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4 Key Considerations When Choosing Coding and Marking Equipment

Coding and marking machines are used on the production lines of a range of industries. They can be used to mark or print onto products and packaging with text, graphics, data matrix codes and more. But with such a vast range of machines and solutions, how do you know what the best choice is for your company? Here's our top 4 things to consider.

Meeting Regulations

Whatever sector your company works within, there are sure to be industry-specific regulations which stipulate what information needs to be coded on to the product or packaging. An example of this is within the cable sector - the ACI (Approve Cables Initiative) has been in place since 2010 and was set up to combat counterfeiting within the wire and cable industry.

The ACI works to ensure that cables have the correct coding and labelling in place to display to customers that the wiring is safe for use and approved. Such industry requirements are ideal for the consumer, but can add pressure on the manufacturer to tick boxes, and that's where having the right coding machine in place is vital.

Another example is within the food and beverage sector where requirements such as EU and U.S. regulations will dictate what you need from a coder. These regulations state which type of date code must be on a product - 'Best Before' or 'Use By', as well as what batch code information should be present. Ensuring that you know what information your industry requires will assist you when it comes to choosing a coder.

What Are You Printing?

It may sound obvious, but know what you are printing, whether it's text, graphics, data matrix 2D codes or logos; and on to what surface/material can play a big part when it comes to finding your perfect coding machine.
Staying in-the-know when it comes to industry trends is invaluable too, and there are some great resources such as Packaging World Magazine that can help with this. Whilst you can't always predict the future, there are some sectors where change is inevitable, so don't risk paying out for coding and marking machines again and again, when there are solutions that can future-proof your production line.

Industry Specific Requirements

Allow some time to consider the needs of your industry; thinking about key factors such as how long markings need to last, and the accuracy of the coded information, and be sure to purchase machinery that ticks these boxes. Be sure not to overlook the requirements of your consumers' changing needs.

One such example is within the automotive industry where parts are marked directlyparts are marked directly and traceability is of great importance. More inks are now available offering the ability to print onto any substrate, and UV-readable inks have become an increasingly popular choice for anti-counterfeiting. With new technological advancements all the time your marking machines need to be able to keep up.

Tough Working Environments

What is your company's factory floor working environment like? Many companies within the manufacturing industry will have production lines within factory environments or warehouses. Printed codes need to be 100% accurate so coders must be reliable in hot or dirty environments where dust and even carbon dust may be a real issue.

A further working environment consideration is speed. When you have an entire production line to manage you will need to rely on a coder that prints at high speeds. Opting for a machine which boasts reliability and offers long service intervals will reduce risks such as stoppages.

Wrapping Up

Having the right equipment that works for your industry will save costs and reduce downtime. Once you have considered each of these key factors you will be in the best possible position for purchasing coding and marking printers which you can rely on.