drupa 2016: New high-speed printing system

Roll-to-roll label serialization

  • 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 premiering this roll-to-roll solution at the drupa 2016 (Hall 15, Booth B02). It means that the serialization and dispensing processes can be separated 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 a 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, the equivalent of up to 900 labels per minute or more, depending on the label length. In addition to a consistent print quality, this therefore achieves a significantly higher production speed than with conventional thermal transfer printers, which generally never exceed 15 m/min – unless significantly lower print quality is accepted. The use of high-performance UV-curable inks moreover reduces the cost of consumables by up to 30 percent, and the frequent replacement of printing system parts exposed to mechanical loads 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 resistance to abrasion, solvents and alcohols. 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 splicing table also allows the fast removal of substandard or unsuitable labels. With a transport width of up to 165 millimetres, the system covers virtually all the label sizes most widely used in the pharmaceutical sector.

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Ute Heiler