Mitec Enginy, a Catalonia-based automation company, approached Engineered Printing Solutions in 2018 looking for a solution to decorate mousetraps.
Previously, EPS and Mitec had collaborated on a product-marking solution for rat traps, using pad printing machines, and Mitec was looking for something similar, but with much higher throughput.The target throughput for mouse traps was one per second, and initially, EPS started designing an analog solution involving multiple pad print machines each with two pads.
However, even with the cost and complexity of multiple pad print machines, we still were unable to meet the throughput goals, particularly since as speed increased, so too did dust from the wooden parts increase, necessitating more frequent pad cleaning and thus hampering throughput. The two companies began discussing digital solutions, and EPS designed a singlepass inkjet printer with a bowl feeder and optical error detection. This system decorates 100 parts per minute, or just over half a second per part.
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