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Ink-jet coder doesn't horse around

English horse-feed manufacturer Dodson & Horrell of Kettering, Northants, needed a new method of coding information onto the sides of its feed bags—preferably one as sturdy as the horses consuming the feed.

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After trying coders from different companies, the firm installed the model 470Si ink-jet coder from Willett UK, whose U.S. counterpart is Willett America (Ft. Worth, TX). The difference was noticed immediately.

“The code clarity and machine reliability increased by about 100 percent,” explains site manager Ian Foster, adding that the company now uses four of the Willett machines. “Reliability is the most important thing. The only time they’re not working is when we shut them down for routine maintenance.”

Such reliability is crucial, because each shift has to code about 10ꯠ bags/day with best-before date, batch number and bag code number. The coding machines run continuously 24/7, and they also withstand the harsh and dusty environment in which the feed is packaged.

Although Foster admits the new machines cost more than previous ones, he says they’ve really paid for themselves. “When you have reliability with a machine, the cost doesn’t matter,” he explains. “If something goes wrong with the printer and you have to stop to fix it, you sacrifice thousands of [dollars] a day in lost production.”

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