Digital coding innovator Clearmark is celebrating its 20th anniversary by making its foray into the logistics labelling space with the launch of the innovative ICE Vector Pallet Labelling System. The ICE Vector brings to the marketplace a new high performance, low maintenance tertiary option that is exceptionally easy to integrate with line and warehouse management systems. ICE Vector completes Clearmark’s coding portfolio, enabling customers to benefit from joined-up coding solutions across their primary, secondary and tertiary operations paving the way for the factory of the future.
Unique engineering differentiators makes the ICE Vector a high performance system including: climate controlled cabin to ensure consistent print quality; robust long-reach cartesian-style arm guarantees GS1 specification label placement on all pallet configurations; a dual operator interface for continual working during ribbon/label reel changes; intelligent I/O system to seamlessly communicate with today’s highly automated warehouses. “We have been paving the way for entering the tertiary marketplace ever since we moved into secondary coding with our now flagship product, the ICE Vulcan, in 2014. Having spent the intervening years building our expertise in print & apply and honing our technology, we have developed a tertiary offering that is unmatched by anything else available on the market today” says Clearmark’sTechnical Managing Director, Chris Simpson.
The launch of ICE Vector is timely, with warehouses accelerating their investment in intelligent automation, mitigating supply chain issues (exacerbated by Brexit and the pandemic). As more products flow throughsupply chains at speed, warehouses call for smarter, faster, self-reliant systems to meet demand.
The ICE Vector Pallet Labelling System promises to deliver an attractive ROI for any high-throughput operation looking to automate its pallet labelling process, from food, beverage and pharmaceutical factories, to supply chain and logistics operations. Powerful, reliable performance and seamless integration with factory warehouse management systems (WMS) are the bedrock of the ICE Vector advantage. The ICE Vector is powered by the ICE Vulcan print engine – the fastest in its class. With a compact footprint of just 1125mm x 875mm and operational speeds of up to 100 pallets an hour, it can perform up to four label applications per pallet, with two adjacent sides to conform to GS1 specifications for SSCC pallet labelling or three sides for customer specific applications.
The ICE Vector is designed as a robust, fully enclosed system, thanks to a pneumatic guard protecting the print engine from dust and environmental conditions. Optimum conditions within the enclosure are maintained via a thermostatically controlled heater (as standard) with the doors only opening at the point when the ICE Vector is ready to label.
With a label arm reach of 650mm out of the enclosure via a sturdy 2 axis cartesian guided motion control system, label placement is accurate and repeatable on a wide range of pallet configurations. This ICE Vectoris capable of printing at up to three times faster than rival print engines and thanks to Intelligent Motion™ technology, which enables precise automatic control of the labels and ribbon feed, this translates to the removal of 80% of wear parts compared to traditional pallet labelers. The result is an incredibly low maintenance solution with the lowest cost of ownership and gives greater reliability of equipment, without traditional service intervals.
With warehouses becoming more sophisticated, system communications are having to follow suit. The ICE Vector is simple to integrate with a WMS system in an extensive range of onboard data-protocols, including both Zebra and SATO. The machine features two CLARiTY™ touchscreen interfaces. Label and ribbon changes can be executed efficiently thanks to the internal interface and the external interface gives full access to machine settings and performance information of the ICE Vector’s interface with the line PLC. Additionally, the screen can also be viewed remotely using a networked PC and standard web browser. As well as helping to mitigate coding errors and meeting retail and regulatory traceability requirements, this automated data management of SSCC codes approach can enhance Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
The Government’s recently announced capital allowance incentive for investments in new machinery and plant is providing further impetus for automation. Between now and March 2023, British manufacturers investing in qualifying plant and machinery assets will be able to benefit from 130% corporate tax relief (usually 18%) allowing the financial case to stack up.
With the introduction of the ICE Vector, Clearmark now has a coding solution for all three packaging types: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary coding applications are served by the ICE Zodiac Hawk family and the ICE Viper Plus, while the ICE Viper Plus, ICE Vulcan, ICE Torus and Zebra systems address secondary coding.
“We found that customers wanted to buy their pallet labeller from the same company that supplied their case labeller and thermal transfer overprinter – mainly for commonality of parts and operation familiarity. It has long been our goal to offer coding solutions for all of these applications, but we had to be sure we could match the performance that Clearmark is known for in primary and secondary coding applications. With theICE Vector, we believe we have achieved exactly that,” explains Chris.