Benara Nurseries needed to automate applying individualised bar codes onto pot plants travelling along a conveyor line. A FOX IV 3000 Label Print Applicator (LPA) from Matthews Intelligent Identification was installed to replace a loose web label applicator that was no longer up to the job.
Benara’s IT Manager, Dane Sutton, says the nursery was looking to improve its method of applying bar-code labels onto pot plants, with an increasing number of customers requiring their own label formats. Often these include the retailer’s name as well as the plant type and bar code.
“We needed a way to apply individualised bar coding within our existing automated system, which directs product to transport bays dependent on several databases,” Dane says. “For example, out of a batch of say, 20, of a particular plant, 5 might go to chain A, 5 to chain B, 6 to chain C and 4 to another retail nursery.
“Our loose web label applicator was no longer suitable. Ten or more pre-printed labels could be sitting on the web between the print-head and the applicator every time we needed to change the label format.”
After comparing several brands, Benara installed a FOX IV 3000 Label Printer Applicator (LPA) from Matthews Intelligent Identification.
Using the non-contact “tamp blow” application method, labels are individually printed and placed onto a vacuum pad, then extended close to the product and blown onto the pot. The machine has the 1:1 label print-and-apply capability essential to Benara’s operation — each label printed is the next to be applied.
Dane says Benara is very pleased with the speed of the Label Print Applicator and the simplicity of the blow-on label application method.
The FOX IV 3000 Label Printer Applicator’s swing-away cylinder gives easy access to the print-head, while platen rollers make media changes and maintenance quick and easy.
The end result has been a very positive impact on Benara’s efficiency and productivity.