28 January 2008
Brewery invests in laser coder
The Heineken Brewery at Schiltigheim has chosen the Linx 500SL scribing laser coder from Linx Printing Technologies to provide effective coding onto the labels used on its glass bottles.
Linx’s ability to integrate the coder with Heineken’s existing labelling equipment, thus ensuring a reduced production footprint, was a key reason for the choice. Heineken had been using a mask laser coding system from a rival company at its plant in Schiltigheim, but wanted to adopt new technology in order to improve speed of marking and print quality. The Linx 500SL scribing laser was deemed to be a perfect choice because of its high speed, excellent print quality and low cost of ownership compared to mask lasers, which require the use of CO2 gas cartridges for operation.
Integration with the existing labelling machine in use at the plant was a key concern for Heineken, in order to save valuable space and to allow improved access to the labelling machine for operation and maintenance. Linx devised a set-up where the laser is mounted horizontally above the labelling machine, with the arm and marking head reaching down to the pallet station where the bottles are coded. A shaft encoder is installed to prevent the speed variation and to deliver a sync print signal.
The Linx 500SL prints a two-line code onto the paper labels, incorporating the Use By date on the top line, and traceability information – the date of manufacture, the production line number and the shift code – on the second. Speeds of up to 50,000 labels per hour have been achieved. Total traceability is assured thanks to a computer link with the production management system, which enables automatic updating of codes and dates without manual intervention.
Linx Printing Technologies Ltd
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