Xcheck die-cutting monitor from Baumer hhs

Reads 2D barcodes to monitor product mix-ups in sheetfed die cutters

The Xcheck DCM is operated from a 15.6” touch display that runs the Xtend operating software from Baumer hhs

Baumer hhs has introduced the Xcheck DCM (die-cutting monitor), its latest-generation camera system for monitoring product mix-ups in sheetfed die cutters— yet another innovation that the company has brought to market for folding carton manufacturers.

This new quality control system can reliably read and decode not only 1D barcodes, but also 2D data matrix and QR barcodes, giving the Xcheck DCM a unique selling point in the market.

“Customers in the folding carton industry have wanted the option of using 2D barcodes to monitor product mix-ups in die cutters for a long time. But this method of quality control places very high demands on the capabilities of the camera equipment and on decoding the data it reads. We have now cleared this hurdle with our high-end SmartCam DCM camera, developed by our experts specifically for the Xcheck DCM system. The camera’s extremely high read rate is perfectly attuned to our latest-generation Xtend3 controller. With this solution, sheetfed die cutters can now be monitored for product mix-ups using 2D barcodes at maximum production speeds,” explains Ralf Scharf, Folding Carton Business Development manager at Baumer hhs.

Two-dimensional data matrix and QR codes offer the advantage of storing a lot of data on a small area. They take up very little space, for example on the glue flaps of pharmaceutical or food packaging. Compared to conventional 1D barcodes, they can be of lower contrast and are readable even if parts of the code surface are damaged (max. 30%). They can also be read in any position. These advantages increase reliability in reading the codes, and therefore in the overall process of monitoring product mix-ups. 

“Our new SmartCam DCM works with monochrome detection, which permits extremely fast decoding and analysis of 2D codes. If a wrong sheet is detected, the Xcheck DCM can stop the flat-bed die cutter before the sheet reaches the grippers of the feed unit. The machine operator can remove it from the feeder table and immediately restart the die-cutting process. In short, the Xcheck DCM rules out the risk of die-cutting the wrong sheets and of these blanks advancing to your folder gluer,” says Scharf.

Because the SmartCam DCM is a matrix camera, it can reliably read codes even if sheets are still moving slightly. This means the Xcheck DCM is also suitable for use in the newest die cutters, which are equipped with register systems that position sheets while they are in motion.

The Xcheck DCM can monitor product mix-ups from top or bottom. The latter configuration is required, for instance, when processing blister packs with back printing, pharmaceutical packaging with inside printing or laminated and printed microflute. For these applications, the system can be flexibly adapted to customer needs. The same applies to sheetfed die cutters with dynamic feed systems. Finally, the new camera can easily be integrated in existing die cutters as a standalone system to monitor product mix-ups. In this case, the SmartCam DCM can be flexibly positioned using machine-specific adjustable crosspieces. 

Solutions from Baumer hhs are used in the folding carton and corrugated board industry, in print finishing, special-purpose machines and many other applications.

The Xcheck DCM is operated from a 15.6” touch display that runs the Xtend operating software from Baumer hhs. It offers the same intuitive ease-of-use which is already so well-known in the market from Baumer hhs’s Xtend controllers, and which customers all over the world have come to rely on. Xtend also displays statistical information for machine operators that indicates if they need to intervene in the process.

Xcheck is the name of the product line under which Baumer hhs develops and markets sensors and camera systems for quality assurance in packaging production. “Xcheck DCM is another step on the way to zero-defect production in the folding carton segment. In fact, a lot speaks in favour of performing an initial check for product mix-ups during the die-cutting process. Filtering out mixed-up sheets at this early stage benefits the productivity of the folder gluer. In addition, folder gluers that run continuously are more reliable in achieving consistent quality. But because mix-ups can still occur after die-cutting, it’s important not to eliminate the check in the folder gluer,” Scharf points out. 

In addition to 2D data matrix and QR barcodes, the SmartCam DCM also reads standard, Pharmacode and EAN/UPC barcodes.

Baumer hhs is an internationally operating manufacturer of industrial gluing systems in conjunction with quality assurance and camera verification systems. Baumer hhs offers its customers a carefully coordinated portfolio of solutions for a host of different demands on cold glue and hot melt application in automated production environments, including application heads, pumps, pressure vessels, control and monitoring systems. 

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

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