TRONICS has supplied new packaging for T&R Pastoral’s ovine (sheep) offal at their Lobethal meatworks in South Australia.
The readily available plastic bags carry all variable product data, which will significantly reduce packaging costs.
"We had been handling our packaging and labelling of relatively short runs by hand - placing the offal in 0.5kg to 4.0kg bags and then inserting, by hand, a label carrying detail which included the variable data - best before date, production date, and the translation in Arabic," said Lobethal Plant Manager, David Arnold.
The company has a steady trade exporting ovine offal (sheep livers and kidneys) to Saudi Arabia. The system of placing the offal in the bags and then inserting a label inside the bag was not ideal, as it was a slow process. Labels were subject to staining and the label was inclined to move around when inside the bag.
"We needed an organisation that could develop a system to meet our special needs and carry out the integration work needed to get the whole system right," said Mr Arnold.
Based on T&R's experience at another of its plants in South Australia, they turned to Tronics.
"When T&R explained the issues and the small production runs, often around 500 bags, our recommended solution was to propose that the bag supplier produce pre-formed, pre-printed bags - pre printed except for the variable information,” said Paul Molloy of the Adelaide office of Tronics.
“The pre-formed bags could then be supplied in rolls with each bag separated by perforations.
"This roll-fed concept would then facilitate automation of the printing of the variable data.
"But, no one had printed onto roll fed blanks with perforations, that we knew of," added Mr Molloy.
T&R's bags for the offal are now pre-printed in bulk, separated by perforations and supplied in rolls.
The solution for over printing variable information was a Tronics custom made bag winder, integrated with a Videojet Dataflex Direct Thermal Overprinter.
Developed especially for flexible packaging, the printer allows for intermittent or continuous motion. Its clutchless ribbon drive helps deliver a high level of reliability, less maintenance and a low 'cost of ownership'.
The system has enabled automated overprinting of the bags at rates of up to 65 per minute for T&R, although the Tronics system is capable of faster speeds.