-Imaje. Thanks to a specific communications protocol, the solution eliminates operator mistakes while automatic cleaning and smart consumables systems help maximise quality and uptime.
Codes printed directly onto eggs contain useful safety and traceability information such as best before dates and farm identification. Such coding fulfils a legal obligation in many countries and, even where not legally required, some producers choose to include this kind of information, sometime augmented by logos, as a way of differentiating their eggs as coming from a trustworthy source.
Egg producers use machines with specific communication protocols to process, code and pack their eggs. One of the most commonly used brands for this purpose is from Moba. A specially configured version of Markem-Imaje’s 9450 coder has now been certified for use on Moba’s machines. The coder can be easily installed on egg production lines on a ‘plug and play’ basis. Unlike other brands which are similarly certified, this coder does not require an external PC to be operational. A series of brackets are also included to facilitate installation and get coding operations running quickly and cost-efficiently.
This inkjet printer offers a range of additional features not available with others commonly used to code eggs. For example, the ability to operate from a standard 7-inch colour touch screen and its online guiding system mean operators gain time when starting or stopping print runs, changing cartridges and checking printer status, for example. And, without stopping the line, the embedded software allows producers to monitor consumable consumption and running costs. This enables them to react proactively to protect uptime and keep costs under control.
Additionally, service intervals on the printer’s pressure pump have been extended to 14,000 hours. This is nearly double the interval associated with older generation pumps from various suppliers which are still widely used across the industry.
The 9450 is characterised by a mono-block printhead design that makes head cleaning easy and trouble-free. When necessary, its automatic cleaning system will ensure jet stability is faultless when restarting and therefore the quality of the code is consistently high. Additionally, this design optimises the use of energy as well as ink and additive consumption, enabling users to cut these expenses up to 20%.
Another attribute is its smart consumable system which uses a built-in sensor that prevents the insertion of incorrect ink and additive cartridges, thereby avoiding costly downtime. Additionally, its clean and sealed cartridges remove the risk of spilling, or accidentally pouring, an unsuitable consumable into the wrong ink or additive tank, again avoiding downtime.