Interactive Coding Equipment (ICE) has installed a Vulcan print and apply labeller at the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company.
The company supplies chilled and frozen Yorkshire puddings to Waitrose, Tesco and Morrisons with around 1.5m Yorkshire puddings coming off the line each week.
Secondary packaging line
The firm needed a printer applicator machine to improve productivity at the final packing stage in Thorne, South Yorkshire, to replace manual labelling on a secondary packaging line.
Paul Holmes, managing director, The Real Yorkshire Pudding Company, said previously, the company had a number of coding systems that didn’t live up to the level of output needed.
“These machines all offered a low cost technology but the reliability wasn’t there,” he said.
The impact of the Vulcan installation has been similar to the introduction of the ICE Zodiac TTO at the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company in 2001, which replaced a non-digital rotary coder and was fitted to a Record Panda Flow wrapper.
The Zodiac provided improvements to print quality, ease of use and product changeover times and real time printing of production dates and times.
Flow wrap machines
This led to a much higher output of 100 packs per minute, on a long pack approximately 450mm long. The company now has additional Zodiac HS machines fitted to flow wrap machines, as well as one fitted to a Sandiacre VFFS Bag Maker.
“When the first Zodiac was installed the change was impressive – it ran at a very fast speed,” added Holmes.
“Reliability and quality are key to our production facility and because we had such a lot of downtime previously the switch to the ICE systems has made a significant impact to our production levels.”
The ICE Vulcan print and apply labeller applies a label directly to a pack on both traded unit boxes and shrinkwrap packs in one continuous action without the need for a tamp applicator or compressed air.
It means the machine can print at the speed of the line, even when packs are closely spaced, without missing a pack, achieving speeds that are up to three times faster than traditional print and apply labellers.
The Vulcan uses the company’s Clarity interface, which is integrated into factory systems and prints and applies onto the company’s outer cases saving four to five hours in production time and waste reductions as it only prints the labels it needs in real time.
The system also allows the use-by date to be incorporated into the product barcode, so more information can be added to the outer box.
Established in 2001, ICE supplies digital coding to a variety of end markets including food and beverage, the company employs 40 people at its headquarters in Nottinghamshire.