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Label validation stops errors entering supply chain

20 June 2012

A validation system that checks product, case and pallet labels back against the original works order, eliminating risk of human error and goods with incorrect or illegible labelling entering the supply chain, has been developed by print & apply labelling specialist Logopak.

The new I-Validation software works within Logopak's Synchro suite of networking programmes to provide a parallel source of labelling data that allows all product identification to be checked, through a separate route, back to source.

In particular, says Logopak UK sales manager Howard Jagger, the system guards against error in primary product labelling and the knock-on effect with automatic label generation.

"If product labels are wrong or carry the wrong point-of-sale bar code then case labels generated automatically from the product label will be wrong and so will pallet labels generated from the case labels," he points out. "It may only be discovered when the goods are well into the supply chain and bring fines from retailers."

However, I-Validate independently compares the labels it sees on the line with the label data in the works order and will stop the line if they fail to match or read. It also records its decisions.

On product change I-Validate sends the correct EAN13 bar code data to the point-of-sale bar code validation module at the end of the primary filling and labelling line. Incorrect codes will cause a line stop. At the print & apply case labeller the label triggered automatically by the product label is compared for content and legibility with data from I-Validate. Again, any inconsistencies or poor reads cause a line stop.

Finally, at finished pallet level the outer case bar code is read to confirm that the pallet data received from the production control system matches the original works order.

First users of I-Validate include Greencore Foods where the system is being installed on 12 production lines handling jars of cook-in sauces, pickles and chutney at speeds up to 400 a minute.

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