When we were engineering our new MFlex™ line of pressure-sensitive labeling systems, one of the top criteria was that they should be simple and sophisticated.
Part of the simplicity concerns how the packaging line operators interact with the machines.
As you are probably aware, there are plenty of choices when it comes to labeling systems and by no means all of them have a simple interface for the operators – some machines have multiple interfaces, to complicate things more.
So having just the singular point of control was a crucial part of the design of MFlex.
Simple for Normal Operation
Simple clutter-free screen for day-to-day operations.
Only shows info that is needed – no space taken up with irrelevant data.
Large easy-to-find buttons for basic machine features.
One button access the labeling head threading diagram, in case anyone wants a reminder.
The same interface for every machine configuration – no need to be constantly having to learn new interfaces.
Faster Change Overs
Other than with national mega brands, most companies are needing to be more flexible – to be able to package more SKUs, with shorter run times.
This means that packaging equipment manufacturers have a duty to make their products faster and easier to change over for the next production run – EPI certainly steps up to this challenge.
With just one HMI interface on the labeling machine, it is much easier for operators to work on getting the next job ready to run.
One of the cool features of the MFlex control system is that it is simple to save a set-up as a product recipe. This means that when that SKU is run again, selecting it on the recipe screens immediately sets the speeds for each machine module, label delays, print signal, etc.
This saves valuable time for every job change – helping to improve the overall line efficiency and keep production moving.
In addition, the settings are saved onto a USB memory key for safe backing up and providing the ability to transfer the settings database to other machines, if needed.
Finally, if the operator forgets exactly how the labels need to be threaded on the labeling head? No problem, the threading diagram can be viewed on the HMI with just one touch!
While the HMI on the MFlex system is designed to be simple for day-to-day tasks, it also offers sophisticated monitoring and diagnostics as well.
The system will tell you when things are not quite right, including if the labels are slipping in the nip roller – this shows right away if the operator has forgotten to close the lever after threading the labels.
The password-protected service screen, also allows technicians to get all the I/O status information and access more settings to be able to make changes or fix issues quickly.
Simple but Sophisticated
The HMI interface on the MFlex labelers is a large part of our simple but sophisticated goal.
Simple so that the line operators can accomplish all their tasks quickly and easily, while also providing sophisticated diagnostics and access to settings for maintenance technicians.
How about your business? Would a labeling solution that is both simple and sophisticated help your packaging operations? Maybe you’d like to learn more?