Supplied by Videojet (Wood Dale, IL), the three Excel 170i ink-jet printers are used to print a production date and quality-control code onto tamper-evident shrink bands applied over the glass bottles' cap and neck.
Also from Videojet is the InkSource ink #16-8200 used in the printers.
Jammy Chai's bottles are filled at nearly 130/min, so speed was a critical concern as coding systems were evaluated. Moreover, the equipment had to withstand a dusty environment and frequent washdowns.
He Zhi Man, assistant general manager at Jammy Chai, evaluated other noncontact coders. But the 170i, he says, "proved the most reliable in our tests, and it has maintained its high level of performance efficiency since being installed."
As might be expected in a switch from contact coding to ink-jet printing, clarity and consistency have both improved. Perhaps even more important, says He Zhi Man, "Ink-jet codes are more difficult for pirate companies to copy." That puts the company in a better position to combat counterfeiting, a serious problem in China.