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How to maintain ink traceability?

Ink trace BRC issue 6

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djammur

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 05:43 PM

I cannot find any topics that cover the tracing of inks.  I am struggling with this being a label printer.

Anyone have any suggestions?



Juribe

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 08:29 PM

Not really sure what you are asking, but..

 

We do not trace our inks, however all of our ink-jet printers are from the same manufacture and the ink must be purchased through them. If we ever needed to trace them we could reach out to our supplier and get a break down of lot #'s fairly easily.



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djammur

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 08:36 PM

for BRC packaging it is required.  no clue how to even begin



FurFarmandFork

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:16 PM

Just keep track of the lot numbers you use day to day on your production records.


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Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 02:25 PM

Most printers have a usage function / report that tells you how much ink is left. If your supply is new, record the ink information (item / part #), lot information then print your run of labels and then run the printer ink report and record it on a log with the ink and print job information. Your start point for the next job is remaining ink supply, just record it on the next line (if you use all the same ink). If you run out, just start a new lot for that job and record how much of that one you used. Add the lines together. This gets you specific lots tied to specific jobs.

 

We record our usage in pounds. Starting poundage for the ink lot being used and job information. Weigh the remainder after job is closed and enter it into live inventory. Remainder weight is the start poundage for the next job using that ink. We stock over 400 inks at any given time as all but a few of our print jobs are custom.



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Foodworker

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 10:19 AM

It is very hard, particularly as many mixed ink batches are then further mixed and so on. It seems the BRC has decided to limit the degree of traceability into the one step forward, one step back model which does make it a bit easier. I have never seen a mass balance reconciliation on inks that actually works.

 

I have found that thinking of the ink kitchen as almost a separate factory helps. You then apply the same logic for traceability as you would in the rest of your operation, with the printing machines being the equivalent of the customer.

 

Methods of recording of batch usage will obviously vary between companies depending upon what systems are in place. I have seen fully electronic systems with bar code capture and I have seen wholly paper based systems.

 

Don't forget to apply it to varnishes as well. I have seen them missed off several times.



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djammur

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 09:08 PM

Most printers have a usage function / report that tells you how much ink is left. If your supply is new, record the ink information (item / part #), lot information then print your run of labels and then run the printer ink report and record it on a log with the ink and print job information. Your start point for the next job is remaining ink supply, just record it on the next line (if you use all the same ink). If you run out, just start a new lot for that job and record how much of that one you used. Add the lines together. This gets you specific lots tied to specific jobs.

 

We record our usage in pounds. Starting poundage for the ink lot being used and job information. Weigh the remainder after job is closed and enter it into live inventory. Remainder weight is the start poundage for the next job using that ink. We stock over 400 inks at any given time as all but a few of our print jobs are custom.

That is not tracing the path.  That is normal inventory.



djammur

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 09:10 PM

It is very hard, particularly as many mixed ink batches are then further mixed and so on. It seems the BRC has decided to limit the degree of traceability into the one step forward, one step back model which does make it a bit easier. I have never seen a mass balance reconciliation on inks that actually works.

 

I have found that thinking of the ink kitchen as almost a separate factory helps. You then apply the same logic for traceability as you would in the rest of your operation, with the printing machines being the equivalent of the customer.

 

Methods of recording of batch usage will obviously vary between companies depending upon what systems are in place. I have seen fully electronic systems with bar code capture and I have seen wholly paper based systems.

 

Don't forget to apply it to varnishes as well. I have seen them missed off several times.

I am not seeing anywhere that it states one step back and forward.  I agree, this will either be extremely long  or just a one off.  Do you think it is feasible to trace off of the jug that is brought to press?   but then when it comes back and is mixed with the next jug, I lose it all.



beautiophile

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 06:44 AM

Do you think it is feasible to trace off of the jug that is brought to press?   but then when it comes back and is mixed with the next jug, I lose it all.

In this case, our company records both lot numbers of old & new jugs but not detailed proportions. If it is mixed again, we disregard the first one.

BRC requires best practices for accuracy. Due to something called "limit of experts", it's unlikely the Auditors know exactly what is the best practice. As long as we prove our method reasonable, they accept it.



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Foodworker

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 09:32 AM

Ink traceability is given a whole section in the Interpretation Guidelines and it is there that the one step forward one step back is mentioned. 



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Foodworker

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 10:17 AM

This is how I have implemented it:

 

Take for example 3 inks from a supplier which are mixed together to form the desired colour. You can record those 3 batch numbers fairly easily on your documentation in the same way that you would record batch numbers of paper (or whatever medium you use) This will be the one step back. You will know which finished job number(s) they have been used on and this is the one step forward.

 

At the end of the run there may be left over ink which is returned to the ink kitchen (my local terminology)

 

This is then itself mixed into a new blend for use in a new finished job number. This returned ink has now become two steps back. 

 

The process of returning blends can go on and on until there are only traces of the original blend left and linking those original batch numbers with the countless finished job numbers will be a mammoth project for what is likely to be no real value.

 

When using the returned blend, it is given a name, commonly I use "Premix" + a variation on a Julian code. This is mostly because some of the ink mixing software gets confused if nothing is used and the stock control based on weights has problems.

 

The guidelines for Issue 6 say one step back and one step forward, but they also caveat this by including the phrase best practical level of accuracy. Although I haven't carried out a traceability test yet courtesy of the virus, I think it would be possible to trace two steps back within a reasonable timeframe.

 

Hope this makes some sort of sense



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