Supposed you enter the production facility or warehouse of a mechanical engineer or a company in the automation sector: Then there is a good chance that signal towers or beacons optically indicate the current operating states of machines or production lines. Or there are horns, sirens or buzzers acoustically pointing to errors or overloads, either with a permanent or alternating sound.
WERMA Signaltechnik plans and manufactures more than 3,500 types of these products at its headquarters in Rietheim-Weilheim. As regards the production and assembly of the signal devices, the printing of typeplate and packaging labels has always been a key factor. Since 2012 it is done with cab printers A4+, A2+, EOS4 and MACH4.
- Information has to be perfectly legible. After the printing scanners verify the print quality.
On the left WERMA Manager Controlling and Logistics Klaus Frey, on the right Production Manager Klaus Marquardt
Rugged devices, flexible in use
”In terms of the hardware we expect rugged, highly reliable and available devices“, says Klaus Frey. Within the task area controlling and logistics he is, amongst others, responsible for the integration of the label printers in the local infrastructure. At WERMA, square, round and punched label materials have to be applied. ”In particular“, says Mr. Frey, ”we demand high-resolution graphics for our typeplates and perfectly legible barcodes for the packaging labels.“
A software application developed by cab in conjunction with the middleware Database Connector enables printers fast and secure data access. Data can be retrieved from the database via the local server and printed on a label.
Several thousand components every day
Along the automatic production lines of the assembly area up to 6,000 components have to be labeled every day. In addition, there are several manual work stations. Here, the employees for example mark the assembled caps for modular signal towers with a typeplate, pack the element in a cardboard box and label it. An average of 10,000 products are marked with a typeplate and corresponding packaging are labeled on a daily basis.
WERMA has a high rate of in-house production. ”All moulded, electronic and punched parts that are needed for our products are manufactured in-house“, says the WERMA Production Manager Klaus Marquardt.
- Side by side with product marking – A2+ and A4+ label printers
Different printers, a common objective
EOS4 and MACH4 have been the first cab printers in use at WERMA since 2012.
The EOS series are compact printers that provide many features of large industrial printers. They can be expanded with standard components and further features. It is not necessary to buy expensive special equipment. Whereas MACH4 printers are toploaders. This means that the label materials and thermal transfer ribbons are inserted from top in a centered position in the printer. By this, these devices need no space on its left and right when the printer cover opens.
In the course of time and with the demands increasing the EOS4 and MACH4 printers have been added by the industrial printers A4+ and A2+. For the A+ printers as well as their successor series SQUIX cab offers a wide range of additional tools such as applicators for automatic labeling, external label rewinders or unwinders, cutters for separating or stackers for collecting labels. The type numbers ”2“ resp. ”4“ indicate the print widths in the unit of measurement inch. Depending on the printable resolution, the latest industrial printer generation allow 56.9 mm maximum print width (fitting for WERMA typeplates) in case of the 2“ models and 108.4 mm (for the WERMA packaging labels) when it comes to 4“ models.
Most of the several dozen cab printers at WERMA are operated in peel-off mode. In contrast to printer types cutting the label material at the jagged tear-off edge, peel-off printers separate the label from the carrier material during the printing. The benefit for the WERMA staff is literally obvious: The employee can remove the label manually and stick it on the product or the packaging.
Focus on innovation
As a result of lean structures, flexible production processes and the commitment of the employees WERMAproducts are of the highest manufacturing standard. WERMA‘s innovative sense of business has been awarded several times – for example with the Germany-wide TOP100 innovators award or with the familyNET award that specifically honors family-friendly projects.
The WERMA brand has a 67-year tradition. The productionof hair dryers was followed by buzzers andhorns, later on by optical signal devices. In 1993, a patent was applied for the modular signal tower that until then had only been known as a pre-configured tower on the market. Today, WERMA is Europe‘s leading manufacturer of optical and acoustic signal devices as well as intelligent, networked systems for process optimization. Around 310 employees at seven sites and sales agents in 35 countries represent WERMA worldwide.
Application video (in German)
- Label printer EOS4
- Label printer MACH 4S
- Label printer A2+ and A4+ | Successor model SQUIX
- Database Connector