Recently, a leading global brand of personal care devices needed a highly efficient solution to a particular manufacturing challenge. The company researched and implemented an innovative precision inkjet solution to ensure optimal performance and quality on a ground-breaking line of new technologies.
When product development was underway in 2009 and 2010 for an innovative new line of products, engineers noticed a discoloration that could occur over time on the small metal parts. This discoloration could lead users to throw away the device prematurely. Though the discoloration occurred only on a very small percentage of products, the brand´s high quality standards lead the engineers to look for an effective solution.
The company needed a method to deposit a protective coat onto their personal care devices in a way that could be simply and efficiently integrated into their 24/7 production line. In addition to effectively preventing any discoloration, the coating deposition technique would need to be advanced as the small metal parts are only approximately 1mm wide and positioned at an angle, requiring a multi-dimensional coating cover. Furthermore, as the protective coat is added at the end of the assembly process- it needed to be applied with extreme precision so as not to contaminate any of the neighboring parts since contamination could interfere with the performance of the neighboring features.
Engineers tried several approaches to solving this problem. “Electrostatic discharge could not provide the accuracy or precise fluid metering that our product required,” explained the Project Manager. “Similarly, spraying onto a mask was too messy and wasteful of an approach and did not meet our need for a simple, streamlined solution.”
The company finally solved the challenge by partnering up with Trident Industrial Inkjet (www.trident-itw.com). Using the Trident 384Jet™ stainless steel printhead, engineers were able to achieve the +/- 0.01 inch printing position accuracy that they required. The inkjet solution also provided the superior meterability- allowing a consistent volume of .0013 grams of the protective coating to be applied to each product.
“Trident stood out because of the superior performance of their printhead and because of their unmatched technical skills,” said the Project Manager. Trident is the only industrial inkjet supplier with over 30 years of experience in the creation of industrial inkjet printheads and inks and is therefore uniquely positioned to ensure that printheads and jetted materials are designed to work together with optimum performance. “When during the course of a compatibility time study, we came across some printhead incompatibility issues with our protective coating fluid, Trident´s engineering team had the technical expertise to help make the required adjustments to the printhead materials to ensure reliable high performance.”
Trident was also able to provide support in ensuring that the inkjet system could integrate seamlessly into the production line. Trident worked with company engineers to synchronize technologies in order to ensure that the .0013 grams of protective coating would be administered to each product in a precise, reliable, and reproducible way.
The Trident 384Jet printhead delivered on the company´s need for streamlined, low-maintenance performance. The printhead features an inert, stainless steel construction to provide durable, reliable performance on the global brand´s busy production floor. The printhead also features a unique, repairable design that reduces waste by expanding printhead lifespan. Unlike disposable printheads that must continuously be replaced on active production lines, the repairable design of the 384Jet allows it to be dissembled, ultrasonically cleaned and put back to work when maintenance is required.
“The stainless steel construction and repairability of the 384Jet was very attractive to us,” commented the Project Manager. “Also we run a very clean production floor. As a precise additive process with no extra mess, the inkjet system helped us keep our lines tidy and efficient.”
“Trident´s inkjet solution has exceeded our expectations in a number of ways,” concluded the Project Manager. “It has allowed us to meet challenging precision coating requirements and eliminated blade discoloration issues. In addition, Trident´s deep knowledge of inkjet printheads and jetted substrates allowed us to meet the aggressive timeline laid out for the global launch of our major new product line.”
The new line of personal care devices has been well-received by consumers with millions sold annually worldwide.
Trident Industrial Inkjet has been a leading provider of industrial piezoelectric inkjet printheads and inks for 30 years and is a global leader in technologies for package marking and bar coding. The durable, stainless steel construction of Trident printheads makes them ideal for a wide range of industrial applications.
For more information visit www.trident-itw.com or contact:
In North and South America: Steve Liker, Business Manager, Trident
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +1.203.740.9333 ext. 3037
In Europe: Des O’Neill, European Sales Manager at Trident Europe
Email: email@example.com Phone: +353.1.8014004
In Asia: Kay Chino, Asia Sales Manager at Trident Asia
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +81.297.61.5860
Trident, An ITW Company
1 Research Park Dr.
St. Charles, MO 63304 USA