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Laser coder reduces bottling line downtimes

17 December 2018

The Caballero Group is benefitting from a reduction in downtime in addition to reducing energy and product waste on its wine bottling line, thanks to the addition of a new laser coding solution. 

The Caballero Group exports its range of wines and spirits to over 50 countries worldwide. The need to comply with global food safety regulations makes it vital for the company’s products to be traced back to their original source. Prior to distribution, the company must ensure all bottles are coded with the correct information. This ensures the products can be traced back to their origin to comply with a range of food safety regulations, such as the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety.

“We have to guarantee the traceability of our products – the batch and date code on the bottle must be easy to read and indelible,” said Jaime Pindado, technical manager at Caballero Group.

To ensure traceability the company has employed a Domino D320i laser to code every product.

Prior to installing this solution onto its wine bottling line, the company had to adjust its line throughout the day due to the wide variety of glass bottles it uses. “The printheads on our previous coding system would need realigning when changing the bottle type,” continued Pindado. “With all the required changes and maintenance to the printer, there was a significant amount of downtime.”

Caballero had already experienced Domino’s technology on its spirits bottling line. “We installed our first Domino laser to code onto our spirit bottles 17 years ago,” said Pindado. “It has coded more than 100 million bottles in this time and I do not remember production ever having to stop because of an issue with it – it’s been faultless.

“We wanted the same results on our wine bottling lines. Our previous coding system not only caused significant downtime for realignment but also could only print within the label. So, we made a collective decision to change to a system that could print clear, concise indelible codes directly onto the glass bottle. We analysed several different lasers, but it was Domino that provided the best option for us.”

Requiring no inks or solvents, the Domino D320i laser can help reduce downtime and maintenance costs. The adjustable laser includes a small i-Tech scan head, enabling simple integration onto the company’s existing production lines. The D320i can deliver multiple lines of text in a range of fonts and sizes. It is capable of permanently applying codes to a wide range of product substrates, even difficult to mark materials. The inclusion of RapidScan technology, with optimised mirrors in the printhead, allows for coding in high-speed production lines ensuring maximum productivity.

“With the D320i, we have eradicated manufacturing stops and adjustment times,” said Pindado. “As a result, our productivity and total cost of ownership have improved. The codes produced are very clear and consistent in quality.

“The installation and setup of the laser went smoothly too. Despite the narrow spaces and complex set up of some of our lines, the D320i was simple to fit. Staff immediately adapted to the laser thanks to the intuitiveness of the TouchPanel and QuickStep user interface. It took less than a day of training for them to understand how to operate it, and the Domino team were and still are always available to answer any questions.”


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