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Fast, precise pharmaceutical labelling

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ATTENTION to precision has helped drive increased business volumes for packaging specialist Colorpak. Matthews Intelligent Identification worked with them again, supplying reliable, easy-to-use, flexible and high-speed coding equipment.

Key facts:

* business needs were reliability and ease of use

* process needs were label application capability exceeding 100m/min and up to 1,000 labels per minute

* ease in equipment operation and maintenance valued

* label application requires accuracy for internal RF tag placement and external piggyback stickers

Colorpak Packaging specialises in innovative, eye-catching packaging: from the structural design, right through to specialised services, such as printed blister foils, foil stamping, tamper-evidence, binary code verification, leaflet technology and inserting acetate windows, just to name a few.

Its clients feature among industry leaders across pharmaceutical, healthcare, food, confectionery, cosmetics and wine. The 20-year-old company has built its reputation on precision - for instance, every single job is electronically tracked in real time.

Such an approach has steered the formerly family-owned company, which listed on the stock exchange in 2004, to continued successes.

Last year, Colorpak's Erskineville plant in NSW (it also has a major plant in Melbourne) installed an Avery ALS 380 Label Applicator from Matthews Intelligent Identification.

Production supervisor Mike Bray says that increasing production volumes meant the existing Avery label applicator - also an ALS 380 - could no longer be shared over two production lines. The company needed a second one to operate both production lines simultaneously.

Bray adds that the high speed nature of primary packaging manufacturing means many jobs are run at in excess of 100m a minute. Exacting customer requirements demand that label placement be accurate - regardless of application rates, which may vary during any given production run due to other process requirements. This labeller's application rates can be up to 1,000 labels/min, and it has automatic missing-label compensation.

The applicator also has flexibility to apply a variety of label types, shapes and sizes, plus is easily configured for various production requirements.

Bray says that people with experience of label applicators say that this is the 'Rolls Royce', and it's very user friendly. He says he has always had good service from Matthews.

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