fertilizer case study

Raab Case Study: Helping a Fertilizer Company Grow Their Production Capacity

Sometimes, having the right equipment on just one production line can create a profound ripple effect that ends up benefiting an entire company.

This was the case with a fertilizer manufacturer company in Missouri that was having issues with a coding and marking line in their packaging plant. Their existing thermal inkjet printing systems would create bottlenecks in production while contributing greatly to the number of defective packaging. In addition, a complete lack of user interface caused the company to rely heavily upon service calls, which increased costs and dragged out downtimes as line supervisors waited for a technician.

Replacing the company’s coding system with a continuous inkjet printing system from Raab Sales helped to alleviate all of these pain points while increasing production speed and helping lower costs — all from a simple purchase. Learn more about how our specialized package marking systems helped our client and how they could help you by reading on.

How an Outdated Marking System Made a Fertilizer Plant Wilt

The legacy thermal inkjet printing system this fertilizer company was using caused several problems that limited production output overall while adding to their plant’s costs and complicating their production schedule.

Printing equipment was used by the facility to label large plastic bags of fertilizer as well as secondary corrugated box packaging. Soon after the system was installed, supervisors noticed that replacing thermal cartridges was both time consuming and needed far too often. Simply put, the cartridge capacity was not capable of supporting of the volume demanded by the company’s manufacturing process.

The system also created issues because of its need for an incredibly short “throw” distance, meaning that the items to-be-marked were required to be quite close to the printheads. With the corrugated secondary packaging, the thermal printing system needed to be mounted so close to the line that the boxes were continually scrubbing the printheads, causing smears and gradual equipment damage. Defectively printed boxes had to be taken off the line and their contents repackaged, adding to labor and slowing down production considerably.

Finally, the outdated system lacked any sort of user interface. If the system was experiencing issues or required maintenance, a company technician was often required to make a service call in order to diagnose the problem and bring the system back online. A lack of interface also meant the system was more prone to operator error.

Replacing Legacy Printers With a Continuous Inkjet System Helped the Company Thrive

To solve the fertilizer company’s problem, Raab consulted with them and then determined that the perfect technology for them was a continuous inkjet printing system, similar to the Linx CJ400 CIJ product line. These machines were built for high-capacity marking upon a moving production line, increasing throughput without compromising legibility. Ink reserves for this system were much larger and easier to replace, eliminating one of the largest sources of downtime. A much greater throw distance also eased up design restrictions for the production line while greatly reducing the number of smearing or scrubbing incidents.

Finally, the easy-to-use interface allowed greater control over the print requests while enabling greater flexibility for design modifications or print job changes. The interface also reduced the number of service calls by displaying clear error codes, allowing on-site technicians to self-diagnose many of the problems while helping speed up the process when service calls actually were needed.

Overall, the fertilizer company was able to achieve greater production capacity and reduced waste while generally easing the stresses of production.

Working closely with you, a Raab sales industrial packaging, coding and marking consultant can also help determine the optimal solution for your production pain points, a solution which will increase your revenue earning potential overall. Contact us today to find out how we can help you improve!


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