The reliability, flexibility and efficiency of two Linx 8900 CIJ (Continuous Ink Jet) printers installed at leading aerosol manufacturer and filler LMA Services has been a key factor in allowing the company to increase the number of hours it operates its production lines - from eight to 16 hours per day - giving it the opportunity to take on more business.
LMA was looking to replace its previous coding equipment with a reliable, high-quality and easy-to-operate coder. Two key requirements were the ability to print onto the bottom of aluminium and steel aerosol cans, and to produce up to three lines of code.
As well as meeting these criteria, the Linx 8900 offers a number of additional benefits. In particular, the coder’s ease of set-up and operation – similar to using a mobile phone or tablet – means operators need little training to get the most out of it. This has given them more time to focus on setting up the lines and ensuring they are running efficiently. Fast code changes are also an important advantage for LMA, which as well as its own brands carries out a great deal of contract filling.
Another important advantage of the Linx 8900 is its ability to print a variety of batch code formats. It also offers a useful print count feature, which can be incorporated into the batch code, meaning operators can quickly view the current production status either by looking at the screen or simply picking up a product on the line, where the print count number indicates what stage has been reached.
The machines use the quick-drying, all-purpose 1240 ink, which is ideal for fast lines and resistant to removal by chemicals.
“We are delighted at the performance of our Linx printers,” comments Craig Hodgson, General Manager of LMA Services. “They are cleaner and more intuitive, there is no more mess on the line, and downtime has been reduced, as we don't have to constantly refill the coder and mop up the mess afterwards. Above all, the excellent quality and consistency of the code makes a better impression on our customers.
"Throughout the installation process, the service from Linx was first rate, even delivering ink out of hours at one point.”
LMA Services manufactures and fills aerosols for a wide range of markets and applications, including automotive, veterinary, janitorial, industrial and paints. Aerosols are filled and capped before being coded on their base by the Linx 8900s. The three-line capability of the coders provides the flexibility to match codes to individual customer requirements. The machines are coding up to 4,000 cans per hour, well within their capabilities as speeds are governed by other equipment on the line.
"One reason we chose the Linx coder was that for years we had wanted to code onto the bottom of cans, but our previous coder wouldn't allow it,” continues Craig Hodgson. “This coder could also only print two lines and had a limited choice of batch code formats.
“Now, thanks to all the benefits of the Linx 8900, we can run our lines for longer and take on new business, confident in the knowledge that the printers won’t let us down.”