Markem-Imaje releases new inkjet printer for coding eggs

The Markem-Imaje 9450 Inkjet Coder.
Markem-Imaje’s 9450 Inkjet Coder.

A new inkjet printer customized for egg production and capable of coding over 250,000 eggs per hour on an eight-track grading machine, has been launched by France-based Markem-Imaje. Thanks to a specific communications protocol, the solution eliminates operator mistakes while automatically cleaning smart consumables’ systems help maximize quality and uptime. Codes printed directly onto eggs can contain useful safety and traceability information, such as best-before dates and originating farm identification. Such coding fulfills a legal obligation in many countries and, even where not legally required, some producers choose to include this kind of information – sometimes augmented by logos as a way of differentiating their eggs as coming from a trustworthy source.

Traditionally, egg producers use machines with specific communication protocols to process, code and pack their eggs. One of the most commonly used brands for this purpose is from Moba. A specially configured version of Markem-Imaje’s 9450 Coder has now been certified for use on Moba’s machines. The coder can be easily installed on egg production lines on a ‘plug and play’ basis. Unlike other brands that are similarly certified, this coder doesn’t require an external PC to be operational. A series of brackets is also included to facilitate installation and get coding operations up and running quickly and cost-efficiently. The new inkjet printer offers a range of additional features not available with other devices commonly used to code eggs. For example, the ability to operate from a standard 7-inch colour touchscreen and its online guiding system mean that operators gain time when starting or stopping print runs, changing cartridges and checking printer status. And, without stopping the line, the embedded software allows producers to monitor consumable consumption and running costs. This enables them to react proactively to protect uptime and keep costs under control.

Egg coding samples.
Coded egg samples from the Markem-Imaje 9450.

Additionally, service intervals on the printer’s pressure pump have been extended to 14,000 hours. This is nearly double the interval associated with older generation pumps from various suppliers that are still widely used across the industry. The 9450 features a mono-block printhead design that makes head cleaning easy and trouble-free, said the OEM. When necessary, its automatic cleaning system will ensure inkjetting stability when restarting, keeping the print quality of the code consistently high. Its design also optimizes the use of energy as well as ink and additive consumption, enabling users to cut these expenses by up to 20%. The solution, which is available in Europe and North America, can print logos as well as up to 4 lines of code directly onto eggs using pink or blue food-grade inks. The colour chosen (white versus brown )depends on the region and egg type. Markem-Imaje Canada is located in Mississauga, Ontario.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.