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Today's manufacturers are very fortunate to have a wide range of options when it comes to choosing a batch coder. There is the right type of batch coder for every specification. However, with that comes the tendency to be overwhelmed by the wealth of technology available.
Finding the right batch coder is critical to facilitating the seamless movement of your product throughout the supply chain. This is a guide to help you through the selection process.
Batch coding is the process of adding an identification code to a group of identical products with the same production time, date and location. The identification code usually consists of a selection of letters and numbers. Lot coding is essential for traceability, allowing individual items to be tracked through all stages of production, processing and distribution.
Whether you are involved in industrial and manufacturing applications, food and beverage production, or the pharmaceutical or automotive industries, batch coding will become an integral part of your manufacturing process.
Lot numbers are critical to traceability, allowing products to be traced through all stages of production, processing and distribution. Individual lot numbers consist of a combination of different identification codes for the product, production line, production date, production time etc.
1. Pay attention to the overall cost.
The upfront cost of a batch coder is only one aspect to consider when it comes to cost. You must also look at its operational requirements, such as ink and maintenance, which can add to its running costs. In addition to this, you must also consider its durability and the amount of time you can maximize the use of the machine, as they both affect the cost effectiveness of the product.
2. Consider your packaging.
Make sure your selection meets your packaging needs. Batch codes must be printed on your material and in specific locations. It is best to choose a batch coder that can create prints that match the background of your packaging, whether it is a light or dark color.
3. Check your specific requirements.
One of the main considerations when choosing a batch coder is how you intend to use it. Which prints do you need? How much print do you need? Look at specifications such as line count and text size, especially if you want to add a lot of information to your product.
4. Flexibility is important.
A batch coder that can offer a variety of styles, fonts and character sizes will be very beneficial. It will allow you to create different codes or marks for each item or according to the requirements of a particular product.
5. Understand the different types of batch coders.
There are different types of batch coders to meet different operational requirements.
✴ In-line batch coders - These machines are best suited for mass production or machines that use automated delivery systems. In-line batch coders may come with sensors and can also be programmed to print on a timer.
✴ Handheld batch coders - For businesses with minimal operational requirements and those that still rely on manual labor rather than automation. The advantages of handheld batch coders include flexibility and mobility. They can also serve as a backup in case of problems with inline machines.
✴ Inkjet batch coders - These batch coders are versatile and preferred to meet large character requirements and when printing on porous materials as well as wet and uneven surfaces.
✴ Laser batch coders- Best suited for limited types of materials such as plastic, glass and paper as they burn codes onto the package.
✴ Static batch coders- Can be used to print large amounts of unchanging content or if you are printing all of a group of numbers only.
✴ Variable batch coders - More popular than static because they print different content without adjustment. Also suitable for serial numbers, bar codes and asset tracking labels.