The automated process is an impressive sight, according to Mark Finley, vice president of manufacturing at Superior Printing Ink, who says that Superior employees previously had filled cartridges by hand using three roller mills.
“Now, a conveyer delivers the cartridges from a hopper raising them up to the loading station, which sets them upright,” Mr. Finley explained. Then the cartridges move along in a vertical fashion through a series of stations that first spray non-skinning antioxidant inside the cylinder, moving to the dispensing station. Then antioxidant is sprayed on top, sending them to the plunger insertion station and finally delivering them to a conveyer, where they are labeled and deposited on an accumulation table and boxed.
“The new filling system is fed by large batch tubs each holding some 2,700 pounds of ink, which are placed in a press-out unit operating at up to 2,500 psi,” Mr. Finley added. Ink is forced out by means of a large piston and press plate coming down on top of the ink, feeding the ink through a hose into the filling unit.