4 Dec 2018
At Porvair, finding solutions to improve your business is a top priority for us. We do this in many ways, from designing bespoke filters for our customers’ unique requirements, to ensuring we are at the forefront of filtration technology to provide the best the industry can offer.
This article explains how we helped one of our customers, a global manufacturer of labelling and marking machines, to improve their print yield, the number of pages a user can print with a given printer and cartridge, and ultimately reduce downtime and maintenance.
The company, whose product prints designs on a variety of substrates such as paper, polymer films and plastics (which can be found in a wide range of applications and industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceutical and automotive), were focused on designing a printer that offered less downtime and maintenance with increased print run yields.
Our customer knew that designing a system with fewer filters, but without compromising the performance and cleanliness of the fluid, would mean less critical components to change. Downtime is a concern for any manufacturing line as it delays production. Moreover, the removal of a filter causes ink to be lost from the system, which is often a volatile fluid such as methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).
Our solution was to design a module, which incorporates three filters in a single assembly and uses a series of quick release connectors that are drip-free. This module offers several key benefits; the system downtime is greatly reduced through servicing one self-contained unit rather than three individual filters. This change was made even quicker with the inclusion of quick release connectors.
In addition, the choice of drip-free connectors give the OEM a great marketing tool; since continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers use hazardous and flammable liquids, ensuring no leaks during service makes for a safer product.
How we did it
We worked closely with design engineers from both OEMs, implementing our designs and ensuring they were compatible with the system and its components.
By using our 3D printing technology, the printer OEM could buy in to our initial design ideas at a very early stage. We produced working prototypes prior to tool purchase, designed and manufactured from a solid polypropylene bar. After two months of testing, all eight prototypes were still running perfectly.
The assembly used a series of filters – polypropylene depth media (Polyfil™) with Vyon® cores and stainless steel mesh discs. The assembly housing was natural polypropylene and the connectors were jointly designed with quick release connectors.
Mike Hughes, General Manager, comments:
“The solution provided for this customer shows the benefit of collaboration at an early stage in a new printer design. We were able to add value at the beginning of the process and use our full manufacturing and testing capabilities to deliver a solution that meets the duty and protects our customer’s business.”