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Markem-Imaje helps international extrusion reference gain sustainability and efficiency whilst reducing costs

May 11, 2023, 10:03 AM by Global Communications
Markem-Imaje has helped one of the extrusion sector’s most successful players globally, Mebra Plastik Italia, to significantly improve costs, efficiency and sustainability in their recent collaboration.

The implementation of a combination of Markem-Imaje’s Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) hardware, software and consumables at Mebra Plastik Italia’s factories has enabled the exporter of 40,000 medium and low-pressure plastic pipe products to 80 countries around the world to reduce its printer fleet by half from 30 to 15; permitting a significant reduction in costs and ink use.

The resulting reduction in waste and energy use are two of the key elements of importance to the half-century old family business which has a firm commitment to contributing to protecting the local environment and improving its sustainability KPIs.

“The Mebra/Markem-Imaje partnership is the best option especially in terms of the environment in which we live, thus reducing energy consumption and waste at the same pace, while optimizing production, storage and deliveries,” says Mebra Plastik’s IT Manager Nicola Marchesin.

Mebra Plastik Italia had decided to approach Markem-Imaje as it has long been considered as an international reference in extrusion printing. Besides using 30 inkjet printers to fulfil its production needs, Mebra had little production automation systems in place, limiting its ability to verify the quality of encoding and to optimize its production process. Extremely low margins, complex regulations characterized by multiple variables around the world, and a production line that often could not be stopped once running, presented major challenges in optimizing production and sustainability.

Markem-Imaje immediately identified how Mebra could halve its number of printers from 30 to 15 whilst maintaining the same levels of production, automate its marking operations and reduce the error rate to practically zero. The company also ensured Mebra cut its consumables use and implemented traceability, anti-counterfeiting and product quality control management.

Mebra installed the Markem-Imaje Continuous Inkjet 9450 EC, designed specifically for the extrusion sector with the ability to print high-quality codes, on wires as small as 1.1 mm, and on up to 3,000 km of cable without requiring printhead cleaning.

Markem-Imaje switched Mebra’s inks to a silver one-ink-fits all solution, avoiding waste from using different color consumables. The ink can adhere to any substrate and guarantees the same contrast and the same legibility on light and dark surfaces on all extruded products, regardless of color.

Markem-Imaje also implemented the CoLOS® Packaging Intelligence software suite which integrates with the manufacturing line and ERP systems to digitalize, automate and verify production, whilst providing data and reporting insight for optimized productivity and other key KPIs, like sustainability. In synergy with Mebra’s MES, CoLOS® automatically guarantees the right code on the right tube.

Nicola Marchesin, IT Manager at Mebra Plastik, says: “This has allowed us to be much more efficient, reducing line equipment times and making it possible to implement new solutions such as automated metrics, fewer ink types and less waste thanks to more ecological containers and less energy consumption.”

Mebra Plastik Production Manager Marco Boi adds that Markem-Image’s combined solution “has effectively halved the number of printers required for production so far, significantly reducing energy, consumable use, and associated waste.”

See the video of the case study.

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