For this case we go back in time. To be exact to November 2015. A phone rings in Mijdrecht. It is the phone at the desk of Erik De Jong, Sales Manager at Mundi Technology. At the same time someone in Southern-Europe holds a phone to his ear. Someone at a plant of a major brewery. Someone with a coding question. During the following phone call the question is presented to Erik. And that call is the beginning of this peak behind the scenes.
The background In Southern Europe, there are several breweries of this particular international brewer. The expiry date and batch code are coded with a laser on the labels in the brewery. By a speed of 60.000 bottles an hour. In some plants of the brewer the lasers being used, needed to be replaced.
Case At the breweries they mainly used mask lasers. By coding with a mask lasers the code is cut out a ‘mask’. The code is projected through the mask on the label. By using this method of coding the code is applied at the speed of light. Big advantage is that a mask laser codes extremely rapidly. There are also some disadvantages, such as high susceptibility to interference, the use of CO2 gas while coding and the large amount of maintenance that the machine requires . "Most critical disadvantage is that a mask laser can’t produce a real-time code. The demand for real-time coding increases within the beverage industry, " Erik de Jong adds.
Problem The mask lasers were in use for over 20 years. The lasers required more and more maintenance. In addition, disturbances were more difficult to solve. This was partly due to the poor availability of spare parts. And as long as the laser is maintained or is out of order, the production line can not be used for production. This costs money. At the speed at which they produce in the brewery, this means a lot of money. The logical next step was that the brewer looked for other parties specialized in laser coding.
The question In the brewery most production lines operate at a speed of 60.000 bottles an hour. Prerequisite to the new laser was that it could handle the speed. Second requirement was that the laser operates substantially without failure. Lately the lines were too much out of order due to a malfunction of the laser.
Live up to its reputation The phone is replaced by a plane. Erik travels to Southern Europe. In the Netherlands he has been a familiar face at the brewer. In Southern Europe, he went to tell his story for the first time. "The engineers were excited about the possibilities immediately," tells Erik, looking back at his meetings abroad , "The brewer’s experience in the Netherlands with the Mundi Technology lasers are fine. This also brought the necessary confidence. Together we decided to go into a test phase. During this phase, a laser was to be installed on a test line, to see how it works under local conditions " Given the importance of the project, the brewer is not putting all its eggs in one basket. With a competitor of Mundi Technology a similar test was launched.
Seeing is believing For the test several important criteria were set. For example, the laser had to prove itself during the entire summer. So that the laser could be tested at the high temperatures during the summer in the brewery. An other criteria was that the code could be placed as well horizontally as vertically. Both at a speed of 60.000 labels an hour. During a weekend in April, the laser had been installed on a Krones Topmatic. The installation went smoothly. During the start on Monday morning the laser was operating within an hour at maximum capacity. In the past they have spent a few days in the brewery with the commissioning of a new laser. Within an hour, a laser coding at high speed exceeded all expectations. The vertical code is tested the same day and by this test nothing but positive feedback as well.
In September, the temperatures in the brewery drop slowly downward. The hottest period is over. The test is stopped and the test period is evaluated.
A busy holiday season In the evaluation Mundi Technology was technically the best competitor. In other areas Mundi scored well too. For example, the 24-hour technical support is also proven to be delivered in Southern Europe. "Nothing was in the way of a partnership. And that means a busy holiday season for my colleagues of the technical support department. In December 2016 the first seven lasers are installed. In 2017, the installation of five lasers follows," Erik concludes proudly.
A suitable solution for you as well In this case we take you along on one of our international adventures. We are proud that we can supply lasers for almost every coding issue. Lasers with a coding capacity of 60,000 per hour. And lasers that produce a lower power and are therefore suitable for coding issues which, for example, require a lower speed. Our challenge is to deliver the right laser in the right configuration for your coding issue. Whether that's a 120 Watt or 10 Watt laser. Curious about the possibilities on your package? Call +31 (0) 297 230 840 or send a e- mail to email@example.com.
Photo: Service Engineer Eric Jobse installs a MundiScan laser
PS Missed the previous article "Behind the scenes"? Read it here.
Mundi Technology has been a market leader for years and supplies high-quality devices for laser coding, checkweighing and inline inspection. Our devices ensure low operational costs and a high line efficiency.