By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
Manufacturers from many backgrounds benefit from automated marking and coding processes. Implementing inkjet systems that directly print to a pre-manufactured object or packaging offer a host of advantages.
The first article in this series looked at Calavo Growers, Inc., a worldwide procurer and marketer of avocados and other fresh produce—in addition to a manufacturer and distributor of prepared avocado products and salsas. After living for years with a standard Product Traceability Initiative labeling solution, it eliminated labels entirely by implementing a MPERIA marking and coding solution running on thermal inkjet (TIJ) technology by Matthews Marking Systems.
Food and beverage manufacturers are ideal candidates for marking and coding solutions. We continue our look at vendors in this market vertical by spotlighting Sovena, a family-owned producer of refined cooking oils.
Based in Portugal, Sovena is owned by the Mello family and specializes in oil seed crops associated with the food industry. The company performs the extraction, processing, and bottling of vegetable and olive oils worldwide.
The refined oil producer operates eight manufacturing plants and four mills in eight countries, which span four continents. To be successful across all of these locations, the company requires experienced and capable coding devices, which is why it uses the Ax-Series printer from Domino for directly printing to packaging.
The Ax-Series offered easy integration into the Sovena production line. As it supports leading industrial communication protocols, the device can be integrated into networked printer systems to provide centralized code templates for error-free coding and integration into existing Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
Two of the more important features available on the Ax-Series that standout for Sovena is the user interface and the ink. “With the advanced technology, innovative ink, and guaranteed quality of Domino’s Ax-Series printer, our customers know what they can find within our bottles,” notes Rui Ramos, consumer goods refinery production manager, Barreiro, Portugal plant, Sovena.
i-Techx technology offers users an experience similar to a smartphone, with a minimal learning curve and customization so each user can prioritize based on their task load. Luisa Dordio, manufacturing engineer, Sovena, constantly works with the technology and is highly complimentary. “With this equipment, we are able to improve the quality of marking on our boxed products.”
i-Pulse printheads and inks achieve accurate drop creation and placement by offering a nine drop quality at seven drop speeds. This results in highly readable codes as well as cleaner printheads. The ink itself is designed for demanding applications and easily adheres, even after harsh post-print processes.
“In this case, since we work with PET packaging, we have to have marking with the best definition. This ink without a doubt presents definition and with this ink we manage to hit our goal,” admits Dordio.
Speed and productivity are essential to Sovena’s business model. The company ultimately partnered with Domino and purchased the Ax-Series because it felt the business and the product met both needs.
“One of the biggest challenges for a company like ours is to ensure quality of the product we offer to our end customer, with maximum productivity. Something so basic and so vital as coding in the food industry has to be guaranteed. It is exactly for this reason that we trust the Ax-Series to perform the job perfectly,” adds Ramos.
Welcome to a New Age
The food industry requires readable, high-quality marking and coding for consumer safety as well as tracking and recall purposes. Inkjet marking and coding devices help to achieve this, all while printing directly to pre-manufactured objects while inline or near line in a production facility. Companies like Sovena who realize this early are at the head of the line when it comes to advancing their production facilities into the 21st century and gaining in efficiencies.
Jun2020, Industrial Print Magazine