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Importance of Lot Coding and Batch Coding for Food Packaging

Posted by Homayoun Shahrestani on Jun 22, 2020 11:43:00 AM
Originally published by MapleJet on May 21st, 2020. Shared with permission from MapleJet.

Why is the Batch Number or Lot Number important in a Product's Distribution Cycle?

Once the manufacturing process ends and the product is prepared for distribution, printing batch number or lot number, a component of product traceability, is one of the ways for manufacturers to exercise control in case the product is subjected to certain manufacturing issues such as contamination or failure of the product quality of a batch. 

Various regulatory boards such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have instituted regulations and guidelines directing food manufacturers to include general safety and traceability information to ensure that the product is safe and to facilitate organized product recall when necessary.


Example of manufacturing date, expiry date and lot number printed on pharmaceutical packaging. 

 

What is a batch or lot number?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations of the Food and Drug Administration, ¹“lot number or batch number can be any distinctive combination of letters, numbers or symbols, where the history of manufacture, processing, packaging, holding and distribution of batch or lot of drug product or other material can be determined.” 

How is a batch number or lot number printed?

Batch numbers should be printed directly on the product’s primary packaging or on the labels at the end of the manufacturing process. To print a batch number it is important to understand the substrate of the packaging or labels where it must be printed. This is to ensure that the print will adhere to the packaging from holding the product in the warehouse to distribution in various shelves in the market. Maplejet, a Canadian industrial inkjet manufacturer, offers reliable and simple solutions to print batch number or lot number in any types of materials through Hx Nitro thermal inkjet printer.

Why is Hx Nitro best for batch coding?

Hx Nitro thermal inkjet printer has built-in technology to make designing and printing batch number easy and simple for small to large manufacturing industries. It allows the use of personal smartphones or any smart devices to communicate with the printer through its built-in Wi Fi  module. This provides operators an easy and convenient way to design the message, set up the correct print parameters for each message, and monitor the status of printers in the production line. 

The printer can be mounted on many types of packaging lines. This flexibility gives the Hx Nitro an advantage to print batch number or lot number on bottles, packs or even onto cartons. There are also different types of ink available and color options to print on certain materials. 

For consumers, batch numbers printed on the packaging may be just additional information required for a product to pass the government's guidelines and regulations, but it is actually an important part of the whole product distribution cycle to ensure consumer food safety. 

Reference:

¹https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/

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Topics: Coding & Marking, Consumer Protection, Inkjet Coding, Brand Protection, Quality Assurance, Traceability, Supply Chain, Product Identification, Date coding, Label coding, Can Coding, Bottle Coding, Pharmaceutical, Thermal inkjet, TIJ, MapleJet, Hx Nitro

Breakthrough colored inks for thermal inkjet coding

Posted by Ken Mogensen on Jun 10, 2019 8:41:00 AM

Originally published on LinkedIn on May 10, 2019. 

I've been back in the coding and marking industry for a little less than a year now and it's been a thrill to be back. There were a lot of significant developments within thermal inkjet (TIJ) technology during my hiatus from the industry. The solvent based, fast drying inks were improved drastically on three main fronts - darkness, dry time and decap time (the amount of time the print head can be exposed before drying). I was blown away by all of these improvements. 

As if those improvements for a general purpose black ink weren't significant enough, there were now bright white and yellow inks available for non porous (glass, plastic, metal, etc) printing. These two inks are easily in the running as the most significant developments for inkjet coding and marking within the past decade.

Prior to the introduction of these colored inks for TIJ printers, the only option most manufacturers had for printing a bright colored code was continuous inkjet printers. Beyond that, a special model of continuous inkjet printer is needed as the white and yellow inks contain heavy pigments which settle in the ink solution over time. These upgraded "pigmented" continuous inkjet printers for colored inks have additional components to agitate or stir the ink periodically to prevent the pigments from settling out.

These special pigmented ink model continuous inkjet printers cost anywhere from $10-20,000 per system. Additionally, there are installation charges and normally a service contract ranging from $200-500 per month depending on the OEM (Videojet®, Domino®, Markem-Imaje®, Linx®, Hitachi®, etc). These printers require routine maintenance and service to ensure optimum performance reducing the operational efficiency and further increasing the total cost of ownership.

All of this excess cost, time and downtime can now be eliminated with the advent of white and yellow inks for TIJ coding printers. Manufacturers can now spend less than $2,000 for a colored ink coding printer that not only prints one color, but can easily switch colors within 30 seconds! Three years ago this was unheard of!

I have witnessed firsthand numerous occasions where craft food manufacturers, co-packers, e-liquids producers, craft breweries and wineries are able to take advantage of the flexibility of this technology when limiting capital expense during a growth period is critical for the business. They now have an option that is affordable, easy to use and reliable. The printer delivers a drastic increase in efficiency with a low total cost of ownership.

Have you tried struggled with your current color inkjet coding printer? Have you been in search of a low cost and zero maintenance colored ink coding solution? Call us today! 

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Topics: Coding & Marking, Inkjet Coding, Meenjet, Meenjet MX1 Printer, Meenjet MX1 Coder, Traceability, Craft brewing, Micro brewing, Date coding, Bottle Coding, Meenjet M6 Printer, Handheld inkjet, Handheld coder, Pharmaceutical, yellow ink, opaque printer, white ink, pigmented inks, pigmented printer, white ink printer, yellow ink printer

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