Tronics Pty Ltd
supplied an overhead print and apply labelling machine to Botanical Food Company to bring better efficiencies to the packaging section of the production plant.
Botanical Food Company is a Queensland-based food manufacturing business, well known for their Gourmet Garden brand of processed fresh herb and spice pastes packed in retail size tubes. The pastes are manufactured in a new state-of-the-art production facility built at Palmwoods, about one hour north of Brisbane.
The increasing demand for the pastes led to storage space issues at the plant. Tony Thornton, Production Manager at the Palmwoods plant explained that a significant amount of space was taken up by their 14 different kinds of inner cartons or jackets with space allocated for 14 different categories of pallets.
The process involved packing three 115gm tubes to a jacket, and either seven or 15 jackets to a shipping carton. They also had to ensure that the right jacket was used for the particular run of herb or spice paste. Extra storage space could be opened up only if the issue of jackets was sorted out.
Tronics was called in to provide a solution based on their longstanding relationship with Botanical Food Company. Tronics recommended an automated overhead print and labelling machine that allowed the company to cut back to just one generic jacket by converting a generic jacket to a flavour specific version.
The overhead printer prints the name of the product, a barcode and use-by date onto a blank label and the label is ‘wiped’ onto the jacket. With almost no moving parts, the system is very robust and reliable. In addition to a neater presentation, the labelling machine also allows Botanical Foods to edit the data printed on the jacket.
A touch panel control connected to the print and apply machine enables easy access to an onboard database. The message can be loaded via a handheld recall scanner. The barcode and variable product information including use-by date details are printed on-line in real time, thus saving inventory of pre-printed labels.
The labelling machine also eliminated the need for assigning a separate person to rubber stamp the use-by date manually, saving time and cost. Significant savings have also been achieved through reduction in labour.
Tony expects the automated labelling machine to pay for itself in a very short time.