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Thermal Transfer is the most widely used printing technology in the world for marking product identification and traceability data.







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Armor News


Big Plans for ARMOR Canada in 2020

ARMOR’s plan to be the 1st true manufacturer to settle in Canada proved to be right after the company’s arrival in 2016. It was their firm belief that servicing directly from Canada would bring benefits to ARMOR partners, and so far, this belief has been confirmed.

ARMOR continues to invest in new equipment and staff, which they estimate will lead to a 50% increase in production capacity in 2020.

Recently ARMOR Canada has also been awarded the ISO 9001 certification, which indicates a more efficient and organized operation with a focus on continuous improvement and exceptional service. This also means faster and more precise delivery times for customers.

To go along with this certification, they have a target to be ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 45001 (safety) certified in the next calendar year.

ARMOR Canada also offers the new inkanto brand of ribbons, which guarantee a lifetime warranty and have a very appealing appearance. ARMOR places its customers at the heart of their daily routine and always strives to satisfy their thermal transfer needs.


ARMOR USA Celebrates 20 Years in the Americas

The ARMOR Group, headquartered in Nantes, France, is a pioneer in Thermal Transfer Ribbon technology. Manufacturing in Europe since 1983, the group opened a facility in Hebron, KY (adjacent to Cincinnati Airport) in 1999, and opened another in Singapore shortly thereafter. The global footprint has been expanding ever since with now more than 13 manufacturing sites all over the world.

ARMOR USA has grown to a staff of just under 90, many of whom reside locally in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area. Scott Morgan is one of the original employees that continue to work as the North American Technical Sales Manager: “ARMOR USA started with 8 people and 11,000 square feet and has grown to 81,000 square feet” This is only part of the success story at the Americas headquarters. An expansion is planned for 2020, which will bring the total square footage to over 100,000 square feet. 

Morgan continues...“The most significant change is the automation we’ve added over the years. We’ve pioneered robotic automation for the converting and handling of Thermal Transfer film, which was conceived and designed solely by the ARMOR Group. This separates ARMOR from other actors in our industry and brings a level of productivity, quality, and consistency that is unrivalled.” 

Vice President of Operations of the Americas Ryan Heitkamp, notes: “We have become more automated in many ways beyond robotics, including adding vision systems, scanners, MES... which have also brought a lot of process improvements and efficiencies” 

Heitkamp is proud to add... “ARMOR’s automation and innovation doesn’t necessarily replace our most important asset - our employees. It helps existing workers increase productivity, improving competitiveness, and reduces work-related physical stress.” 

An example of this is the 2018 addition of a robotic palletizer, added to one of their high-speed packing lines, which precisely places cartons onto a pallet and is responsible for palletizing 63% of ARMOR USA’s total volume of packaged rolls. This results in an estimated 2.9 million pounds of weight that is no longer handled by operators. 

Randy Culman, Vice President of Finance & Administration, says: “In parallel with automation, our expansion in the Americas has been impressive. ARMOR has opened production facilities in Brazil (2007), Mexico (2014), Canada (2017) and Colombia (2018)… All of these were projects led by ARMOR USA administrative and operational personnel.” 

Since 2011, ARMOR USA’s sales volume has increased by 170%. Furthermore, in the American zone, they have grown by 240%. This is all thanks to an initial employee base that has paved the way for new personnel and projects.  

As testament to the longevity of ARMOR’s commitment to their global workforce, 18 employees in ARMOR USA have remained with us for 15 years or more,” proudly adds Chris Walker, VP & General Manager, who celebrated 20 years in ARMOR USA and 30 years with ARMOR Group Industrial Coding and Printing (AICP) in 2019. 


Automation Continues to Assist Workers at ARMOR USA

After almost a year of planning and installation, the palletizing robot joined the ARMOR USA plant last September. Many departments were mobilized and involved in the implementation of this robot, and the production line that utilizes it is already seeing the benefits in terms of handling. Among these benefits is a 20% increase in overall productivity.
The composition of the palletizing robot includes an articulated arm that can move any type of load onto a pallet with great precision. Due to its well-defined angle and direction of rotation, it can handle several pallets at a time.
Installed on a production line that is responsible for 63% of ARMOR USA’s total volume of packaged rolls, this robot palletizes about 250,000 boxes every year. This results in an estimated 1.3 million kg (2.9 million lb) of weight that is no longer handled by operators. It also makes it possible to improve quality through a label scanning system.
The continuous improvement, maintenance, automation and IT services have opened the door to carry out this project and its ensuing benefits, which have become a tremendous asset for ARMOR USA. ARMOR continues to invest in improving its processes, placing manufacturing quality and the working conditions of its employees at the heart of its future endeavors.


Ultra V by ARMOR

The Wax resin now made by ARMOR

Following the acquisition of Iconex business and IP in October 2018, ARMOR now produces the famous Ultra V Thermal Transfer ribbon with its own coating equipment, and officially adds this ribbon to its product portfolio.
This change to ARMOR Ultra V makes no visible change for users, and of course, its key characteristics remain the same: a great wax resin ribbon for flat head printers, printing with an exceptional darkness on a wide variety of receptors.
Do not hesitate to request Ultra V samples to your usual ARMOR representative.


ARMOR and AVERY share their labelling expertise in India

ARMOR takes part in the Avery Dennison Innovation and Knowledge Centre (ADIKC), sharing its knowledge in this dedicated platform for customers.

With this partnership formalized in October 2018, ARMOR provide its expertise to the ADIKC in terms of variable printing.

Naveen Serrao, manager, Labels and Graphic Material, SAPSSA Knowledge Centre, Avery Dennison Innovation & Knowledge Centre explained:
“There was a gap in the variable data printing knowledge base at ADIKC that has been successfully bridged with the introduction of ARMOR.
This collaboration is aimed at educating customers on the concept and benefits of thermal transfer printing and to update them about new developments in this field.
ARMOR has offered strong technical support that remains available to customers at ADIKC, which provides training to customers and does customized testing for them as well while also helping them with any trouble shooting that may be required.”

Inaugurated in September 2017, the ADIKC is a facility developed to support the Label Industry, based in Pune, India. It houses a knowledge center that offers label & graphics conversion and application training programs (theoretical and practical) to support customers and end users.
ARMOR assisted with module development, conducting trainings and sharing technical presentations with Avery Dennison lab.
ARMOR is now part of the Avery Dennison Innovation & Knowledge Centre (ADIKC) training modules.
Naveen Serrao, Ramesh Desai from Avery Dennison and Eileen Ang from ARMOR are at your disposal should need any further information:
photo credit by Label & Labelling

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