With a production cycle of just 1.8 seconds per CD-R, Europa Magnetics at Cramlington, Northumberland, is one of the most efficient disk manufacturing plants in Europe. To meet anti-counterfeiting requirements, they have turned to Imaje for high-speed, permanent and legible product coding solutions. These are also essential for A-grade quality disks.

Europa is part of the worldwide CMC Magnetics Corporation, which has its headquarters in Taiwan. In addition to their two plants in north east England, they have plants in Ireland, the USA, Mexico, China and Taiwan. These factories also make data storage media including floppy diskettes, CD-Rs, CD-ROMS, and DVDs. Imaje coding systems are used at all sites under a global supply and support agreement with the makers of the CD-R production equipment.

Worldwide demand for CD-Rs and DVD-Rs is booming as companies and individuals seek to store and access data, software and music. Europa makes highest quality, A-grade disks, for leading media brands and major high street retailers. Each disk needs to carry information on where, when and how it was produced, as well as a unique sequence number. This produces a string of 23 characters that must be coded.

Speed, legibility, permanence and discretion are essential coding and marking requirements. To achieve this, Europa Magnetics has installed 18 Imaje S8 Master 1.1M inkjet printers. These systems can code disks continuously at the rate of up to 40,000 disks per day. This has been achieved by integrating the Imaje printheads with the CD-R production equipment, to ensure that coding is completed as close to the manufacture as possible.

Reliability is essential in such an intensive production environment. The patented cleaning system in the S8 Master automatically rinses the print head for trouble-free start-up. Thanks to a simple plug-and-go fix, any printer can be moved from one line to another to best suit production requirements.

Commenting on the reliability of the equipment, Joe Crawford of Europa said, Since the introduction of the Imaje S8 printers, product loss is minimal. The printers are simple to use, virtually maintenance free and our operators are happy we have installed this trouble free coding solution. The service we have received from Imaje over the last ten years is also of a very high standard. We appreciate not having to think about the coding element of the production process.

Joe added, Europa continues to innovate and offer added value for its clients. A growing part of the Cramlington operation is a dedicated fulfilment unit. This undertakes contract disk pressing for the software and music industries and offers a complete package. This includes master disk engineering, pressing, design and printing of disk and case graphics and final packaging in jewel cases or cake boxes for bulk disks.

Alex Pyott, plant manager for Europa said, We have a very fast four day turnaround for this fulfilment process. We require reliable equipment to allow us to meet these strict deadlines and Imaje has assisted us in achieving this.

Europa are very good customers of Imaje and we value the opportunity to work with a company that has such a progressive and global outlook, concludes Alan Golshan, sales manager for Imaje in north east England and Scotland.

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