The inkjet marker are an essential accessory for all cables manufacturers to satisfy the constant demand of the customers to print a marking on the outer sheath.
In time this mark has become more personalized and more long (you can get to having to provide scoring with 200 characters and even more) in order to submit more and more information:
cable type, composition and conductor cross section, technical specifications
name and code of the cable manufacturer, cable code of the customer, order number of the customer, logos or special symbols.
number of production lot, manufacturing date.
In addition to the information it is almost always required metric marking of the cable whose step generally is 1 meter but can also be different on request of the customer. The height of the marking is also variable, it can be prescribed by the client or changing depending on the diameter of the cable.
The time required to enter in the inkjet marker the complete legend required by the customer, is certainly a cost. Although in theory the markings can be stored in the printer's memory and then recalled, you must in all cases be searched in the store and then customized/updated. This setting is always run with the production line in stop position, by personnel not always accustomed to operate with keyboards and special symbols, often even in not ideal lay-out conditions.
Time set-up for the change marking on the inkjet marker can be estimated on average of 10-15 minutes. The reality in the special cables production companies are very different from each other and while in the past the production changes/marking per shift were 1 or 2, it is now easy to reach 5 or 6 changes per shift.
Also the shifts may be vary from 1, 2 or 3 per day. So it is easy to reach 1500 - 2000 production changes/marking per year and per line. This means to invest for the only setting of the marker from 250 to 350 hours/year for each line, with a company cost that can be estimated between up to 15.000 Euro/year.
The great variability, the length and the special requirements, the situation and the layout of work, are creating the conditions to make errors in the marking of the sheath. The customer is almost never willing to accept those errors. For this you need to delete/remark the cable and in extreme cases, to remove and remake the sheath with proper marking. In both cases, these operations are very expensive, especially in terms of time, because he must perform very artesanales equipment which require much labor. In addition there are problems to respect the delivery time.
The KAIZEN system, developed by Toyota to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in production, taught that by reducing downtime and optimizing routes and processes, you can achieve great results and savings, creating the LEAN THINKING culture.
SIF careful to these aspects, more and more important for companies, has designed and developed a new High Technology system that permits to prepare and load the inkjet printer in LEAN way all you need to print without errors.
The iLP system, were i means innovative, intelligent, intuitive, illustrated, interactive and LP means LEAN PRINTING,
is composed from two parts:
- iLP_QRge software for PC
- iLP_QRtc device to make transcoding
is a software to install on a standard PC, which allows to dial the marking with all the information, trough of the icons in DRAG & DROP system.
The icons represent the different types of choices required to compose the “string” of marking, such as:
- height of the character
- indication of metric marking
- space between: the indication of the metric marking and the legend of the marking
- legend to be marked on the cable
- special characters/logos
This string can be made freely, then alternating special characters and marking, without restrictions. While composing the string of marking, the software creates a QR CODE (a code that contain a very large number of characters). The QR CODE created is universal or neutral in order to be recognized and printed by any type of printer. It can be printed on a adhesive label, on a white sheet, directly on the order for the production or even on the sheet of the cable project1. Some utilities allow you to view the QR CODE big, to display different logos and create new ones, to show the different heights of the characters, to add notes.
is a device to make transcoding of the QR CODE, composed from a gun to read the QR CODE and a High Technology Smart System with a 7” graphic color touch screen, connected to the inkjet printer by a RS232 interface.
The smart system is programmed to recognize the QR CODE, generated by the iLP_QRge software, and to communicate with the inkjet printer connected.
With the iLP system you can eliminate the time required for the operator to load and prepare the inkjet marker: just a simple click, about 2 seconds. A study and analysis within different companies has allowed us to calculate that you can save on average 10-15 minutes, but can in some particular situations up to 30 minutes, for each legend to be marked on the cable sheath in production . Also you can eliminate the costs associated with rebuilding /remarking mapping of the cables caused by incorrect insertion of legend.
The QR CODE composed is universal or neutral so that it can be recognized and managed with any type of inkjet marker. So it was not bound to a particular type of marker and support for the print.
The employee who prepares "the string", with all that needs to be printed on the outer sheath of the cable, can use simple functions DRAG & DROP. The operator in production charges all "the string of marking" in the inkjet marker, through a simple click of the gun that reads the QR CODE: no possibility of error and a time of 2 seconds.
The composition of the marking is carried out by an employee in the office who can standardize always equal the composition. You can save the "string" on PC in office by naming the file as defined at the corporate level (part number, order number, customer, type of cable, numbers and sizes of wires ...). These files can then be traceable at all times. They can be copied and modified to create new ones. The files will be stored in the central server that also provides periodically saved safely.
The archive of the markings is managed in the office; for each cable to produce is attached, the production documentation (Order Confirmation, design / technical data for the setting of the machines, the quality parameters required, etc ....), the QR code marking to indicate on the external sheath.