With Industry 4.0 on the horizon, Australian manufacturers need to invest in technologies capable of growing with their evolving business and manufacturing needs.


Matthews Australasia, exhibiting on Stand 59 at AUSPACK 2017, will show how the smarter Linx 8900 can expand flexibility, connectivity and customisation.


Trent Munro, coding technologies product manager with Linx distributor Matthews Australasia, said manufacturers traditionally considered product identification technology such as continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers with lower priority compared with larger packaging equipment.


“However, they are a crucial element that facilitates business visibility through item traceability, and the additional hardware and software upgrade options just launched on the Linx 8900 coder series have furthered increased their functionality and versatility.


“Linx coders have always been regarded as very reliable – ensuring continual performance and minimal downtime. Now with these new enhancements, they have even greater flexibility, enabling companies to identify ways to improve productivity.


“It’s all about making coding equipment more easily integrated with ancillary equipment, and this new update allows optional on-board – configuration dependent – capability to connect to other devices such as PLCs and multi-stage alarm beacons. The benefit is, that in the event of a problem somewhere on the production line, related equipment can stop at the same time and operators can resolve the issue before restarting the line more quickly.”


Munro said multi-stage alarm beacons can now be configured on-board to individual customer needs, and each light on the alarm can indicate different printer condition.


“This allows better autonomy and customisation in the hands of our customers.”


He said having user-customisable features is not new for the 8900 Series, which has now expanded that ability to create customised date-and-time formats, allowing companies to be highly flexible in meeting a variety of specific customer needs, for example in the contract packing sector.


With improvements to message types and print speeds, Munro said the Linx 8900 Series is capable of printing both human and machine-readable codes and incorporates a wealth of features that speed up day-to-day operation and maintenance.


Food & Drink Business

COVID-19 has provided the disruption needed to change thinking around Australian manufacturing, Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said in her National Press Club address (20 May). Andrews said disruption to global supply chains was a wake-up call for many businesses.

Fonterra Co-operative Group recorded $815 million normalised earnings before interest and tax for the nine months to 30 April. CEO Miles Hurrell said it was a $301 million increase on the corresponding period last year.

Consultancy firm BMA Group is hosting a webinar on managing costs in times of uncertainty on 28 May.