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Ensuring compliance and increasing throughput through automation

27 August 2017

Dawnfresh has invested in automation to ensure it complies with retailers’ codes of practice related to label and date code errors. This has also delivered a 10% uplift in packaging line throughput. 

Based in Scotland, Dawnfresh is a producer of fish and seafood for foodservice and retail, both in the UK and around the world.
The company has invested in a single automated system to control its packaging lines and integrate existing packaging devices to ensure that the correct packaging and labelling is applied before products leave the factory. 

Phil Cassidy, technical director at Dawnfresh explains why the company chose OAL’s Label and Date Code Verification System for this purpose. “Dawnfresh chose OAL because its system met our specification and more. The company really understood the challenges we faced and the solution has also helped improve visibility on the packaging line.”
The company had originally installed an autocoding system in 2010 but it was deemed to be unfit for purpose due to inadequate scanning and training. It was putting Dawnfresh at risk from product recalls and withdrawals that could jeopardise its brand reputation and customer relationships and could also have resulted in high fines. 

The failed system was also resulting in significant downtime because of unnecessary interruptions and stoppages to production. 

Wayne Johnson, head of OAL Connected, provides further insight into the use of automation for packaging line control and retailer code of practice: “Working with retailers, we are seeing tougher requirements for packaging line control as the cost of failure increases. This is driving the replacement of existing autocoding systems as they fail to meet the requirements typically because of a lack of support and training and or incorrect use of technologies."
The OAL Connected system works by scanning a 2D barcode printed on every product to check and verify the date code and packaging is correct. If a mismatch error occurs, the line stops so that the problem can be investigated. Since the installation, Dawnfresh has had zero product recalls relating to label and date code errors. 
A shorter return on investment time for the solution was achieved thanks to the use of OAL’s integrated factory performance reporting module. This records accurate real-time production data for the site to identify areas for improvement as part of a continuous improvement strategy. When a line stop occurs, operators must record a reason code on the touchscreen terminal. The recorded data is accurate and is in real-time which allows engineers to act quickly to prevent potential slowdowns from occurring and helping Dawnfresh to identify areas for improvement.
By investing in an automated packaging solution, Dawnfresh has ensured compliance with retailer codes of practice for label and date code verification while also producing actionable data to help it to improve production performance on an ongoing basis.

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