FachPack 2016: New high-speed printing system

Centralized late-stage coding and serialization of labels

  • The DIGILINE Label – Offline system allows serialized labels to be pre-produced – fast, in abrasion-resistant quality and with optimum process safety.
  • The powerful unique code serialization software is already integrated.
  • Thanks to contact-free drop-on-demand inkjet technology, print speeds of up to 60 metres a minute are possible.

With the new DIGILINE Label – Offline system, extremely abrasion-resistant, high-quality labels can be printed at speed, serialized and made available for a wide range of different packaging lines. Atlantic Zeiser is showcasing this roll-to-roll solution at the FachPack 2016 (Hall 3, Booth 415). The system allows users to separate the serialization and dispensing processes both physically and in time. The already integrated, powerful unique code software and superior drop-on-demand (DoD) inkjet technology open up myriad options for pharmaceutical manufacturers, packaging service providers and label printing companies to streamline the processes associated with serialization, coding and tamper-evident labelling. “With the DIGILINE Label – Offline system, operators of multiple packaging lines that are not always working at full capacity can concentrate the necessary serialization and printing tasks in one location within the production process in a way that enhances efficiency and saves space,” explains Michael Urso, Product Manager Pharma & Packaging Solutions at Atlantic Zeiser. “Labels can then also be used for two functions at once, for instance: as a seal, providing tamper protection, and at the same time for transporting the serialization codes.” Furthermore, on some markets such as the USA, for example, tablets are usually packaged not in flat cartons, but primarily in HDPE plastic bottles, but still have to be serialized.

New business model for label manufacturers and printers

The system paves the way for service providers such as label printing companies to produce pre-serialized labels for their customers and so exploit a new business model. With the integrated unique code software, serial numbers can successfully be generated, printed and, after camera scanning, stored with absolute process safety, while related reports can be produced for downstream processes carried out on the pharmaceutical customer’s premises. The DIGILINE Label – Offline system operates at an impressive speed: thanks to the contact-free DoD printing system, it can print and serialize labels at a rate of up to 60 m/min. Thereby, one label roll with 15,000 labels in a standard format for the pharmaceutical industry can be pre-printed and processed in a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes. In addition to a consistent print quality, this therefore achieves a significantly higher production speed at the packaging lines than previously possible with conventional thermal transfer printers that are integrated into the lines, which generally never exceed 15 m/min. The use of high-performance UV-curable inks moreover reduces the cost of consumables by up to 30 percent, and the frequent maintenance of individual printing systems at the packaging lines is eliminated completely.

High-performance UV-curable inks

The DIGILINE Label – Offline system is equipped with an OMEGA printer, offering a choice of 36, 72 or 144 millimetre print widths. Based on the company’s own high-performance UV-curable inks, it achieves brilliant results while offering outstanding light fastness and resistance to abrasion, sweat and disinfectants. The integrated inspection camera reliably checks the presence, print quality and data content of codes and characters, while all the recorded information is relayed to the unique code software database at the same time. A built-in rework table also allows the fast removal of substandard or unsuitable labels. Thanks to the patented “re-check function”, it is possible to submit reworked positions to another camera check, thereby ensuring near 100% process safety. Users are given clear instructions and information via the central touch monitor.

The transport mechanism, which features automatic edge and tension control, enables the processing of liner widths between 20 and 165 mm. The DIGILINE Label – Offline therefore covers virtually all standard label sizes used in the pharmaceutical sector, e.g. for labelling large HDPE bottles.

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Lisa Romahn