Increasing your uptime and OEE

The time interval between a production line stopping for whatever reason during a planned production run and it continuing is known as uptime.

Because production line efficiency directly affects earnings, performance optimisation can have a significant impact on overall success. It can raise output and lower scheduled downtime, both of which can raise overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). A higher OEE will result in increased output, decreased waste, and support for your sustainability initiatives.

This blog post discusses the various strategies your company may use to maximise performance in order to boost output, guard against unscheduled downtime, and minimise scheduled downtime.

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What Do We Mean by Downtime?

Any time a machine or workstation is not in use, it is referred to as production downtime. This can cause production delays and revenue loss.

Production downtime falls into two categories: scheduled and unexpected. Planned production cycles include scheduled maintenance and product switchovers, but unscheduled pauses can also result from equipment faults or unanticipated material shortages.

A stunning 82% of firms encountered at least one unplanned downtime issue over the past three years, and majority have suffered two or more. Producers must ensure that their supply chains are sufficiently efficient to withstand any disruptions caused by unplanned stoppages and be ready for any eventuality.

Because reactive maintenance procedures only address equipment failures after they occur, they usually incur 50% more expenses than scheduled maintenance. Predictive and preventative techniques are ideal to increase uptime and maintain output because downtime can negatively impact OEE.

We’ll discuss the significance of CIJ and PALM technologies in this blog since they’re both essential for productive manufacturing lines. The impact of downtime can be greater than that of other technologies used in lines without that speed demand, especially when CIJ is employed in high-speed situations. Because PALM is a technology that is employed at the end of the line, even a brief delay can seriously impede the entire production line.

Typical CIJ Operation and Downtime Risk Factors

Service - Domino UK Team - Engineer 2

Printers that use continuous inkjet technology (CIJ) are designed to keep production efficiency high. However, if printers are not used carefully, they may start to produce codes that are crooked, hard to read, or altogether unreadable. This increases the possibility of waste, rework, product recalls, and even legal action, all of which have associated expenses.

We advise you to routinely examine the following to prevent downtime risk factors:

-Fitted plumbing within a cupboard
-How solenoid valves function
-Conduit repairing security
-Printhead for spills
-Visually inspect every wire.
-Pump speed for air and electrical supplies
-Examine and tidy PCBs

Print Quality Check Ink Information Operation Review
  • Ink stream alignment
  • Modulation window
  • Pressure window
  • Optimise print position and print size
  • Ink temperature
  • Operating temperature
  • Ball fall time for viscosity
  • Cooling fan
  • Positive air pump
  • External alarms and beacons
  • Indicators (ink/air)
  • Peltier device (if fitted)
  • Fault log for unusual activity
  • Safety procedures

Typical PALM Operation and Downtime Risk Factors

Pneumatic Assist_PALM

Downtime is caused by ribbon and printhead changes. These are usually planned outages for preventive maintenance. Typical print and apply operation and downtime risk factors also include human error, barcode quality issues that can result in scanning errors and issues with product traceability, printer malfunctions like jammed labels, label or ribbon shortages, incorrect label placement that can cause rework and production delays, and so on. Operator errors that occur throughout the print and apply process, such as choosing the incorrect label or inputting inaccurate data, can lead to lost time and material.

We have created a suggested outline of recommended preventative measures to implement downtime:

  1. In applications where uptime is critical, it is advisable to employ two tandem systems to eliminate the need for human interaction during consumables reloading.
  2. Operators should be restricted from making any system changes, whether related to the user interface or hardware, to avoid altering the system’s characteristics.
  3. For high-throughput production lines, the primary solutions are tamp-blow or direct wipe-on methods.
  4. In cases where using two systems is not feasible, Domino Print and Apply systems offer the advantage of reloading consumables without the requirement to fully disengage from the production line.
  5. While it is considered safer for operators to reload consumables with the system retracted from the line, it is not mandatory, as it would be with certain competing models.

Joining Forces – A Solution to Ensure Uptime

By combining two coding and marking systems into a twin system, we are able to prevent such losses. With this strategy, the production line won’t be interrupted if one system breaks down or needs maintenance because the other system can take over. Manufacturers can limit the risk of downtime and guarantee optimal production line performance by implementing a twin coding and marking system.

Using a twin coding and marking system helps enhance quality control in addition to decreasing downtime. This strategy can be especially helpful in sectors like the food and beverage or pharmaceutical industries where traceability is crucial. All things considered, putting in place a double coding and marking system is a workable and sensible way to save downtime and enhance factory quality control.

Ax-Series Autoswap

Ax AutoSwap Printing

A ‘Solutions Box’ interface keeps an eye on two Domino printers on a production line as part of the Domino AutoSwap solution, which is a print redundancy system. This box controls which Domino printer codes which product and is aware of both printers’ current statuses.

With this configuration, in the event that one of the two printers experiences an operational problem, the system can code every product using either one of the two printers, coding items alternately.

During production, if a problem occurs with any of the printers, all printing will be automatically shifted to the working printer. This eliminates production lag and enables the coding of every product utilising either one of the two printers coding all the items in the event that the other printer becomes non-operational, or both printers coding in turn.

On the production line, Axe AutoSwap brackets and Solution Box are simple to install. Any Ax-Series installation that already exists can be retrofitted with the solution.


Domino developed a Print and Apply dual system in collaboration with partners to reduce the downtime concerns related to PALM. The end product is the TLS system, which integrates a controller and two printers into a single, easily sized device that can be used in any setting. As a result, switching between them is simple and doesn’t require pausing manufacturing lines. Scheduled downtime for printhead and ribbon changes as well as maintenance can be significantly decreased using the twin labelling station (TLS). Its automatic autoswap feature will also help to control unforeseen outages.

This allows TLS to significantly raise OEE by as much as 5%. Two Domino M230i printers, which are renowned for their quick and adaptable print and apply labels, power the system. Domino has given careful consideration to the overall footprint of the system, reducing it to ensure a minimal impact on current manufacturing lines and easy integration even in confined spaces. In conclusion, the TLS was created to guarantee quick and accurate labelling while maintaining the production line’s momentum.

For more information, contact our team today!

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