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Flexible coding solution reduces label printing errors

02 May 2022

In a bid to reduce downtime caused by inefficient legacy coding equipment, Whitby Seafoods commissioned a Thermal Transfer Overprinter (TTO) and Print and Apply Labeller on two of its packaging-house lines. 

The solution has reduced label printing errors. It is three times faster than traditional alternatives and has enabled Whitby Seafoods to keep pace with growing production demands. 

An increase in demand made it became evident to Whitby Seafoods that the original coding and labelling equipment needed to be replaced to avoid unnecessary downtime and increase throughput. However, as the company supplies to a range of retailers, it was important that any new coders and labellers could be networked for various production cycles, to ensure both primary and secondary packaging leave the factory with the correct variable information.

The company commissioned Clearmark to find a solution and the company quickly  identified that its primary and secondary coding portfolio, plus CLARiNET networking technology could provide far greater printing capabilities, accuracy and performance for Whitby. 

It specified a Zodiac HS TTO primary coder and secondary Vulcan Print and Apply labeller on two of Whitby’s packaging house lines. As well as allowing codes to be printed onto flexible packaging bags at the desired throughput, the specified solution also enables relevant secondary packaging information to be applied at the end of the line accurately, with minimal wastage.

The ICE Vulcan can run at speeds up to three times faster than traditional machines. Its small footprint enables easy integration, while its ribbon drive means it never misses a label, regardless of line throughput, build pack or pack size. And, as 80% of traditional wear parts such as the slip clutch and nip drive are removed, the system is also said to deliver improved reliability and reduced expenditure on consumables.  

With installation being supported by an intuitive error-proof operator touchscreen, operator training was easy, causing minimum disruption to production. “The Vulcan labellers have allowed us to significantly reduce label printing errors. Being able to check a job file from the office via the coder touchscreen also provides added peace of mind,” said John Tate, asset operations manager at Whitby Seafoods.

Following the project’s success, Whitby has purchased a third Vulcan labeller with an accumulation system, delivering a full end-of-line solution. When installed, there will be a Vulcan Print and Apply labeller on all three of the company’s packaging lines.

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