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When Codeology was established as a new company and co-directors Jim Mason and Grant Auton set about the development, design and construction of a prototype bar code labelling and ink jet coder, they knew exactly what they wanted to create: a market-leading, out-of-the-box, reliable machine that would exceed current ITIF14 and EAN 128 standards, be of predominantly aluminium and stainless steel construction for ruggedness, and incorporate the latest technology software and Ethernet connectivity – all for an unprecedented starting price of £12,500.   Proof that they got it right is the fact that 14 of the P Series outer case bar code labellers were installed within ten months of launch, to UK companies predominantly in the food industry, plus distributorship’s in Spain and Ireland were agreed, and others are currently being discussed. For Jim Mason, an experienced electrical engineer and the man responsible for the design specification, heavy reliance was put on bought-in components and sub- contracted machined parts, including sheet metal casings, to enable Codeology’s small workforce to manufacture the units. “But right from the start, when developing the prototype, we identified a possible major problem area,” he reflects, “and that was determining the best way to actually fasten together the sheet metal housings.” He continues: “I admit I needed help in deciding the easiest, best and most cost-effective way to build the product, so I spoke to our supplier of laser cut sheet metal parts and it was recommended we contact Northern Precision,” the independent market-leading single-source supplier of fastenings as well as special- purpose turned and cold-formed parts.   “That was one of the most fruitful ‘phone calls I’ve ever made; the Doncaster-based Northern Precision team immediately understood my dilemmas and explained how to satisfy them with their wide range of standard self-clinch fasteners “Processing sheet material of 1.2 mm to 3 mm thick, we’re using around a dozen different sizes of M3 and M4 stainless steel self-clinch products from Northern Precision, and we frequently use the company’s comprehensive website and ongoing technical support resource [in particular the company’s mobile technical sales representative] as part of our continual improvement programme. “A good example of this is when we developed the I Series ink jet printer; we simply followed Northern Precision’s recommendations regarding the appropriate fastening points and correct choice of fasteners. And while it may seem small fish, I like it that Northern Precision does not have a minimum order charge, unlike other suppliers of fasteners. “Put all these factors together, and it is no wonder that we source all our fasteners from Northern Precision.”   Explaining that, following field trials, the prototype labeller was refined and continues to be subjected to a programme of continual improvement – hence more Northern Precision fastenings have replaced welding in certain applications - Grant Auton says: “With a lot of experience in this marketplace, both Jim and I knew from the outset that we wanted a product that was durable, easy to set up and simple to use - and we have achieved this, thanks to the help of suppliers like Northern Precision.   “We wanted to steer away from the traditional build principles of mild steel components and powder coating paint finish, and use materials and construction methods that would result in equipment that would withstand the demands of today’s 24/7 manufacturing ethos yet also be cost-effective for users.   “The success of the product has really provided Codeology with the springboard for establishing us in a short space of time as a major player with a number of associated products (print software, large character ink jet printer and industrial computer system) for a wide range of applications from ready-meal production, pharmaceuticals, timber and wallpaper production through to flat-pack furniture – in fact, any industry that needs to bar code and label products.”   Issued December 2006 on behalf of: Northern Precision Ltd, Unit 3 Durham Lane, Armthorpe, Doncaster DN3 3FE Tel: 01302 836010 Fax: 01302 836012 Web site: Contact: Mr. Steve Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing Editorial enquiries: Read other news from 2006
Codeology Application using various Self Clinching Fasteners from Northern Precision Ltd Codeology Labeling Machine NP
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