The redesigned plant at St.Ives, Cambridgeshire, integrates the manufacturing and dispatch processes, with orders passed directly from the manufacturing cell onto the client’s pallet in order to cut working inventories and quicken dispatch times.
The new facility also incorporates a volumetric filling machine and improved mixing technology; a modular design allows operators to perform rapid product changeovers.
A Linx spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com that the firm was making the investment to improve the facility following fire damage in May 2009, to improve quality and efficiency and provide capacity for future growth.
Industrial coding equipment
He said: “Linx is a leading supplier of industrial coding equipment to the food and beverage industries worldwide, which constitutes over one third of our customer base.
“The investment in the ink plant will allow us to improve our levels of service and delivery to our customers who rely on our coders to keep their operations running.
“Specific advantages for customers include higher service levels, including better product lead times, improved quality and longer product shelf life.”
“Inks available from the plant include high-performance general-purpose inks, together with specialist inks for plastic films, high-speed bottling lines, enhanced traceability applications and barcode printing on outer cases.
Secures Linx’s future
Linx cfo Tony Stafford said that the St.Ives investment underlined the commitment of owner Danaher (a US-based technology giant) to the Cambridgeshire firm.
“At the height of the recession we were given the green light on a £1m investment that secures Linx’s future as a market leader in providing quality, on-time, made-to-order products to customers worldwide,” he said.
Ink plant manager Adrian Armiger added: “With mixing, filling and despatch all housed in one contiguous operation, we can deliver a safe, high quality, on-time and efficient service to customers.”
The rebuild follows partial damage to the existing facility after a June 2009 fire, and has new safety features such as a new £300,000 sprinkler system that incorporates fire suppressant foam.
The facility is also divided into sections, so that water – drawn from a tank holding 473,000 litres– is only directed where it is required to extinguish the fire.
Linx Printing Technologies manufactures ink and supplies continuous ink jet (CIJ) printers, impulse jet printers and laser coders: these are used across the food and beverage industry to print product identification codes, batch numbers, dates and barcodes.