Late-Stage Customization of flat cartons:
A step-change in requirements and solutions
Applying vignettes or overprinting Batch&Lot numbers are no longer sufficient for the modern requirements of customizing packaging in a late-stage phase, as it happens frequently on pharma/ cosmetic folding cartons.
Serialization, large texts and logos are becoming usual requests from Customers who ask CMOs for such advanced late-stage customization. Not to mention the need of being connected over MES and IT infrastructure: already an assessed requirement in Pharma and primary FMCG companies.
Digital Printing, Machine Vision and SW Integration technologies have to come together at their best for achieving an efficient machine solution the CMOs require today.
This is the case of one recent Customer of ours, who started providing labelled flat cartons and solved with a transport system and a labeller.
When they were required to print Lot&Batch numbers, they added a TIJ printer, although the transport system initially was conceived for applying adhesive labels only. The limit of this solution was immediately clear when they tried to switch to a DOD-UV system for improving print quality and code contrast: after attempts for increasing efficiency over serialised jobs, they soon decided to go for a complete change and set a list of key requirements:
- Large and stable transport system, suitable for small and very large flat cartons, including double-thickness auto-folding ones;
- Vignette application;
- DOD-UV printing system at 600 DPI of resolution;
- Camera inspection;
- Suitability for pharmaceutical serialization and full batch reporting capability, including the aggregation detail of carton/boxes and boxes/pallet.
- Stainless/steel frame and panels: a guarantee the machine will stay new in the many coming years;
- Vacuum transport system: wide and flat depression belt, efficient and seamless in stabilising any carton;
- Simple and flexible feeder;
- Positive, on-the-fly carton alignment, driven by a brushless motor;
- High-speed, push-pull labelling unit, adjustable to apply adhesive vignettes in any position;
- Ink-recirculating DOD-UV printer – 600 DPI, 54 mm wide, with exclusive product-flattening belts;
- Compact UV Curing system;
- Complete Camera System for print and vignette inspection;
- Positive rejection system, compatible for any carton size;
- Comfortable carton collection conveyor with capability to indicate the completion of the box in which the operator places the coded cartons;
- Convenient double push-button console;
- One 17” HMI: a touch-screen for controlling and monitoring all sections of the process.