Pensworth – The Dairy Company is benefitting from almost 10% increase in production efficiencies since replacing its old hot foil coders with five Hitachi UX inkjet printers from long-standing supplier, Allen Coding. The high performance systems, which incorporate an ergonomicallydesigned print head for printing onto drinks containers, are applying vital traceability information and use by dates to plastic cartons of milk.
Established as a family run business in 1975, Pensworth’s customer base now covers the South of England, South Wales, Midlands, Leicestershire, East Anglia and London. The business currently has over 250 employees and a factory processing 65 million litres of UK farm milk annually. It supplies the retail, catering and food service markets. It also has the required accreditation to supply into the NHS, schools and other public sector organisations.
The UX printers are installed on separate lines at Pensworth’s site in Southampton where they are operating at speeds up to 175 units per minute on their filling lines. The environmentally friendly printers apply use by dates and traceability details once the cartons have been filled, capped and labelled.
Scott Walker, Site Manager at Pensworth’s Southampton plant comments: “Allen Coding recommended the UX printers to replace our old hot foil systems which were both unreliable and uneconomical. The new printers were installed across two days and were operational as soon as Allen Coding completed the staff training. The UX models look better, are more cost effective, offer superior quality and are easier to use than the hot foil units.
He continues: “We were always changing foil before and the print was poor. In fact, the new printers have reduced customer complaints about print quality from one or two a week to zero.”
“With less downtime and faster operating speeds, we can say that the UX printers have helped increase production efficiencies by almost 10%,” Scott adds. “Plus we don’t have to buy foils now so the lifetime cost of ownership is also much lower.”
The UX inkjet printer series has been designed for ease of use and maintenance combined with improved environmental considerations, and is ideal for printing on to drinks containers such as milk or juice cartons.
Available in three models – Basic Entry Level, Flexible Standard and Premium – it also features a new cartridge-type system, which makes ink replacement clean and simple. The ink and make-up cartridge bottles can be used right up until the last drop which prevents wastage and eliminates the need to dispose of them separately.
A new, modern user interface with full colour, 10.4 inch touch screen panel and icon-based graphics indicate ink levels as well as the correct time to replace cartridges. The ability to check the finished image on the screen before going ahead with printing helps to avoid errors and saves on wastage. Brand new print technology is incorporated into the Premium model allowing up to six lines of printing from the single print head. High-speed single line printing of excellent quality is also possible.
Ethernet as standard saves wiring, while strengthened network compatibility allows easier system construction, and collective management via the host system enables two or more devices to be networked easily. It operates at a maximum rate of up to 1148 characters per second for the Basic and Standard models with the option to upgrade the latter to 2296 characters. The Premium unit offers up to 2296 as standard. Bar codes, 2D code printing and the ability to store between 150 and 2000 messages are also features of the UX range. The printer’s cabinet is IP65 rated for dusty environments. It can be washed down when necessary making it suitable for applications within the meat and dairy industries. It may also be used in temperatures ranging from 0 to 50ºC.
Scott concludes: “The overall service provided by Allen Coding was excellent. The sales engineer, Malcolm McGregor, was highly professional and could not do enough for us. I would definitely recommend both the company and its printers to other food and drink manufacturers.”
Allen Coding is part of the ITW Marking and Coding Division which also comprises Diagraph, Norwood, Trident and Foxjet.