GROWING business volumes for contract grower/packer Farmland Greens meant labelling by hand was too inefficient. Matthews Intelligent Identification provided a turnkey solution that's easy to use and fast.
Farmland Greens is a contract grower and packer of sunflower and snowpea shoots. Owner Charles Hildebrand says that all labelling used to be done by hand, but as the volumes through the business grew, this simply became too inefficient. The decision was made to automate, with the major goal being saving labour.
Simultaneously, the amount of information required on each label on each fresh produce punnet - product descriptions, nutrition panels, bar codes and use-by dates - also compounded the inefficiencies of hand coding.
The information is printed on a mainly pre-printed label. The label is then applied to a punnet, with the tamper seal on the label covering the sealing button on the punnet.
Farmland Greens needed a reliable method of applying the information and ensuring the tamper seal was effective, with the proviso all employees could work with the system.
Matthews Intelligent Identification provided an in-line Avery ALX 720 Label Applicator, with label printing software. Hildebrand says the operators find the equipment very easy to use.
He does not believe his company could continue in the old hand-labelling way at its present level of production.
To facilitate an extremely simple installation at Farmland Greens' site, Matthews provided the print and apply system (after testing at their factory) already mounted to a conveyor. This meant the unit could be shipped fully assembled.
An infinite adjustment in the label applicator mounting allows easy set-up for different label positioning. The software enables simple changes for the range of use-by dates that need to be printed. After a small amount of training from Matthews, Farmland Greens staff was confident with the system. The wheel-in, wheel-out system also means it can be used anywhere in the fresh produce factory.