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Lasers and clean coding upgrades

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FOR SCA Hygiene, a manufacturer of women’s sanitary products, hygiene and cleanliness are critical. The company is strict on what materials enter the production area and how often.

“We even limit the moving of pallets or materials from one room to another to stop any dust or foreign objects entering the production room,” SCA’s process engineer Ian Duguid said.

Duguid claims hygiene was the biggest selling point in the company’s decision to use laser coders for printing. “We take no chances when it comes to our product’s safety and hygiene,” he said.

Today SCA is running six Markem Smartlase coders from Unimark . The coders can provide unlimited printing without the need for ink.

Duguid says the company had identified that lasers printers would best suit their needs but until recently had considered them prohibitively expensive. However, accounting for ink usage, production downtime, breakdown and servicing costs, the company found the laser coders would pay for themselves in less than five years.

“As well as being a strategic decision to have an incredibly hygienic production area, the lasers also came out on top when we looked at their payback period,” Duguid said.

The move to lasers has also increased the company’s production speed. “We are a 24-hour operation. With the ink jets there was a level of intervention required to stop the production process to replace inks,” Duguid explained.

Duguid said laser units were running well within the company’s production ranges with the units coding both inner cartons and secondary cartons.

“We have found them very reliable, requiring nowhere near the level of intervention that we had with the ink jets,” he said, adding the company had never found a fault with the lasers.

Fault-free laser printing has allowed the company’s staff to spend more time working on jobs that make it profitable. “Our production staff are focusing on stuff that puts money into the business and not spending a second of their time checking on the inkjet printers,” Duguid said.

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