Options are must-haves for manufacturers seeking a personalized approach to their packaging operations. Markem-Imaje’s SmartDate® 5 thermal transfer coder combines a tailored approach to package coding along with a new standard power saving feature.

The SmartDate 5 thermal transfer coder combines a robust design built for industrial applications, no known wear parts requiring preventative maintenance, high levels of speed, and increased economy for printing solutions to suit a variety of needs.

Cost savings and sustainability are topics foremost on manufacturers’ minds with cutting energy costs and reducing carbon footprints rising to the top as concerns, as well as lowering operational costs. The SmartDate 5 power saving feature can reduce the amount of power consumed. The units switch into “sleep mode” if the parent packaging machine is powered down, and can also be programmed to sleep if the line is unused for a pre-determined length of time. When the line restarts, the coder powers up again in less than one second.

The SmartDate 5 also delivers performance and flexibility in printing. It comes readily configurable between intermittent and continuous mode and between left- and right-handed operations capable of speeds up to 1000mm per second.

“Installations have shown that the coder will consistently deliver high-quality prints at these speeds, so manufacturers can make full use of their wrapping machine’s performance,” Markem-Imaje Product Marketing Manager Andy Gray said. “And for even faster flow-wrapping applications the SmartDate 5, with its patented shuttle mechanism, will keep pace with the top speeds of today’s latest packaging equipment.

To prevent the loss of prints that can occur in high-speed wrapping lines subject to challenging speed profiles (where rapid acceleration and deceleration result in a very brief span of slow speeds), the SmartDate 5 coder is capable of printing consistently at speeds as low as 5mm per second. Additionally, the SmartDate 5 can successfully meet the acceleration rates created with the new “no product-no film” option on packaging equipment.

The SmartDate 5 also cuts operating costs on consumables. Markem-Imaje pioneered a ribbon-saving feature to shrink the gap between prints to just 0.5mm, allowing up to 10 percent more prints from the same print ribbon. Gray explained the rationale behind the new developments.

“With tens of thousands of successful installations behind us, we’ve learned that customers are looking for advanced capabilities and a more tailored approach to bring additional efficiency to their coding process,” he said.

A controller with a full color touch-screen comes standard on the SmartDate 5. The icon-driven menu guides the operator through set-up and procedures while clearly displaying the selected images to avoid errors and ensure correct and efficient coding in the production run from beginning to end. Users can still opt for the classic controller design, with its monochrome graphic display, since the two options are interchangeable. Others who prefer to integrate the coder controls with the controls of the parent packaging line can also do so by using web browser technology to guide the entire line from a single control point.

Remote code management is also an option for the SmartDate 5. The coder allows for easy connectivity with third-party equipment and devices and the ability to source images and data from a PC or factory ERP system. Coding images can be created using CoLOS Create® and downloaded to the coder from the network or a USB memory device.

Production data can also be uploaded for analysis and auditing. For full details, contact an application specialist at 1-866-263-4644.