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High-concept beer labels maintain aesthetic with laser coder

With high aesthetic standards for its bottles, Edinburgh Beer Factory required impeccable codes that didn't detract from the labels' visual appeal.

Edinburgh Beer Factory
Edinburgh Beer Factory

Established in 2015, Edinburgh Beer Factory is a family-run, independent brewery that has already grown to more than 20 employees in its three years of business. Taking inspiration from the “pop art” philosophy of using unsung objects to create art, it takes overlooked beer styles and presents them at their beautiful best.

This craft beer start-up is taking advantage of an enhanced coding and marking solution to support its growth, specifically the CSL30 laser coder from Linx Printing Technologies. Edinburgh is benefitting from improved codes, reliability, and ease of use from the coder, which also has the potential to handle more production and new bottle sizes as the business continues to expand and enter export markets.

The brewer currently uses the Linx CSL30 to code best-before dates and batch codes on its automatic bottling line, which processes around 2,000 330ml bottles/hour.

The company has been particularly pleased with the quality of the codes, which are highly legible and always appear in the same position on the bottles. This is vital as Edinburgh, which takes inspiration from Edinburgh-born Pop Art-founder Eduardo Paolozzi, demands high aesthetic standards for its bottles and therefore requires impeccable codes that do not detract from their visual appeal.

Since it is a laser coder, the CSL30 uses no ink and as a result there is no drying time involved or risk of smudging – problems the company found with its previous coding solution.

“For various reasons, our original coder for batch and date codes wasn’t quite right for us,” explains Martin Borland, Head Brewer at Edinburgh Beer Factory. “We started looking into alternatives and laser technology filled the bill, with Linx offering the most competitive price as well as a turnkey solution. The price quoted was what we paid–there were no hidden extras—and in the first few months we’ve had no problems at all as well as regular support from Linx’s salesman.”

Also important has been the Linx CSL30’s large, color LinxVision® Touch Screen, which makes operation extremely intuitive, leading to fewer mistakes, and ensures adjustments can be easily carried out in a matter of minutes.

“We can turn it on, type in the details, press start and forget about it all day,” says Martin. “When you process 2,000 bottles/hour, you need to be confident that your BBEs and batches are being printed, and this coder gives us this. Everything we wanted—cleaner codes, more reliability, the potential to grow—we now have. It’s even more cost-effective than our previous coder. Most importantly, we’re now confident about the future because we know the machine can go faster if we need it to, and from running successful trials, we know it works well on larger bottle sizes too.”

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