Increasing the efficiency of printing and applying barcode labels to shrink wrapped shipping trays was one of the jobs on the packaging line at Campbell’s Soup plant at Shepparton in rural Victoria. They used Tronics ’ print and apply labelling machine to increase their plant efficiency.
According to Len Tricarico, Capital and Engineering Manager at the Shepparton plant, the imported print and apply machine, prior to the purchase of Tronics’ unit, had been operating at about 70%, instead of a desired figure of around 90%. They later decided to change to Tronics’ iLabel SS Print and Apply machine.
The Australian made iLabel SS Print and Apply machine had the back up of a local representative in the Shepparton area.
Although the new unit has not been set at a maximum speed, it is comfortably keeping up with the flow of trays coming off the conveyor line. It is expected that it will achieve a rate of over 50 trays per minute.
The Campbell’s Soup plant experienced certain operational advantages. Firstly, there was overall robustness of the entire unit, including the printer. The flow on benefit is less maintenance.
Second, a label width that can be wider than those produced by most of the other models, a label width of up to 180mm with a print area width of up to 160mm was now possible.
Third, the machines offered a print ribbon reel capacity of 900m. For an average size label, (80mm high), that is around 10,400 labels, before needing to load a new ribbon. Additionally, if Campbell’s choose to do so, they can run the machine without the ribbon with a simple parameter change in the print engine and a change of label stock.
Fourth, a separate motor for the rewind (the label reel substrate left after labels have been removed), thus creating less demand and wear on the print engine.
Campbell’s had a wide variety of options for downloading data for printing on to the labels. They decided on a hand held unit for scanning the point-of-sale bar codes. This automatically sets up the print data, therefore eliminating the chance of operator error.