Using Meteor Inkjet’s eLab and MetPrint solutions, leading medical device manufacturer G Surgiwear Ltd can process images faster and print packaging with variable data quicker, enhancing the throughput of its printing devices and consequently greatly improving its delivery times.
- G Surgiwear Ltd is the leading manufacturer of medical devices in India.
Surgiwear prints all its labels with a reel-to-reel, heads-over-substrate, UV printer with three Kyocera printheads.
- Surgiwear manufactures almost 300 types of products and is the single largest implant manufacturer in India, exporting to more than 50 countries around the world.
India’s leading medical device manufacturer, G Surgiwear Ltd, wanted to enhance the throughput of its reel-to-reel label press. Designed to print on sterile products for use in hospitals and the medical industry, the press has three Kyocera printheads driven by Meteor Inkjet electronics. The company had already put some cost-saving measures in place: by printing directly onto the pouch packaging paper it avoided the need to use labels, thereby not only saving on the cost and printing of labels, but also the cost of space for label printing and application.
The press can print over 3,000 pages in a standard print run, however, the process was very slow since each package has a varying amount of variable data, which could include a unique identification number, a QR code, lot number, manufacturing date and expiry date.
Dr G D Agrawal, founder of Surgiwear comments: “With such a large amount of variable data, our current press was slow and with business growing rapidly, we needed faster throughput to handle our lead times.”
The project presented a couple of challenges for Meteor Inkjet:
• Firstly, since Surgiwear prints from a PDF in portrait orientation, Meteor had to move it to a landscape orientation to work on the project.
• Secondly, the current RIP outputs four colours, CMYK, but Surgiwear only needed to print in two colours – cyan and black.
Meteor Inkjet supplied an eLab Connect, Meteor’s RIP development software package that allows a developer to create, test and produce their own customised RIP. It is designed especially for high-speed inkjet printing and is based on the Harlequin RIP®, the fastest RIP on the market. Meteor also incorporated its printing solution, MetPrint. Designed for single-pass printers, the MetPrint Digital Front End includes a number of application-specific features for labels and packaging, as well as for ceramic tile, product decoration and textile printers. Both eLab and MetPrint work seamlessly with Meteor Inkjet electronics and industry-leading printheads.
Meteor engineers used the eLab to analyse the variable data within Surgiwear’s PDF files and were able to achieve a faster throughput by configuring the RIP to look at only ten pages at a time, instead of the usual 100 pages.
The engineers at Meteor also adapted the software and reconfigured the user interface so that Surgiwear’s press operators now have a choice of printing in either two or four colours.
Surgiwear is now able to print at full capacity, fast, printing over 3,700 pages in the same time it took to print 500 pages. The printing speed is now 20 to 30 metres per minute (50 cm per second).
Dr Agrawal continues: “We worked closely with the engineers at Meteor Inkjet. Meteor was able to offer us a personal service and we felt they really understood our needs. We now have a customised solution that has enhanced our throughput and enabled us to meet challenging lead times and the business to grow.”