Vale-Tech Ltd has launched its’ PO (press out) system, a complete modular manufacturing line that dramatically reduces labour and turnaround time for UV or conventional paste ink manufacturers.
The gravimetric dispensing line addresses the increasing demand for fast turnaround times and consolidation of distribution centres, by automating the complete process of order through to packing for custom batches (typically 1-10 kg).
The PO dispenser utilises a unique concept in dispensing, where bases are stored within the dispenser in custom-designed vessels with capacities from 20-100 litres. These removable/reusable vessels can be filled direct from a 3-roll mill, thereby saving a manufacturing stage and the wastage associated with drums or pails.
The base is delivered from the vessel to the dispensing valve by a proprietary hydraulic press-out system developed specifically for UV inks, removing the need for high-maintenance piston pumps that are prone to seize with UV products. Waxes, varnishes and driers are all accommodated within the system and are delivered typically by AoD pumps, piston pumps or pressure vessels.
The modular design of the system has been adopted to meet the varying levels of volume and sophistication required by the ink manufacturer. A fully specified system that recently installed by a major UK ink manufacturer was complete with the following modules:
- Download of Order from the in-house computer system to the Vale-Tech Queue management software
In-feed conveyor system and label application
- Pick and place from in-feed conveyor to dispenser
- Barcode scanning and selection of recipe
- Dispense of selected recipe
- Pick and place from dispenser to outfeed conveyor
- Outfeed conveying
- Mixing, lidding and packing
Typically a system of this specification will handle anything from 100-200 batches per shift, due to its unique workflow design. A distribution centre with a similar volume using manual methods may require 3-4 ink mixers to achieve the same throughput. A recent system installed catered for batches of up to 50kg from a base range of 31 components, although almost any requirement can be met.
The integral Vale-Tech InkManager software updates its’ queue of jobs, as each empty vessel is fed onto the infeed conveyor. All usage and dispensing data is recorded, enabling a full audit trail of dispensed batches.
The system is rapidly being adopted by ink manufacturers in the UK, keen to secure the huge benefits a fully integrated system can offer.
The PO system is not just a dispenser, but a complete turnkey solution for small batch custom colour production.