Print and apply labellers offer key role in FMD compliance

Published: 9-Jun-2015

The Vulcan print and apply labeller can link with practically any software platform already running and offers print speeds up to three times faster than traditional machines

Coding specialist Interactive Coding Equipment (ICE) says its recently-launched Vulcan print and apply labeller can help pharmaceutical companies meet the track and trace requirements of the forthcoming EU Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).

The new Vulcan offers two important benefits. Its advanced Clarity software is able to emulate most existing protocols, including the Zebra ZPL protocol widely used in the labelling industry. This means that the Vulcan can link with practically any software platform already running, enabling it to receive data from a SAP or similar system and be integrated into existing packing lines without the need to add other drivers or for the entire operation to be revalidated.

Equally important, thanks to its compact dimensions, the printer can be incorporated into existing case packers for easy retrofitting onto the packing line.

The Vulcan itself represents a major breakthrough and significant advance in print and apply labelling technology, offering print speeds up to three times faster than traditional machines.

The machine is the first of its type to print and directly apply the label to a pack – both traded unit boxes and shrinkwrap packs - in one continuous action without the need for a complex tamp blow applicator. This means the Vulcan can print at the speed of the line, even when packs are very closely spaced, without ever missing a pack. The Direct Apply system means that the Vulcan does not need a compressed air supply, a significant source of cost and maintenance in many factories.

Furthermore, because the machine always prints the label that it is actually being applied, it is an ideal choice for the printing of dynamic real time data as there is no danger of a label being held in a reservoir and then wrongly applied.

The emulation software is smart enough to adapt both the print resolution and label orientation settings, especially useful for moving from off-line to on-line print systems.

The Vulcan’s innovative Intelligent Motion drive system delivers faster and more accurate labelling with no creasing or label dropping and no chance for labels to become trapped in the system. There are also fewer moving parts, which makes the system more reliable.

A ‘solid state’ printhead mechanism – a unique feature for thermal label printers – allows the force on the printhead to be controlled electronically with great accuracy, for enhanced performance and print quality and extended head life. The print head can also be removed and replaced in less than a minute for fast changeovers.

The Vulcan also uses the well proven solid state ribbon drive system; a technology that was first seen in the standard setting ICE Zodiac printer. The result is a completely maintenance-free ribbon drive, a first for this type of machine.

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