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Coding solution boosts packing operations

06 May 2018

An offline RF2 feeding system fitted with a thermal inkjet coding system has helped The English Cheesecake Company boost the speed and efficiency of its packing operations, allowing the company to date code a pallet’s worth of cheesecakes in less than two minutes. 

The English Cheesecake Company makes a range of luxury cakes for customers such as Ocado and Makro. The products range from individual mini-cheesecakes to giant cheesecakes that serve 60 people. Most of the products are supplied blast frozen, with an outer sleeve and best before date applied before they enter the freezer. 

Rather than printing best before dates onto the filled cheesecake boxes, the new solution, supplied by Rotech, prints them onto the flattened sleeves before they are erected. 

“The RF2 system can code thousands of flat pack cartons at once so it’s very efficient,” explained commercial director, Josh Laurier. “Many of our products are sold to the wholesale market. These cakes tend to be bigger than retail versions, so it’s much more convenient to carry out the printing on the flat sleeves, rather than printing onto the completed packages, which are quite bulky to handle.”

The RF2 feeding system takes a stack of flat sleeves and separates and feeds them rapidly through a compact, mess-free i-Jet thermal ink jet coder before re-stacking them on the other side. This enables the system to position the date codes precisely and virtually eliminates smudges and errors to deliver a high-quality result. “With the RF2 system from Rotech, it takes one or two minutes to code the sleeves.” said Josh. “With our old system, the operator had to position each box manually on a conveyor belt for coding, so it was much slower.”

“Our chilled products are perishable and need to be printed with their best before dates on the day they are dispatched. We needed an in-line solution to do this,” said Josh. Each packaged cheesecake is manually placed on a conveyor and a slider rig positions the box under the i-Jet printer in precisely the right position to print the code in the allotted white space. 

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