This manufacturer was silk screening their customers’ logos and information onto the ends of wooden reels. This proved to be a very expensive and time-consuming process. Most customers required a specific PMS color for their reels which required this manufacturer to perform a complete cleaning of the silk screening system for each color change. Additionally, they had to make and store hundreds of silk screens to accommodate their large customer base. The silk screens often would get damaged in the process, and a replacement would have to be made. Each reel end had to be placed in a fixture manually, silk screened manually and then placed on a drying belt which traveled through an oven. It was then removed manually and stacked.
PIN Distributor, Cal-Pak, proposed a large array printing system utilizing industrial thermal inkjet technology. The system consists of an automatic feeder which removes a reel end from a stack and feeds it onto a moving conveyor. The reel-end travels under the array of thermal inkjet printheads which applies a pre-designed logo and product information. The ink dries instantly. The reel ends are then removed and placed on pallets.
Each customer logo and information is designed with label software and stored in the print controller at the line. When running a customer’s reel-end, the operator simply calls up that file. Designs can be modified easily and colors changed quickly.
The ink colors needed are made and supplied to this customer in thermal inkjet cartridges. The operator snaps the correct color cartridges into the array and stores the ones removed in a supply rack for later use. The system has an 8” print height and 2” print height array across the conveyor. These two arrays can be adjusted separately to accommodate various print designs.
This solution greatly reduced the customer’s cost for labor, materials and utility usage. The need for new colors and new designs is a much simpler process compared to their old methods.