A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Ever start to unload the dishwasher, only to notice that half of the dishes still had food stuck on them because they weren’t properly pre-scrubbed?  Then, you have to leave them in the dishwasher to be run through another cycle.  Seems like a bit of a waste, right?  For a little more sink water and elbow grease in the beginning, you will save on dishwasher detergent and dishwasher water in the long run.

I had a customer come visit me with a similar scenario last week.  They manufacture inkjet printing machines for package labeling.  They were working on a particular project for a customer who cans soda pop.  The filled, inverted cans are moved along a conveyor to be dried, then date stamped on the bottom. 

The current drying process is a double shot of some 2″ flat plastic nozzles.  The airflow is aimed at an angle, to try to sweep the water out of the concave bottom of the cans.  Whatever water is missed by the first nozzle, the second one is supposed to take care of the rest.  But, this is just not working.  Even after passing under the second nozzle there is still some water remaining in the can.  So, when the ink is applied, it doesnt actually stick to the can.  It simply dissolves in the water. 

It seems, the customer tried to save money by installing multiple pieces of an inexpensive, yet ineffective nozzle.  And, because the nozzles arent doing the job, they are wasting more money in the long run.  Because each can whose date stamp doesn’t adhere properly has to be run through the drying and printing processes again.

So, I recommended to them our model 1111-4, 4-Super Air Nozzle Cluster.  This nozzle will remove all the water on the bottom of the can, in one pass.  So, there will be no need for multiple nozzles.  And because the one nozzle takes care of the water the first time, the cans do not need to be run through the printing and drying process more than once. 

The Super Air Nozzle Cluster certainly costs a bit more than two of the plastic nozzles they are currently using.  But, the money saved by not having to run the machine longer to deal with cans rejected after the firt pass, is much greater than the difference in the cost of the nozzles. 

So, the moral of the story is, a little more investment now, a greater payoff later. 

Emily Mortimer
Application Engineer

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