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Country Products increases production efficiencies with Allen Coding thermal transfer printers

14 October 2014

Reliable, accurate and versatile NGT2 and NGT4 models chosen for production line upgrade to cope with extra capacity and minimise costly downtime.

When family owned Country Products Ltd needed to upgrade its main production line at its plant in North Yorkshire to cope with extra capacity and minimise downtime, it turned to the engineering expertise of leading specialist in high performance food industry marking and coding systems, Allen Coding and its NGT Series of reliable, accurate and versatile thermal transfer printers.

Country Products is a packer of dried foods and snack products, supplying independent traders under its own brand and also providing contract packing for clients throughout the UK.

Nigel Robertshaw, Technical & Site Manager at Country Products comments: “We have previous experience of using Allen Coding printers so it was a natural progression to look at new systems from them. As well as offering the print area specifications required, the NGT2 and NGT4 thermal transfer printers provided significant print quality and performance benefits and were able to meet all our client packaging variables. Plus both models were compatible with our older printers so there was no need to update the labelling software.”

Country Products chose two different models from Allen Coding’s NGT Series to enable it to apply data sets on both the front and rear of generic packaging film produced from polypropylene, polyester or laminate. The printers also apply vital product and nutritional details in line with the company’s commitment to meeting all new food information regulation requirements.

Allen Coding’s compact NGT2 and NGT4 printers have been mounted on a special frame at the rear of Country Products’ Gainsborough vertical form fill seal machine. The units are 

installed on 90 degree swivel brackets so that they can be easily turned by the operator, both to change thermal transfer ribbons and to move swiftly from one orientation to another for different client films.
New mounting bars were fitted onto existing brackets so Country Products was able to raise the height of the printers on the machine.

A wide variety of products are being handled by the vertical form fill seal machine, with packs ranging from 15g to 500g in weight. As a result, the Allen Coding NGT2 and NGT4 printers are operating at speeds up to approximately 30 packs per minute. 

Nigel adds: “Production efficiencies have increased as there is less downtime as a result of printer faults. It was vital that the new printers offered reliable performance especially as we are now running an evening shift and have limited engineer cover outside of normal working hours.

He continues: “The engineering service provided by Allen Coding was first class. It definitely helped that we already had a good relationship with the business and its people. The efficiency on delivery was exceptional and the printers proved easy to install and use. I would definitely recommend Allen Coding and the NGT Series to other packers. 

“We are confident that by choosing high quality printers we will continue to see improved operating efficiencies and lower life time cost of ownership,” Nigel concludes.

Allen Coding’s NGT2 and NGT4 thermal transfer printers offer flexible 2” and 4” wide printing and can be easily switched between intermittent (IM) and continuous motion (CM) modes. Capable of printing a wide range of variable information including bar codes, date coding and serialisation at high speeds, the NGT Series can be networked via PC or Allen Coding’s a:touch touch screen. Print areas range from 53mm x 50mm for the NGT2 IM to 107mm x 1000mm for the NGT4 CM. The NGT2 offers 650 prints per minute (ppm) while the NGT4 is capable of 550 ppm. Both units boast print resolution at 12 dots/mm or 300dpi.

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