Snaxpo 2017

Package date codes could affect snack food safety, Redimark warned

The TC12 Inkjet Coder is capable of producing 200,000 to 400,000 date codes per cartridge.

Thermal inkjet coding manufacturer Redimark has introduced a new date code printer, TC12 Inkjet, that assists snack manufacturers to improve their efficiency and potentially avoid food safety issues.

The company’s market developer, Dean Hornsby, was 'seen' at Snaxpo, held at the beginning of the month in Savannah, Georgia, via an iRobot. Although he was physically located in his Pittsburgh office, Hornsby made the robot move around the show floor, greet and talk to event attendees using a cloud-based system.

Redimark was demonstrating how its machinery could be managed by manufacturers through cloud, Hornsby said.

“This is a telepresence robot… the cloud system allows our customers to manage their printers through a touchscreen interface, and set up notifications such as low-ink warnings to avoid catastrophic situations,” he explained.

“[It's] critical to keep the printer running [with] no interruptions during the printing process,” Hornsby said. “[In a] low-ink situation, managers [who control the printer] will receive a text or email notification to replenish the inkjet printhead.”

Codes need to be legible

Hornsby noted the quality of date codes could affect food safety in several ways. If a company has to recall a product, it requires the codes to be legible, while a traditional high-velocity jetting machine could allow ink to contaminate the product during the printing process.

“A high-speed jet is capable of shooting the ink three to four feet away, and that can easily [come into] contact [with] food ingredients,” he said.

Cost-saving printer

Redimark’s printers cost under $1,000 per unit, while traditional continuous inkjet (CIJ) usually costs users around $8,000, Hornsby told BakeryandSnacks.

“Our technology is cartridge-based, so everything is enclosed in the cartridge. The printer includes a print head and an ink reservoir,” Hornsby said.

He added the TC12 Inkjet Coder is capable of producing 200,000 to 400,000 date codes per cartridge, depending on the size of the code, and does not require maintenance or consumable solvent.

Redimark has attracted many small companies that have limited budgets, Hornsby said, but larger CPG brands have also purchased the equipment, including Wolfgang Candy and Mason Dixie Biscuit.

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