The reliability, flexibility and quality of printing of the Linx 8900 Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) printer – particularly its ability to produce first-class codes even when only used intermittently – were key factors in its selection by leading Scandinavian plastics processor Nordic Plastics Group.
Based in Trelleborg and Helsinborg in Sweden, the company is the Nordic region’s largest supplier of machine-processed components and semi-finished plastic items. Its customers include large global organisations as well as small and medium-sized businesses operating in many different sectors, such as automotive, steel, food and medical technology.
Nordic Plastics uses ink jet printing to mark components with both product information and individual customer logos and found that its previous machine could not deliver the necessary quality.
“Our customers are demanding higher marking requirements, meaning that both text and logos need to be clearly visible,” explains Nordic Plastics’ Production Manager Daniel Rubin. “This required a more modern coding machine.”
As the printer is not in continuous operation, but used to code individual customer items once or twice a day, a further essential requirement was ease of set-up and changeover. Equally important, with periods of inactivity, the ability to deliver high quality codes immediately after each start-up was vital, and this was something that the previous machine was also unable to deliver.
The solution for Nordic Plastics – supplied by Linx distributor Logimark, based in Malmö – was the Linx 8900. It incorporates Linx’s proven autoflush system which thoroughly cleans the printhead every time the printer is shut down. This ensures a fast and clean start-up whenever it is next required.
This feature in particular has delivered a noticeable improvement, as Victor Persson, one of the operators of the machine explains:
“We need to produce logos as small as possible, but with the last ink jet printer these became merely a black spot. The Linx 8900 by comparison achieves this without any problems.”
The Linx 8900 can print up to three lines, producing text, logos and barcodes, and the selected ink, Linx Black PE 1130, offers excellent adherence to plastics. The printer is easy to operate and clean with minimal maintenance. A particular advantage is the printer’s Self-Service Wizard which guides operators through the process for an engineer-free service that minimises downtime.
The 10 inch high-resolution, colour touch screen provides simple and error-free operation and can store multiple line settings for fast and easy setup. For Nordic Plastics, the operator simply calls up the coding requirements for each product, including logo and text, on screen. Items are coded using a hand conveyor and the speed of the printing process – less than a second each time – delivers a consistent quality of code.
Nordic Plastics says its coding needs have been precisely met by the installation of the Linx 8900. As well as the performance of the printer, this includes the support by Logimark for service and supply of spare parts.
As Mattias Nilsson, supervisor, and Carl-Johan Nilsson, operator, at Nordic Plastics conclude:
"The best thing about this machine is that it is very easy to use by anyone. Our previous machine was very complicated, meaning there were only three or four people who could use it. With the Linx 8900 everything works perfectly and it has simplified production.”