Campbell's improves 'print and apply' barcode labels
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.
Although the new unit has not been set at 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.
At these production speeds, with efficiencies in excess of 90%, the Tronics iLabel SS Print and Apply machines were a sound economical choice.
What is being noticed at the Campbell's plant are certain operational advantages:
- First, there is the 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 makes - a label width of up to 180 mm, with a print area width up to 160 mm.
- Third, a print ribbon reel capacity of 900 m. For an average size label, (80 mm high), that is around 10,400 labels before needing to load a new ribbon. Additionally, should Campbell's choose to do so they can run the machine without ribbon with a simpler 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 onto the labels. They decided on a handheld unit for scanning the point-of-sale barcodes. This automatically sets up the print data, therefore eliminating the chance of operator error.
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