Beer factory uses laser coding and marking

Edinburgh Beer Factory, a small family-run company producing craft beers, has installed a Linx CSL30 laser coding and marking solution, giving it the option to handle more production and new bottle sizes as the business continues to expand and enter export markets.

The production line at the Edinburgh Beer Factory.

Edinburgh Beer Factory is an independent brewery that was set up in 2015 on an industrial estate in Edinburgh and now employs 20 staff. The company takes inspiration from the Pop Art philosophy of Edinburgh-born artist Eduardo Paolozzi, using overlooked beer styles much as he used unsung objects to create art. 

For now, the company is using the CSL30 to code ‘Best before’ dates and batch codes on its automatic bottling line, which processes around 2,000 330ml bottles per hour. The codes have to be highly legible and to always appear in the same position on the bottles in order to match the design aesthetic of the bottles, which the CSL30 can offer. Being a laser coder, there’s no ink and no drying time or risk of smudging, an improvement on the company’s previous coding solution. 

Martin Borland, Head Brewer at Edinburgh Beer Factory, says: “We started looking into alternatives and laser technology fitted the bill, with Linx offering the most competitive price as well as a turnkey solution.”

The CSL30 can cope with a line speed of up to 900mpm and mark up to 2000 characters per second. It can print both static and variable data text, 1D/2D barcodes as well as graphics and logos

It’s controlled via LinxVision software on a colour Touch Screen, which allows the operators to make adjustments easily in a matter of minutes. This includes setting date and time, scaling the message and adjusting the laser intensity. Borland explains: “We can turn it on, type in the details, press start and forget about it all day.” 

He adds “When you process 2,000 bottles per hour, you need to be confident that your BBEs and batches are being printed, and the Linx coder gives us this. Everything we wanted – cleaner codes, more reliability, the potential to grow – we now have. It’s even more cost-effective than our previous coder. Most importantly, we’re now confident about the future because we know the machine can go faster if we need it to, and from running successful trials, we know it works well on larger bottle sizes too.” 

The CSL30 was supplied by Linx Printing Technologies, based in Cambridge, UK. The company specializes in developing continuous ink jet (CIJ) printers, case coders, laser coders, thermal transfer printers and thermal inkjet printers, mainly for coding and marking applications.  You can find further details at linxglobal.com.


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