This customer was having problems automating the ink delivery to printing heads. The customer specialises in print solutions for the postal sorting industry. The customer was looking to save cost by using less ink due to precision of flow and maintenance downtime, due to replacement & setup speed.
Customer old delivery system consisted of a manual valve for ink delivery & a plastic clip, this system is trial and error until the operator gets the settings right, this is time consuming and is very messy with ink loss.
Site visits – problem identification:
Customer requested a site visit to discuss alternative solutions to the SMC valves they had on trial that caused some problems for them, two main problems were poor flow control due to unbalance valve design and valves sticking due to heat build-up of coil causing ink to harden inside valve, this resulted in quality fluctuation due to excessive & reduced flow when initial setup changes also stopped production when valve stick.
Concept / Design:
The customer was presented with Mac Stainless Steel Diaphragm Bullet valve with balanced poppet technology with PWM electronics to limit heat rise, also valve design with coil & valve port configuration will isolate ink from coil heat rise.
Customer has requested 2 off sample valves, 2/2 Stainless Steel body with Diaphragm ¼ ported base, 24vdc with flying leads
Testing / Trials:
Trial valve are built with custom flow to customers specifications with test period to customer specified service scheduling requirements.
Production scheduling was not a concern for this project as potential is only 300 to 500 per year, however once proven this can be rolled out over the inkjet industry which will concentrate production scheduling.
The solution aim is to deliver to the customer and the wider industry is the automation of ink delivery system that offers cost savings on production downtime due to ease of replacement when service, also longer life due to valve configuration with valve flow path isolated from coil area so not subjected to coil heat rise with further energy savings through Pulse with modulation (PWM) electronics built in to coil head, also more efficient use of ink due to tailored flow for application. The customer will generate data on cost savings when life trails begin.
The benefits offered through Mac Diaphragm Bullet valve is consistent flow, no sticking due to high shifting force of Mac balanced poppet concept design, also coil Isolation from Ink flow path, lower cost of ownership due to less downtime, ease and speed of servicing, longer life of valve, cost saving on ink due to more efficient and consistent delivery to print head, and use of ink. This will have a significant improvement to the production at the end user mailing houses, as current manual systems lose settings frequently leading to downtime & servicing.