Uniq Foods is using a customised continuous ink jet printing system from Linx printing technologies to code Marks & Spencer sandwiches at its Northampton factory.
When the retailer relaunched its triangular skillet sandwiches in June 2005 it used a patented pack design that opened to form a tray.
Uniq needed a coding system that would print real-time information such as the exact time of production, line number and lane position. Fast ink drying time was also key.
Uniq already had four Linx printers and so chose Linx for the Marks & Spencer project. The project required a lot of customisation since coding had to occur at specific points on the production line where the line accelerated and decelerated.
Uniq also specified a one to three day offset for products with different shelf-lives.
Linx also solved the problem of partially closed packs. It developed a 'box shut' detector to halt the print heads so that the faulty packs could be taken off line, closed properly and returned for coding.
The Linx 6800 coders at Uniq can print up to four lines of text together with logos and a range of barcoding formats.
The printers can operate with production line speeds of up to 6.25m/s.
CONTACT Linx Printing Technologies TEL 01480 302100