FAQs

Coding technologies

What hardware do I need to use CLARiSUITE?

CLARiSUITE only requires a good specification PC, with a mouse and keyboard. For CLARiNET to be used, a NIC (network interface card), and connection to the LAN used by the printers is necessary.

Can I connect other software to CLARiSUITE?

Yes, CLARiSUITE has ODBC capability (open database connectivity), this means that data may be sourced from a variety of compatible platforms, including Access, SQL, Excel etc.

The CIFF template is still required, however, data for some of the fields may be populated from one or more data sources.
CLARiNET has an API (application programming interface). This allows software developers to interact with CLARiNET from their own application.

CLARiNET also has an OPC server (open platform communication), this allows CLARiNET to connect directly to factory automation systems, allowing control of printed data and logged information to be managed directly. The OPC server operates as a service, meaning the CLARiNET application does not need to be running for the server to be effective.

Can CLARiSUITE be used with non-ICE or Videojet products?

Yes, there are other drivers available, although support for these may be limited since it is dependent on documentation and support from other manufacturers. The Zebra printer is supported as standard since its protocol is widely documented and the Zebra product is in common use.

I have lost my CLARiSOFT software dongle. How do I request a replacement?

The CLARiSOFT license is held on the dongle supplied and unfortunately, we are not able to supply replacement dongles for individual licenses. However, we are happy to consider unusual circumstances and would always endeavour to work with you to ensure a new order for the software is processed quickly to get you up and running.

We do hold stock of the software in house and are able to supply on a same or next day delivery service, if required.

Please contact the After Care team on 01159 640144 to discuss your requirements or email aftersales@uk.interactivecoding.com.

I need help to design a label in CLARiSOFT. Can you help?

We provide a label design service for all customers. Please contact the Technical Support team on 01159 640144 to discuss your requirements.

When is technical support available?

Technical support is available during office hours 8.00 – 17.30, Monday to Friday by calling 01159 640144.

If support is required during the evening or weekend, customers should telephone the main office phone number above and the call will be diverted to an out of hours support service.

Where do I send a purchase order to?

Please send all purchase orders to aftersales@uk.interactivecoding.com

For all queries relating to invoices, payments and accounts, please email accounts@uk.interactivecoding.com or call 01159 640144.

Do you offer a replacement service whilst our printer is in for repair?

We offer rental machines for the duration of the repair and can provide a swap out service if required.

How long does a typical Zodiac repair take?

We will endeavour to evaluate all repairs within 2-3 days. A purchase order number is required before any repairs are made.

Once we have authorisation we will aim to ship the repair back within 2-3 days. We will keep in touch with you by email throughout the whole process.

Do you have a recommended spare parts package to keep on site?

We can provide a recommended spare parts package for your specific coder or to cover your install base, to ensure you have the most critical items on-site should you require them.

What’s the difference between ICE spare parts and spares available from other suppliers?

ICE spare parts have been developed specifically for the machines and are produced to the highest quality to maximise the performance of your coder. We cannot vouch for spare parts supplied from other suppliers and how these may affect the efficiency or print quality of your ICE coder.

The use of non-ICE spare parts will invalidate your printer warranty.

How do I select the correct ribbon for my applications?

We offer an extensive portfolio of ribbon grades in various widths, lengths and colours.

We match the correct ribbon to each specific application to ensure print quality, speed and durability requirements are met.

Please contact the Aftercare team to discuss how we can help you find the most suitable ribbon for your operation.

aftersales@uk.interactivecoding.com

Do you offer maintenance support/scheduled servicing?

Yes, we do!

We offer Preventative Maintenance Service contracts which provide scheduled maintenance days to help prevent downtime and ensure coders are working at optimum efficiency.

We recommend that each coder on-site is serviced a minimum of twice per annum. The length of each visit depends on how many coders the customer has on-site – Engineers can service up to 6 coders in 1 day.

The average contract includes 2 x 1-day visits to be scheduled within a 12 month period (if 6 or fewer coders on-site). A 10% discount is applied to our standard day rate.

If you would like to book maintenance support/scheduled servicing or have any questions, please contact our Aftercare team by email at enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.com or call on 01159 640 144.

When you contact us, please confirm the following:

– Is this an urgent requirement? I.e. Do you have you got a machine down currently?
– Do you require a one-off service or an annual service schedule?
– How many coders have you got on-site and what type of coder(s) do you have? Ie Vulcan, TIJ, Zodiac, Hawk or x3 Hawk and 1x Vulcan.
– Would you require weekend support?

My coder is broken. Help!

If you have an issue with your coder, please send an email to enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.com

You may also call us on 01159 640 144.

Please provide the following details when you contact us so we can best help you:

  • Is your production line down due to the coder issue?
  • Do you have an issue with an ICE coder? If yes, what is the serial number of your coder?
  • Do you have a Preventative Maintenance Service Contract (PMSC)?
  • What is your machine type? E.g., Zodiac, Torus, Viper, Hawk or Vulcan?
  • Do you have an error code or description? If yes, please quote the error code or description.
  • Is your coder issue due to a damaged/broken part?
  • Please provide your contact information and address (including the postcode) where the coder is installed.
How long will a Zodiac printhead last?

There is no standard lifetime value of a printhead as this varies based on; the application, settings, size of the print, substrate, ribbon run, and whether genuine ICE printheads are being used.

Is the Zodiac printhead covered under warranty?

The Zodiac printhead is not covered by the standard printer warranty.

What is printhead resistance?

A thermal printhead comprises a linear array of printing elements, or “dots”. Each dot is a tiny resistor and printhead resistance is a measure of the total resistance of all the dots. This resistance will vary from printhead to printhead due to manufacturing tolerance. The actual resistance of a printhead fitted to a thermal printer is critical to correct operation because the printhead resistance is a key parameter used by a control algorithm to decide on the amount of power to supply to the printhead in order to achieve good print quality.

Many printers require the user/engineer to manually enter the printhead resistance via dip-switches on the main control PCB each time a new printhead is fitted to the machine. This can lead to errors and consequent poor performance of the machine. The Zodiac avoids this by allowing the operator to enter the resistance (4-DIGIT) value using the main CLARiTY user interface.

What operating system is used by the Zodiac Range?

The Zodiac range uses the CLARiSUITETM operating system. This is used across allICE coders. To find out more about CLARiSUITETM, please click here.

What label design software is required by the Zodiac Range?

The Zodiac range uses CLARiSOFTTM label design software. This is used across all ICE coders. To find out more about CLARiSOFTTM, please click here.

Industry news & regulations

Do you supply training?

Yes, we do!

We recommend training at Clearmark HQ – bespoke facilities which include test rigs to gain hands-on experience to help with maintenance and identifying parts, attendees would not be distracted, gives the opportunity to meet Clearmark staff members & fellow engineers/operators.

Scheduled days here at ICE are usually from 9am - 4pm, lunch provided, discounted hotel rates available if required. Certificate provided at the end of training days. Demo room available to show other technologies.

If we were coming to site for training, we would need to ensure that the line is available and that there is a training room the engineer could use.

If you would like to book some training or have any questions, please contact our Aftercare team by email at enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.com or call on 01159 640 144.

When you contact us, please confirm the following:

– What machine(s) do you need training for? E.g., Zodiac, Viper, Vulcan or Clarisoft software training?
– If you require training for Hawk or Zodiac, would you like standard 1-day or advanced 2-day course?
– Is engineer or operator training required?
– Do you need on-site or in-house training?
– How many attendees will need to be trained?

Do you sell labels?

Yes, we offer packages of ribbon and labels based on planned production to ensure that you have matched quantities on site.

If you would like to order labels or have any questions, please contact our Aftercare team by email at enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.com or call on 01159 640 144.

If you have a Vulcan machine, please provide the following details:

– Company details
– Contact details
– Serial number(s) of your Vulcan coder(s)

We also provide labels for other models. If you have a different coder, please confirm:

– Coder make and model
– Size or specification of label required
– Company details
– Contact details

Do you sell ink?

Yes, we offer a range of high-performance ink formulations for use with our Viper, Scorpion and Torus ranges to support applications in primary packaging, case and tray coding.

Please note that we only supply black ink.

If you would like to order ink or have any questions, please contact our Aftercare team by email at enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.com or call on 01159 640 144.

Please provide as much information as you can so that we can offer you the best solutions. Useful information includes:

– Is this for a new installation?
– What coder do you have? E.g., a Continuous Inkjet or Thermal Inkjet coder?
– Will you be printing on to a porous or glossy substrate?
– Do you need water-based or solvent ink?

Do you sell ribbon?

Yes, we stock an extensive portfolio of different ribbon grades, colours, width and lengths to meet your application requirements.

If you would like to order ribbon or have any questions, please contact our Aftercare team by email at enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.com or call on 01159 640 144.

Please provide as much information as you can so that we can offer you the best solutions. Useful information includes:

– Is this for a new installation?
– What coder do you have? E.g., is it Zodiac 53 mm/107mm or a Vulcan 76mm/107mm?
– What are you printing on to?
– What colour/width, length ribbon do you need?
– Are there any environmental factors? E.g., oil, water, heat, water, freezing, grease etc.
– Existing installations only: What is the serial number of your coder?

How may I place an order?

Please send your order request to us via email to enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.com

You may also call us on 01159 640 144.

However you choose to place your order, please ensure that you confirm the following details:

– Company name and address including your postcode
– Delivery address (if applicable)
– Your contact details such as phone number, mobile number and email address
– Details of the item(s) you would like to order

Our Aftercare team also provide support for consumables such as print heads, ribbons and inks, service and maintenance, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and extended warranty policies.

How does Thermal Transfer (TTO) technology work?

TTO is a contact print process that is able to print high-quality codes at excellent resolution across a range of flexible packaging materials. The process uses thermal energy to transfer ink from a carrier material (e.g. ribbon) to the packaging material. The process is very clean and versatile.

The process allows for printing directly onto packaging media and is therefore efficient in terms of process and material costs.

What is the print area for a Zodiac?
Zodiac Hawk

Intermittent mode: 53mm (W) x 75mm (L)

Continuous mode: 53mm (W) x 200mm (L)

Zodiac Eagle

Intermittent mode: 107mm (W) x 75mm (L)

Continuous mode: 107mm (W) x 200mm (L)

Zodiac Falcon

Intermittent mode: 32mm (W) x 75mm (L)

Continuous mode: 32mm (W) x 200mm (L)

What OEM machinery can the Zodiac integrate with?

The Zodiac range can easily integrate with OEM packaging machinery. Our design team hold a library of over a thousand successful integration solutions, covering an extensive range of OEM packaging machinery, including:

  • HFFS Flowrappers
  • VFFS Baggers
  • Thermoformers
  • Traysealers
  • Sleevers
  • Sachet Machinery
  • Netting Machinery
  • Label Applicators
  • Bag Making Machines
  • Roll-stock machines
  • Banding machines
Is zero downtime or auto-changeover available with the Zodiac?

Yes. This can be achieved by setting up a Master Zodiac and up to three Zodiac Slave printers (Zero Downtime module required depending on the application) to ensure no printer downtime on the packaging line.

What’s the difference between a genuine ICE printhead and a third party printhead?

Genuine ICE printheads are marked with a label to quickly identify that they are genuine ICE parts. There are a number of third-party suppliers offering modified parts, claiming that they are genuine when they are not. The fake items are modified by drilling additional holes into the heatsink of the device. This creates a substantial risk of damaging the electronic components within the device. Modified parts also reduce print quality, printhead life and invalidate the warranty on your ICE coder.

What daily maintenance does the Zodiac require?

The Zodiac Range is designed to require very little maintenance, particularly compared to competitor products.

To maintain print quality it is recommended that the printhead is cleaned at every ribbon change using printhead wipes. For details on how to clean a Zodiac printhead, please watch the tutorial here.

Keeping the Zodiac printhead clean and the machine generally free of debris is the only routine maintenance required to keep the Zodiac running in top condition. Further information can be found in the Zodiac Operator Manual.

Can the Zodiac accept Markem, Zebra and SATO designed labels?

The Zodiac range can emulate other printers using the following protocols;

  • CimComms to accept Smartdate 2 and 3 labels from software packages such as Colos
  • ZPLII to accept Zebra labels from software packages such as ZebraDesigner
  • SATO to accept SATO labels from software packages such as LabelGallery
  • Windows Driver– Zodiac can be added/installed on any PC as a standard windows printer.