Versatile ACF-400 Carton Coder


Norwood Marking Systems / Allen Coding Systems introduces the new ACF-400 Carton Coder. Available with either thermal transfer or hot foil printing technology, this versatile off-line carton coder handles the widest range of cartons, sleeves, blister packs and leaflets from 0.1 to 6 mm thick with fast and easy changeovers. As the only carton coder in the world that handles both “crash lock” cartons and blister cards, the ACF-400 offers unparalleled production flexibility. Ideal for foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, chemicals and other products, the stainless steel ACF-400 operates in either intermittent or continuous motion mode and can be quickly switched via a setting on the touchpad. Machine parameters such as speed, index length and batch quantity are also set via the touchpad. Compared to traditional carton coders that typically take from five to 20 minutes to change over from one carton size to another, the ACF-400 can be changed over in only one minute with no tools and no changeparts. The servo-driven ACF-400 transports cartons using a bottom belt and an upper pressure roller, which allows the coder to handle complex shapes, odd sizes and thinner material while achieving excellent registration. Unlike traditional belt roller systems with a “dead area” within the print area, the ACF-400 can print anywhere within the capability of the printhead. The unique belt configuration also allows operators to safely remove printed cartons from the discharge area while the system is running. The ACF-400 handles cartons from 2 x 2.75 inches (50 x 70 mm) to 15.75 x 15.75 inches (400 x 400 mm) in size. If equipped with Norwood / Allen’s large format NGT 8 thermal transfer printer, the ACF-400 can achieve a print area as large as 8.4 x 4 inches (213 x 100 mm). If equipped with Norwood / Allen’s 60/35S hot stamp printer, the ACF-400 can produce a print area up to 2.4 x 1.4 inches (60 x 35 mm). This compact off-line carton coder sits on castor wheels so it can be easily moved from one area to another. Manufactured with robust components by Norwood / Allen’s German distributor, ac codiergeräte GmbH, the ACF-400 maximizes reliability and uptime. It operates at speeds of up to 262 feet (80 m) per minute, printing batch and production codes, expiration and sell-by dates, logos, barcodes and other graphics, depeding on the capabilities of the printhead that is integrated. To assure the highest print accuracy, the ACF-400 offers two special features. One measures the thickness of the carton and stops the machine if two cartons are drawn at once, thereby eliminating the possibility that an unprinted carton finds its way to final packaging. Another feature, designed for blister cards with windows, allows the ACF-400 to measure the length of each card and control the print signal to eliminate the possibility that a sensor mistakes the window for the next card and a blister card receives two imprints instead of one. Norwood / Allen can equip the ACF-400 Carton Coder with a wide range of options. Bar code scanners/verifiers, blob detectors, vision inspection and print verification assure the highest quality product. The extra-long ACF-400 can be fitted with multiple printheads so a single run on a four-printhead system achieves the same results as four passes on a single printhead system.
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