A global leader in cabling solutions uses paired printers with just one ink type (in black and white) and an information management software system to shorten changeovers and reduce mistakes across a wide range of cabling products at its Stuttgart factory – a unique combination in this industry.
Headquartered in Germany and with global sales of over €1.2 billion, LAPP provides integrated cabling solutions for a range of sectors including industrial machinery, plant engineering, transport, energy and food processing. Coding cables of many different types is challenging due to the combination of messages to be printed accurately and legibly at high speeds on what are often narrow surfaces. LAPP sought a solution which minimized its changeovers and waste.
Each of the Stuttgart plant’s four production lines is equipped with a pair of Markem-lmaje 9450 contrast inkjet printers, one with a black ink for light-colored cables and the other with a white ink for dark cables.
Michael Zahl, Operation Manager, LAPP, explains the benefits: “Installing the two printers side by side significantly reduces changeover time when we have to switch production. Another major advantage is that Markem-Imaje came up with one ink that adheres to all the different surfaces we have in production.”
At production speeds ranging from 40 to120 metres per minute, and handling 1,500 different possible messages, CoLOS ® software controls the entire coding process, saving time and dramatically reducing errors. Message details which are specific to each cable include the brand name, where it was produced, temperature, wattage and compliance information for each market.
“Previously we had to manually upload every message into every single printer,” notes Oliver Kast, Process Design Engineer, LAPP. “Now the operator just scans the barcode and the correct information is automatically sent from the central database to the printer.”
The coding approach described here is pioneering for the cabling industry. “We challenged Markem-Imaje to help us develop this project. I’ve never seen a printing solution this advanced in any other plant,” observes Zahl.
A video showing the solution in action can be found by using this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9wzaKxSc_c.
Paired contrast printers with one black and white ink each have cut LAPP’s changeover times and code LAPP’s entire cable portfolio.