Seeking to eliminate labour and errors due to previous product carton embossing process, a leading pharmaceutical company chose a more flexible marking and coding system.

The Challenge

A leading pharmaceutical manufacturing facility sought a new solution. After the company purchased new L-Series thermal inkjet marking and coding system, time previously spent operating the old system was cut by as much as 1.5 hours per print run, errors and resulting waste were significantly reduced, and the ability to print on bottles—in addition to boxes—was gained. These benefits yielded a complete return on investment for the manufacturer in less than three months.

The Pharmaceuticals manufacturer produces a variety of dietary supplements and functional beverages. To mark two lines of lot numbers and best before dates on their product boxes after the contents (bottles or sachets) were packaged and prior to the overwrapping process, the company used a box embossing printer. This was labour intensive to set up and operate plus if the mark was incorrect the boxes could not be re-printed, resulting in lost time and waste.

Additionally, at least one of the four staffers managing the marking and coding process had to operate the embossing printer. That process could take as long as 1.5 hours to print a single batch of approximately 1,640 boxes. The box embosser was also unable to mark the bottom of bottles, forcing the company to instead mark labels with lot numbers and best before dates in a separate process, then apply them to the bottles.

VIAjet™ L-Series L12 thermal inkjet printing system was connected to their packaging line, and a successful trial run of both boxes and bottles was undertaken.

Engineered for industrial and packaging marking—such as batch codes, date codes, fixed and variable texts, graphics and barcodes—on porous and non-porous materials, the L-Series L12 sports a 0.5-inch thermal inkjet printhead capable of making up to 0.5-inch-tall marks in either horizontal or down print directions. It can be configured to mark high-resolution print (600 x 600 dots per inch) at speeds up to 200 feet per minute, or to mark 600 x 75 dots per inch at high speeds up to 1,660 feet per minute, easily accommodating the BF SUMA’s desired production rate of 25 to 40 marks per minute.

The management team were impressed by the ease of set up, flexibility afforded by the TIJ system. Although the company was only considering using the L-Series to imprint on boxes, the demo proved it capable of marking the bottom of its bottles.  The system also gave a wider range of printing options such as text size and variable lengths.

The Results
LABOUR SAVING: Since the installation the company have eliminated one labour hour per person, as the printing happens automatically once the boxes are conveyed to the device.

SPACE SAVING & EASE OF USE: Additionally, the marking system is much smaller than the previous embossing printer, which was so large it required dedicated floor space.

WASTE REDUCTION:  The company is also able to do away with printing separate labels for bottles, as the same VIAjet printer can be used to mark the bottles directly and in different character sizes and lengths.

FAST ROI: Due to all these benefits, the company achieved a full return on its investment in the VIAjet system within three months.

Xact is a full-service provider of marking technologies from World Leading manufacturer Matthews Marking Systems. Our experts will be happy to provide you with free, no-obligation advice on your marking requirements, including on-site at your production facility.

For further information call Xact on 0151 479 3020 or email

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