Apparently innocuous packaging mistakes can prove costly for food and beverage suppliers worldwide. Using manual checking, incorrect packaging or labelling can go unnoticed, but such errors can lead to thousands of dollars worth of packaging being scrapped. Even worse, such mistakes can lead to product recalls and retailer fines.
JBT’s AutoCoding Systems (ACS) provides software and automation solutions for smart packaging lines using a modular approach, which error proofs primary, secondary and tertiary packaging, all the way down the line.
ACS software verifies that packaging is correct using barcode scanners which check every piece of packaging. Additionally, the software automatically sets up and controls all coding equipment ensuring coding information is correct for all products. AutoCoding’s central database stores information relating to every product. “Product specific details such as date coding rules, barcode information, equipment parameters etc, are all stored in the database,” explains ACS’s Janet Harrison. “So rather than an operator manually setting up a printer and continually checking the packaging is correct, the equipment is automatically set-up, via the AutoCoding line terminal, based on the product going through.”
ACS software can integrate with all types of printers, barcode scanners, checkweighers, metal detectors, x-ray equipment and labellers, going from primary packaging right through to tertiary.
The software also integrates closely with Proseal tray sealing equipment by setting up a printer, if required, and scanning the film to ensure it is correct. For end of line verification, ACS can also integrate with the new CP3 casepacker. AutoCoding’s automatic print inspection solution, 4Sight, can also be used with tray sealing equipment and the CP3 to check any print is present, legible and in the right location on the product.
Reduction in errors on packaging lines, savings in wastage, and substantially less downtime are just a few of the benefits that installing ACS software can deliver. “Anyone who is manually setting up equipment – especially in a busy factory – may make some mistakes along the way,” says Harrison. “We quite often see errors being made with date coding or selecting the wrong piece of packaging, especially if there’s a promotional offer or packaging is quite similar.”
A reduction in downtime is also a major benefit with equipment able to be set-up quickly and automatically, rather than requiring a manual intervention every time there is a job or shift change.
“Quite often thousands of products can go through before a coding or packaging mistake is noticed, meaning all of that packaging has to be scrapped,” Harrison continues. “Mis-coded or incorrectly packed product will result in a product recall, leaving the supplier with hefty retailer fines. Paying someone to stand and check packaging is also not a good use of time or staff resources.”
However, the benefits of using ACS software for packaging lines doesn’t just stop there. ACS’s recently-introduced 4Sight Print Inspection solution, includes a unique, UK-patented process called Inspection Depth, which enables customers to decide on the best levels of print legibility for products. The Paperless Quality control module, customizable as per customer requirements, can be automatically integrated into a production run and eliminates the need for manual checks. Meanwhile, the ACS Line Performance Reporting tool monitors the performance and, where relevant, health of all the equipment on the packaging line, allowing proactive action to be taken to improve efficiency of individual devices and the packaging line as a whole.
As well as working with you to specify and implement the solution that meets your requirements, our customer care team offers system health checks, training, on-site support and many more helping you to take care of your daily operations. Our ACS team is with you, right down the line.