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Modern coding solution speeds up changeover times

19 September 2022

Find out how coffee roasting company, Lincoln & York, has speeded up changeover times and how it has found a solution that allows it to create and edit labels more quickly. 

As one of the UK’s largest coffee roasting companies, Lincoln & York sources, roasts and packs coffee for companies in the out-of-home, distributor and specialist retail markets across the UK and Europe. Each day it roasts enough coffee beans at its British Retail Consortium AA grade-accredited roastery to make 1,500,000 cups of coffee.

A comprehensive coding upgrading project has enabled the company to increase production efficiency by up to 25% at its Lincolnshire headquarters.  By replacing legacy coding equipment across 12 lines with thermal transfer overprinters from Clearmark, Lincoln & York is now able to rapidly create and edit labels, enabling it to speed up  changeover times between batches and reduce waste caused by human error.

The company contacted Clearmark Solutions, who assessed the existing coding infrastructure and ascertained that, as well as more modern coding equipment, the company would also benefit from upgraded software to enable it to create and edit labels more quickly and efficiently. As Lincoln & York work with a range of suppliers and retailers, Clearmark recommended the flexible ICE thermal transfer technology combined with CLARiSOFT label design software.

The project saw the replacement all existing coding equipment across 12 production lines with the thermal transfer printers to allow codes to be printed more efficiently across a range of flexible substrates – in a variety of colours – at the various throughputs required. Flexible enough to print dates in any format or size, and in any Windows TrueType font, its large ribbon capacity results in less downtime for ribbon changeovers, reducing waste and increasing production efficiency by up to 25%. In addition, the labelling software installed on each line allows operators to quickly create and edit label designs for a growing range of customers. Its built-in label error prevention feature provides added assurance, further helping to cut waste. 

Easy to use solution
Each printer ICE machine comprises an intuitive error-proof touchscreen, making operator training a straightforward process. Clearmark also delivered one-to-one product training to two operators at its Nottingham training facility.

The solution is said to be a considerable improvement over Lincoln & York’s legacy equipment, which was impacting on uptime. To future-proof against further changes to the business, it has been designed with flexibility in mind, enabling current and future customer demand to be met without any risk to reliability or print quality.
“It is essential that we are able to change our label designs as quickly as possible to meet growing supplier requirements, said Marc Rockall, engineering manager at Lincoln & York. “The ICE Zodiacs allow us to do this efficiently without having any impact on production.” 
As a result of the support provided by Clearmark and the systems’ ongoing efficiency and reliability, Lincoln & York plans to further expand its range of ICE technology as the company continues to grow.

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