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Article | February 9, 2012
Ink-jet printer aids ingredient maker's move to full automation
Reliability, quality of output, ease of use, and seamless integration are among the benefits of new ink-jet printer selected by U.K. ingredient manufacturer Croda.
Global manufacturer Croda of Hull, England, is the first company in the U.K. to install the A320i service-free ink-jet printer from Domino, the latest addition to the company’s A-series range. Croda, which produces natural-based ingredients for markets that include personal care, healthcare, polymer additives, and lubricants, installed the A320i earlier this year at its Hull manufacturing facility, where the printer has been instrumental in the company’s ongoing transition to operating fully automated packaging lines. Croda’s decision to invest in the A320i follows a longer-term relationship with Domino and its A-Series printers that dates back to 2006, when Croda began to move toward fully automated packaging processes. At that time, the company selected an A-Series printer for integration into an automated packaging line to print batch and product codes onto polyethylene bags. Five years later, when the company was looking to automate further packaging lines, it once again turned to Domino for a solution, after it had thoroughly reviewed other coders on the market. According to Croda, reliability, quality of output, ease of use, and seamless integration of its first A-Series printer were instrumental in the decision to invest in an A320i. “A key element of our evaluation and selection process was the feedback we had from our packaging line operators and technicians, all of whom highlighted the quality output, ease of use and reliability of Domino’s A-Series coder,” explains Ian Savill, technical engineering manager at Croda’s Hull site. “We could find no other coder on the market that could match our expectations and therefore, Domino’s latest A-Series coder, the A320i became the obvious choice.”
Savill and his team worked closely with Domino’s engineering specialists who provided on-site assistance throughout installation to ensure a seamless transition and minimize production downtime. “The installation went extremely smoothly, and the A320i is already proving to be the perfect solution to our needs,” sayss Savill. “It is so easy to use—there are no complicated shutdown sequences to follow, and it also has the added benefit of self-cleaning, which is every operator’s dream. In addition, thanks to the capabilities of the A320i to change batch codes simply and quickly, we now have two production lines feeding into the one packaging line, which has further increased our processing efficiency.”
Incorporating Domino’s new i-Tech intelligent Technology, the A320i—with its range of smart technologies—offered everything that Croda required in terms of delivering tangible OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and environmental benefits, while fulfilling its need to deliver reliable and variable coding within its existing packaging line. The A320i is capable of printing up to four lines of code, text, automatic serial and batch numbering, and real-time clocks using 90% less system ink and 50% less solvent than previous models.
Savill concludes, “Domino’s A320i not only saves us a considerable amount of time, [but] it has also delivered cost savings too without any compromise on quality and reliability. We will continue to evaluate and improve our production and packaging lines in the future, and I am confident that Domino will remain a trusted partner throughout this ongoing process.”
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