Markem-Imaje the specialist in the extrusion sector, Mebra Plastik Italia, to significantly improve costs, efficiency and sustainability through their recent collaboration.
The implementation of a combination of hardware, software and continuous injection (CIJ) consumables from Markem-Imaje in the factories of Mebra Plastik Italy has allowed this manufacturer — which exports 40,000 medium and low pressure plastic ducts to 80 countries around the world — to reduce its printer fleet by half, from 30 to 15, which has achieved a significant reduction in costs and ink consumption.
The resulting reduction of waste and energy consumption are two key elements of importance for this half-century-old family business, which is committed to protecting the local environment and improving its sustainability KPIs. “The collaboration between Mebra and Markem-Imaje is the best option, especially for the environment where we live, by reducing energy consumption and waste at the same rate, as well as optimizing production, storage and deliveries,” says Nicola Marchesin, IT Director at Mebra Plastik.
Mebra Plastik decided to turn to Markem-Imaje given its position as an international benchmark in extruded product printing. Apart from using 30 inkjet printers to meet its production needs, Mebra had few production automation systems, which limited its ability to check coding quality and optimize its production process. Extremely low margins, complex regulations with multiple variables around the world and a production line that often could not be stopped once it was started up represented significant challenges for the company when it came to optimizing production and sustainability.
Markem-Imaje immediately identified how Mebra could reduce its number of printers from 30 to 15 while maintaining the same production levels, automate its marking operations and reduce the error rate to practically zero. The company also ensured that Mebra reduced its use of consumables and implemented traceability management, counterfeit prevention and product quality control.
Mebra installed the MI 9450 EC continuous inkjet printer, designed specifically for the extrusion sector and with the ability to print high-quality codes on 1.1 mm wires and cables and on up to 3,000 km of cable without having to clean the heads.
MI changed the Mebra inks to a universal silver ink to avoid the waste derived from using consumables of various colors. The ink adheres to any substrate and guarantees the same contrast and legibility on light and dark surfaces in all extruded products, regardless of their color.
Markem-Imaje has also implemented the CoLOS ® Packaging Intelligence software suite, which integrates with the manufacturing line and ERP systems to digitize, automate and verify production, while providing data and reports to optimize productivity and other key KPIs, such as sustainability. In synergy with the Mebra MES system, CoLOS ® automatically guarantees the printing of the appropriate code on the corresponding tube.
Nicola Marchesin says: “This has allowed us to be much more efficient, by reducing the equipment time of the line and making it possible to implement new solutions, such as automated metrics, fewer types of ink and less waste, by having greener containers and lower energy consumption.”
Mebra Plastik’s production manager Marco Boi adds that the combined Markem-Imaje solution “has halved the number of printers we needed so far, which has significantly reduced energy consumption, the use of consumables and the associated waste”.