UK – UK’s leading supplier of digital coding solutions, Clearmark has unveiled a new Overprinting Watchstrap Labeler (OWL) system to apply watchstrap labels to net and weave packaging applications.,

The Zodiac OWL aims to overcome the challenge of watchstrap labels snapping under stress when they are applied to textured surfaces, reports Packaging Europe.

To prevent the snap from occurring, the drive system has been integrated into the printer bracket, meaning that labels are dispensed and printed using thermal transfer in one continuous, synchronized motion.

“If too much tension is applied during the label dispensing process, there’s a higher likelihood of the narrow section snapping,” explains Chris Simpson, technical project manager at Clearmark.

“Because the OWL is electronically integrated with the netting machine, each time a netted bag is made, the OWL feeds another printed label into the loop.”

Reported to be 1280mm high, 680mm wide, and 420mm deep, the Zodiac OWL is thought to offer customers the option to implement it into the netting machine itself or as a freestanding solution within existing packaging setups and can apparently print labels to over 60 packs per minute.

Additionally, Clearmark claims that its new OWL provides reliability, flexibility, and accuracy benefits, including the constant monitoring and reporting of print code quality, and the dispensing system can be integrated with the ICE Zodiac Falcon and Eagle product ranges.

At any point during the production process, operators can use the CLARiSUITE operating system to create and switch label design templates.

At the same time, they can use the CLARiTY touchscreen to view label information about the print quality of the labels and make any necessary improvements to the efficiency of their production.

The system is also said to feature motion sensors to detect tension in the OWL’s lifting arm and prompt the in-feed netting machine to pause, ensuring that, even if the netting machine demands more labels than have been supplied in the loop, the narrow web will not snap.

Meanwhile, its iAssure feature is intended to monitor the labels’ quality in place of additional vision systems.

“By providing early intervention, production disruption and downtime can be minimized,” concludes Simpson. “This also reduces the likelihood of a product recall and a heavy retailer fine.”

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