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Wigan, Lancashire, United Kingdom, 2007/11/16 - H J Heinz Co. Ltd manufacture for their own use over one billion cans annually at their Kitt Green can making plant, all of which need to be legibly and reliably coded and marked as part of the quality assurance programme.
All nine high speed lines have been equipped with Hitachi PXR 450 continuous ink jet (CIJ) printers by specialist supplier to the food and drink processing industry, Euromark Coding and Marking. Heinz anticipates worthwhile cost savings over the next five years due to reduced consumable usage.
Continuity is vital in the Kitt Green high volume can production plant. Therefore, Euromark have supplied a total of 10 machines to the site, so that a spare machine is always available if needed.
“The decision to use CIJ supplier Euromark was not taken lightly,” explained Heinz electrical technician, Martin Smith, who managed the installation within the can making department. “Euromark provided can making with the first trial machine several months ago and this has performed flawlessly to date. Three further machines were provided on loan to help us over difficulties and it was in operating the Hitachi machines and our old machines side by side that we realised that consumable costs were lower and reliability significantly better with the new PXR 450’s.”
The PXR is capable of a class leading print speed of 700 metres per minute. In many high volume FMCG processing plants, printing speed has been a limiting factor that has prevented lines operating at full speed.
In addition to exceptional print definition and high reliability, the Hitachi machines have low ink usage and low solvent emissions. This helps to protect the environment and contributes to the modest cost of ownership. Heinz is in good company, existing Hitachi users include Coca-Cola, Kimberley Clarke, Arla Foods and Nestlé.
Hitachi’s thorough approach extends to careful consideration of user needs. Printer control, for example, is via a large touch-screen panel driven by context sensitive software. This makes set-up, reprogramming and fault finding simple and intuitive. The controls are housed in a robust, ergonomically designed stainless steel cabinet, sealed to IP55 standards and capable of handling harsh industrial environments and deep cleaning regimes common in food process industries. Essential consumables are housed in the base of the cabinet.
Martin concluded, “During the trials and switchover we were impressed with the service provided by Euromark who went out of their way to provide loan machines and to keep line downtime to a minimum.”
Euromark Coding & Marking Ltd, Unit 5 Croftwood Square, Martland Mill Industrial Estate, Wigan, WN5 0LG