New Domino printer tackles sticky soft drink problem

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Soft drink Inkjet printer

Domino has launched a new continuous ink jet printer built to help manufacturers of carbonated soft drinks overcome problems associated with sugar build-up.

The new A300SE+ is designed to print multiple lines of code such as best before dates and quality control information on beverage products manufactured in harsh conditions. Specifically, the printer aims to help makers of fizzy soft drinks resolve ‘candy coating’ problems.

Sugar build-up

Nick Plaister, product director of continuous ink jet at Domino, explained: “In environments like carbonated soft drink plants the air is heavily laden with sugar and the inside of machines, including electronic circuitry, can get ‘candy coated’.

“Over time, a layer can build up which potentially becomes conductive, meaning that the performance of the equipment can be impaired.”

Plaister told that the use of ambient air for cooling is a cause of the problem as it carries a lot of sugar syrup vapours. The air settles on internal surfaces like electronic control boards and can then caramelise over time causing the boards to fail.

Such problems do not appear immediately but can cut down the lifespan of a printer, typically taking two or three years to emerge.

So as to prevent the build-up of sugar syrup and ultimately extend the life of the new A300SE+, Domino designed it to use factory compressed air for cooling.

Two versions

Domino has also developed two versions of the printer: the standard one and the Duo variant. The Duo printer offers the capability to print two lines of text at the speed of a single line or four lines at the speed of two lines.

This means that manufacturers can avoid having to choose between splitting and slowing down the line. Plaister said: “There is a lot of pressure to print additional data onto many products which often means we need to print additional lines…..this in turn slows the maximum print speed of the coder. Duo enables use to maintain high speed but also print additional lines of data.”

The new A300SE+ printer can be used to print codes onto the full range of packaging types used in the beverage industry, including plastics, glass and cans. It is possible to use the printer in conjunction with remote touch panels, so that it can be operated from different locations around a plant or directly from the machine control panel.

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