The CJ400 has several innovations that benefit users: Easi-Change Service Module, up to three-month print-head cleaning intervals, reduced ink and solvent use, ergonomic design that moves easily between production lines, capacity to store settings for different lines, one-step set-up, simple message creation and editing, and fluid identification for mistake-proof refills.
"These innovations came from end-user research that Linx conducted globally in determining the most important factors when buying and using a small character coder," Stephen Mummery, Matthews' national sales and marketing manager, said.
"Feedback confirmed that a sizeable proportion of manufacturers – across a range of FMCG and industrial markets – preferred a simple coding solution that could be installed, used and maintained quickly, easily and cost-effectively."
Secondary coding option
The Linx CJ400 prints up to three lines of information such as lot codes, dates, times, text, symbols and other data onto almost any porous or non-porous surface (while three lines is standard, using a special print-head, the CJ400 can print four to five lines, font size dependent).
The Linx prints onto products as they move on the production line, without contact. The printed code can quickly be changed – without lengthy set-up procedures.
The CJ400 can print characters from 2mm-20mm high, so manufacturers can use one printer for both product and carton printing, thus reducing costs.
Reduced maintenance costs
"A key evolution is the Easi-Change Service Module, which can be changed in minutes using on-screen prompts," Stephen said.
"This means scheduled maintenance is easily completed without the need for a trained technician or costly service calls, which is a major advantage for smaller customers or those in remote regions."
Further self-maintenance features include on-screen trouble shooting, which can solve most operating issues without having to consult manuals or engineers.
"The Easi-Change Service Module is designed so that all relevant serviceable parts are housed in an easily removable box, with no wires or pipes to disconnect and reconnect, and no need to expose other critical printer components during servicing, unlike other technologies on the market today. Neither are there any electronic components to replace when the module is changed, reducing cost and waste."
Extended print-head cleaning intervals (typically three months) further enhance the low maintenance.
This is a huge reduction in cleaning costs and downtime compared with other print-heads (some of which must be cleaned daily). The Linx CJ400's unique autoflush process means there is no need for printer or conduit flushing for shutdowns of up to four weeks, so fluids aren't wasted and start-up is trouble-free after extended shutdown periods.
Reduced running costs
Other cost savings come from the superior print-head design, which saves up to 40 per cent ink usage compared with other CIJ printers. Solvent consumption is also reduced by up to 33 per cent.
With the cleanest, most economical print-head, the Linx CJ400 delivers increased production uptime.
Portability over production lines
"Many companies need flexible production to accommodate changing product lines and demand," Stephen said.
"Having a printer that's quickly and easily moved around the factory can increase productivity and reduce coding costs.
"The Linx CJ400's unique, compact design weighs only 13.5kg complete with fluids, making it the lightest CIJ printer on the market. It is ergonomically designed to be well within health and safety limits for pick-up by one person."
The coder's capability to store settings for up to four production lines and 1000 typical messages (which can be selected in seconds) enhance its ability to quickly move between lines.
Users can begin coding straight away: the easy-to-use colour touchscreen, with simple prompts, means one-step set-up. The same system offers step-by-step message creation and editing without needing any complicated manuals or training.
"Throughout the Linx CJ400's creation, Linx consulted end users such as production managers, shift engineers, operators and plant managers," Stephen said.
"Regular trials enabled Linx to perfect this radical new CIJ coder, designed to suit production line needs.
"Fundamentally, the design of CIJ printers has not changed in two decades. Every innovation has been a refinement of the basic platform, however, the Linx CJ400 is a true step-change.
"This coder is for users who value simplicity, and want reliability and ease of use.
"With the detailed user research, Linx has produced an entirely new platform that reinvents the core principles of coding and delivers some very significant savings and other benefits to the end user."
The Linx CJ400 can easily be integrated via iDSnet packaging automation software (PAS).
Matthews specialises in product identification, machine vision and integrated software solutions to deliver business efficiencies, cost savings and production intelligence via automation, quality and control.