The inkjet printer was developed to indelibly mark the four components of a cylinder head prior to machining and subsequent disassembly. This is required in order that the matching set of components comes together in the final assembly of the cylinder head.
Situated in the cylinder head production line of a major UK automotive manufacturer, the machine design is robust to resist the rigours of the production environment, including operator handling and the presence of swarf, coolant and other contaminants.
The cylinder head is delivered to the machine already laser-etched with a 2D barcode containing a unique identifying number. This is read by a laser code reader which uploads the information to the PLC. The PLC in turn creates an eight-digit number comprising day/day/month/month and a four-digit number identifying the individual cylinder head.
The eight-digit code is passed to a Videojet 1620 inkjet printer which prints the code onto the four components of the cylinder head. Movement of the printhead is controlled in 3D by the PLC using electric linear drives giving positional control of the printhead to within 0.1mm and is easily adjustable via the HMI screen controls.
Operator interface is by HMI supplemented with clear indicator lights and buttons to minimise operator training requirements.