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How State Chemical cleans up (sidebar)

Flexibility needed in case printing

As if the number of products and package sizes isn't broad enough at State Chemical Mfg. Cleveland OH international sales and distribution is having a sizable effect on case marking requirements. For example State can ship six gallons per case of many products in the domestic U.S. market. For overseas shipments however United Nations regulations require packs no larger than four gallons per case. State now operates companies in the United Kingdom France and Spain that receive cases of product from the Cleveland plant. Sometimes they distribute even farther. The result is that State found it needed a simple and easy way to mark the cases it produced no matter the destination. Currently each case taper is outfitted with a Maxum ink-jet printer from Videojet Systems Intl. (Wood Dale IL) each with four printheads. "We have three of these ink-jet systems and we love them. They are virtually maintenance-free. They were installed ink was supplied and they simply work reliably" says State's Allen Platek. Since State exclusively uses bleached white corrugated the bold jet printing is easy to read. And someday it may be augmented with bar codes. At last November's Pack Expo Platek saw a conversion kit that would allow State to convert its printers into high-resolution units for considerably less than buying new machines. "With a new printhead and a software module we can upgrade our printers so they could print scannable bar codes and other sophisticated printing. We haven't looked into it yet but we will." Much like State's move into induction sealing the jet printing and case sealing is designed to be portable. All three of the tapers are mounted on casters as are the control consoles for the Maxums. So far they're not often moved. But at State Chemical you never know where the next packaging line will spring up.

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