Martin-Baker, world leader in aircraft escape systems, has enjoyed a long association with Imaje spanning more than 14 years. Every component used in Martin-Bakers aircraft ejection seats has to be identified by a product and batch code, together with other specific traceability information. When you consider that one ejection seat comprises approximately 2,000 component parts, this is no mean task.
To help them, Martin-Baker has invested in both S7 and S8 Imaje non-contact inkjet printers, many fitted with the unique Imaje handgun. The Imaje printers code approximately 90% of the components that make up an ejection seat. These components are manufactured from a variety of materials, including anodised and painted aluminium, stainless steel and titanium. The Imaje inkjet printers run on either black or white ink depending on the colour of the substrate, to ensure high visibility of the code.
The compact S7 inkjet printers are wall-mounted with a user-friendly hand-held programming terminal. The S7s can print up to 4 lines of variable information. Martin-Baker also chose S8 bi-jet printers to give them increased flexibility to code up to 8 lines of text, if required. The handgun attachment allows operators to code individual parts, as and when required, with greater accuracy, increased speed and enhanced results.
Previously Martin-Baker used Markall machines for all their coding and marking requirements which involved block lettering and impression stamping. This method of marking was slow and resulted in a low quality code. Our companys products are noted for their innovative design and with increased complexity comes an increase in the number of components utilised. We recognised that we needed a versatile system for coding the varying sizes of components quickly and above all with ease, explained Martin-Bakers Production Engineer, John Hooley.
The differing sizes of the components meant that they didnt lend themselves to a conventional production line coding method. We were first attracted to Imaje because of their unique handgun system. This allows us to quickly code the various sizes and shapes of components and also gives us increased flexibility in where we choose to locate the code.
Mr Hooley continued, The Imaje printers also offer a highly improved definition of identification and a consistently good quality code. The speed at which we can code our components has increased and as a consequence we have been able to achieve a higher throughput of work. Last, but by no means least, this method of coding results in a far cleaner and more efficient working environment.
Martin-Baker ejection seats have saved in excess of 7000 lives to date. Their systems must operate correctly first time, every time. Rigorous testing is imperative and if one component fails, the complete batch is withdrawn. Nathan Mathews, Imaje Area Sales Manager, commented, Martin-Baker have a strong reputation for reliability and quality and expect the same from their suppliers. Imaje have built up a good working relationship with Martin-Baker over the years and we aim to consistently deliver the level of service they require. Fortunately, they understand the importance of regular servicing of their equipment to ensure reliability is not compromised. Their operators are also fully trained on the Imaje equipment and have the necessary knowledge to solve any minor problems that may occur.