A coding and marking system is indispensable on a production line. However, the coding and marking system only constitutes a small part of the entire production line and many companies have not yet really got to grips with this topic. Coding and marking should be a simple operation. End of story. However, a great many conventional coding and marking systems fail miserably in actual production on that front: ‘reliable continuous operation’ seems to be too tall an order for them. Repeated downtime, time-consuming start-up or retooling times, insufficient flexibility during changeovers – one thing leads to another and suddenly the entire production line is at a standstill. That is not just annoying, it also costs a great deal of money. However, there is an alternative. That is the clear statement from Leibinger, thanks to its new IQJET coding and marking system.
This new generation of coding and marking places the focus on sustainability, maximum reliability and significant savings in operating costs. In May this year, the coding and marking specialist from Germany unveiled the smart, new IQJET coding & marking system. The IQJET provides plug & print performance and maximum availability without any production downtime. It requires no maintenance during its first five years. It also enjoys a pioneering status in terms of sustainability and it promises lower operating costs to users.
“We plugged in the IQJET and it immediately started running. Flawlessly. It needs virtually no operator intervention while running. Cleaning is unnecessary. And changing the ink cartridges is easier than ever”, confirms Simon Keller, Technical Group Manager, Packaging Deli / Tainer division, Maggi GmbH, a Nestle subsidiary in Germany.
The most common marking systems for printing variable data such as best-before dates, coding, serial numbers, etc. are continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers. The great advantage of CIJs, also known as "small typeface printers", is their flexibility. CIJ printers are suitable for almost all surfaces, shapes and materials. Coding is contactless. Integration is simple, operation is safe for people and the environment and no protective devices are necessary. The inks are extremely fast drying and are suitable for almost all production environments and applications.
Leibinger dispels prejudices
A major disadvantage of conventional CIJ printers and one well known to the market is that they need regular cleaning, not infrequently even at every start-up. The production line has to be stopped whenever this happens. This occurs because the ink in the systems dries up when they are not in use, clogging the lines. Downtime and an unsightly print image after start-up are the result.
Not so with Leibinger CIJ marking systems. “A Leibinger CIJ does not require any cleaning routines. The technology behind it is completely different”, explains Christophe Lopez, CCO at Leibinger.
Prevention of downtime through unique product design
Leibinger CIJ printers have fully automated nozzle sealing technology. Whenever the printer is not in operation, ink is sealed in a circuit that is airtight. The ink continues to circulate in it. No ink blockages or drying up, no cleaning and no expensive downtime. “This technology is unique on the market. Airtight and completely automatic pressure nozzle sealing, that’s something available only from Leibinger”, adds Christophe Lopez, who is an expert in the coding and marking industry through his almost two decades of experience.
The printer starts running immediately after being turned on again. To deliver consistently high print quality regardless of the ambient conditions, the new Leibinger IQJET also controls the ink temperature and viscosity continuously.
Consumption reduced by as much as 50 percent
Another effect of airtight nozzle sealing technology is that no solvent is consumed during printing pauses. In addition, the IQJET collects solvent that evaporates during operation and feeds it back into the system. This enables the IQJET to consume up to 50 percent less than conventional CIJ systems on the market.
For example: the IQJET uses 2.7 ml solvent per hour. Rival systems that do not have solvent recovery consume between 6 and 10 ml per hour. Calculated on the basis of 3-shift operation working a total of 6,000 hours a year, this translates into an annual saving of 43,800 ml litres of solvent.
Completely using up cartridges to consequently avoid waste should be a matter of course, but it’s not yet heeded by the marking market. Coding & marking systems frequently require new cartridges even when those installed are still 10% full. A preventable form of consumption that has a negative impact on both the environment and costs. In complete contrast to this, the cartridges of the IQJET printer empty right down to the very last drop and can then be taken straight to recycling. Moreover, because Leibinger cartridges are made of a single-grade type of plastic (PE) they are also easy to recycle.
The IQJET is also a pioneer in terms of power consumption of just 36 watts. It is the most energy-efficient printer on the market.
Integration in operation
Leibinger sets a new standard with its IQJET in relation to integration into plug & print production operations. This is achieved with numerous interfaces, including OPC UA protocol and an integrated PLC (programmable logic controller). With its state-of-the-art HMI with 10.1-inch touch display and intuitive drag-and-drop operation, this system is as easy to operate as a familiar smart device.
“With the IQJET, integration could not have been any easier. And virtually no interventions are required during operation”, says Simon Keller, Technical Group Manager, Packaging Deli / Tainer division, Maggi GmbH, Singen, Germany.
The most sustainable products are those that have a long service life. Leibinger CIJ printers are manufactured exclusively at the company's production plant in Germany with more than 85% of vertically integrated production. Maximum inspection of quality and long component service life are focal points here. High-quality products require less maintenance. That in turn translates into substantial cost-savings in relation to running costs and it also minimises the production downtime caused by the need for maintenance and repair work.
The new Leibinger IQJET printer requires no maintenance for five years. That is due above all to the new design of this product that helps to reduce wear and tear. For example, the master pump does not need to run continuously during printing operations.
“Any manufacturer who values outstanding efficiency and reliability will greatly benefit from the IQJET. Here at MAGGI, we also appreciate the fact that our employees now have more time to focus on the essentials such as safety and product quality”, states Keller to sum up.
Find the whole MAGGI case study here: MAGGI - intelligent product marking in food industry (leibinger-group.com)
About Paul Leibinger GmbH & Co. KG (LEIBINGER)
LEIBINGER is a globally operating specialist in coding & marking systems with headquarters in Tuttlingen, Baden-Württemberg (Germany). The third-generation family-run company, founded in 1948, develops and produces industrial inkjet printers as well as inks for various applications – with a workforce of close to 300. Innovative technologies and an exceptionally high standard of quality are what distinguish LEIBINGER’s advanced coding & marking solutions. As the inventor of a disruptive nozzle sealing technology LEIBINGER is transforming the industry’s experience working with Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ), leading to greater productivity in the manufacturing of food and industrial products – with tens of thousands of successful installations worldwide. A global network with some 150 distribution partners and subsidiaries in the US and China ensures that LEIBINGER is ideally positioned to maintain close relationships with its many customers worldwide.