Problem Solved: Reducing Error in High Volume Processes

Home | Printing Tips and News | Problem Solved: Reducing Error in High Volume Processes

Diversified Printing Techniques specializes in the design, construction and support of standard and automated product decorating solutions. Not all solutions are simple; some require the creative application of auxiliary technologies. Our staff of experts is adept at providing results that are innovative, value based and efficient.

We were recently approached by a customer that specializes in various forms of product decoration. They have a long and successful history of providing pad printed products on a contractual basis and had just landed a high volume contract. Although they have an ample supply of standard printers, the application required a custom solution. This need was based on two factors; the before mentioned high volume and the various part configurations consisting of 4 part colors, 7 artworks and 2 ink colors. It was deemed essential that no cross contamination occur. The system had to be capable of identifying and distinguishing between the matrix of part configurations. The customer had one additional request. Since they were not molding the part and were receiving them already boxed, they wanted the ability to scan the box label and download this information into the printing system. This “preset” of information would be the content used by the printing system to confirm that it was processing the correct part color, artwork and ink color. This would allow the customer to run the parts through the system and load them back into the original box with the proper label.

Upon identifying the requirements DPT designed a system utilizing two Kent Alien 100 pad printers mounted and interfaced to an 8-station electromechanical dial index table with 8 ea 2 up holding fixtures. Unique to the solution was the addition of a vision inspection system with a scanner at the operator load station. The vision inspection system included two sets of cameras, one for identifying the substrate color and the other for identifying the artwork, ink color and image placement. The sequence of operation included the operator first scanning the label on the box to “preset” the parameters for the vision inspection system. The sequence of operation proceeded in the following order; manual load of two parts, vision inspection to verify part color, printing the left hand part in the two up fixture with the first Alien 100, printing the right hand part in the two up fixture with the second Alien 100, visual inspection of both parts for the correct artwork, ink color and image placement and a automatic unload with a pneumatically activated pick and place unit onto a curing conveyor.