As manufacturers face an increasingly competitive environment, leading operations have embraced lean manufacturing principles to drive uptime and improve yield. To help manufacturers achieve sustainable improvements in Availability and Quality, Videojet Technologies (videojet.com), a global leader in coding, marking and printing solutions, has launched its new CLARiTY™ Laser Controller to enhance the capability of its entire range of CO2 and fiber laser marking systems. The new laser user interface places a powerful tool in the hands of production staff that significantly reduces line set-up and changeover time, aids operators in troubleshooting problems, and helps ensure the right code is placed on the right product time after time.
“Our new CLARiTY™ Laser Controller offers specific functionality to help drive sustainable improvements in Overall Equipment Effectiveness,” says Markus Vetter, laser business unit manager at Videojet Technologies. “The line set-up wizard and our suite of productivity tools help operators address the sources of both planned and unplanned downtime. With the onboard suite of Code Assurance features, production supervisors and quality teams can easily create error-proofing rules during job set-up that limit operator input to predefined choices.”
The new CLARiTY™ Laser Controller offers an innovative line set-up wizard to aid maintenance and production staff during both initial line set-up and during product changeovers. The interface provides a visual representation of the laser on the packaging line, eliminating trial and error by configuring the print job to match the required production set-up. “Flexible production lines, by definition, experience more planned downtime than dedicated lines. The ability to compress changeover times releases valuable time to use for production,” explains Vetter. “Depending on user familiarity, the new line set-up wizard can be between 25-50% faster than our legacy controller interface. Assuming even a modest number of changeovers per day, these time savings add up to meaningful production hours over the year.”
In addition to minimizing planned downtime, the CLARiTY™ Laser Controller offers tools to address the root causes of unplanned downtime. The on-board diagnostics tool presents instant fault information in a logical way with a drill-down option to enable the identification of the most frequent causes of printer faults. Vetter comments, “The value of the diagnostics tool is the combination of the Printer and Operational Availability metrics along with the underlying pareto of faults. The data is presented in a logical way, helping operations staff confidently identify the root cause of downtime and fix it to achieve sustainable process improvement.”
To address manufacturers’ needs to eliminate sources of poor quality, the CLARiTY™ Laser Controller offers on-board Code Assurance. “More than half of coding errors are caused by operator error and the most common mistakes include incorrect data entry and job selection. At a minimum, these mistakes can result in excessive scrap or rework, or worse, could result in potential fines or damage to the brand itself,” comments Vetter. Predefined coding rules can be easily established during set-up that limit the operator’s choices to an allowable range, helping eliminate errors and the resulting impact to quality.
With the addition of the CLARiTY™ Laser Controller, Videojet now offers a common controller interface for all of its main primary and secondary packaging printers. Vetter says, “A common user interface is a great benefit to operations using more than one printing technology. Operator training can be drastically reduced when common operations like job selection, data entry, and checking printer status can now be learned from a single interface design. Videojet is excited to bring innovation to laser coding, and the CLARiTY™ Laser Controller combines an intuitive user interface and powerful functionality to drive tangible improvements in customer operations.”