Strong sales growth and changes to traceability laws in Germany’s dairy sector prompted leading producer VMZ to source new and more effective product coding solutions. Innovative thermal inkjet manufacturer APS helped them to improve their processes in more ways than expected.
German butter producer Vereinigte Molkereizentralen GmbH & Co. KG (VMZ) has increased its share to approximately eight percent of the entire butter production market since 2005. The increasing demand for dairy products was presenting challenges for the Berlin-based dairy company, but their successful certification to the International Food Standard (IFS) prompted a review of product and packaging marking and coding capabilities to improve traceability.
VMZ subsequently introduced the apsolute thermal inkjet (T.I.J.) printer made by APS. Using the product expiration date they are now able to identify the producer of the product as well as product status and delivery date. The batch number, machine number and processing time are also used to trace back to the source and ultimately the cause of any failure can now be quickly identified.
The requirements for the new printer capabilities specified by VMZ were quite high. Hans-Joachim Finke, Works Manager explained, “There were other quite specific criteria that helped to lock-in our decision to use APS’s thermal inkjet. Our factory environment is relatively wet because we clean our machines and halls with water. First and foremost he thermal inkjet printer of course had to be moisture-proof.”
“Another important factor was reliability. The apsolute thermal inkjet printer rarely malfunctions due to its absence of any movable parts and use of ink cartridges. As a result, no down time or maintenance has been required since it was installed. Of course that translates into maximum operating time and we have had no costs for maintenance or repairs. We also consider it a great advantage to be able to get all of these services from one supplier.”