Labeling in the food sector is a precision job and a complex process, because each production process is unique. Food industry labeling specialist Tim de Vries recently took me, Debbie Poulus, to two companies in the food sector: a bakery and a fruit and vegetable wholesaler. There I could see with my own eyes what the added value of professional labeling is. Read here how Weber Marking Systems works and get inspired.
Bakery labeling: The challenge
Our first visit was to a bakery where bottoms for flans, biscuits, ready-to-bake pastries and filled cakes are made for restaurants, supermarkets, small bakeries and many companies abroad.
The bakery wants to increase and simplify its production capacity, so that the intended growth can be realised. Together with Tim, they looked at improvements in the labeling process. There are two production lines with a different labeling process. On production line one, labeling is done with a Weber labeling machine from 2008 and on production line two, labeling is done manually.
In addition to increasing production capacity, bakeries have to deal with constantly changing regulations within the food sector. Depending on the product, where it is going and the regulations, the label format changes. The future labeling system must be able to label multiple label formats on boxes. The current labeling system cannot do that, so a solution is needed. On production line two, the bakery wants to switch to automated labeling in order to increase production capacity.
Our solution to optimize bakery labeling
Finally, the choice fell on a Weber LA4050E with 90 degree arm. On production line two, a stand and conveyor belt with the labeling machine will be installed and on production line one, the old labeling machine will be replaced, whereby the stand will be reused and the conveyor belt will be modified.
In order to comply with the variety of label formats, different tamps are used which can be quickly replaced when a label format needs to be changed. A solution that suits the bakery’s intended purposes!
Labeling at wholesale of fruit and vegetables
Our second stop was at a fruit and vegetable wholesale business, where peppers and cherry tomatoes, among other things, are packed.
Tim was invited for a meeting to discuss automation on the production line. They labeled the pointed peppers by hand and wanted to automate it. The situation was sketched and various ideas were discussed.
In the end, it was not just one packaging line, but several solutions in a cold store on different production lines. The building is immense, large and 7 degrees inside. There are different packaging lines everywhere, where fruit and vegetables are packed.
Between the towering stacked boxes on pallets are several packaging lines. The first line starts behind the mountain of sweet peppers. Employees put two sweet peppers in a bag and place it on a conveyor belt. Automatically a bag-closer is put on and the peppers go under our LA 4050 B label printer and dispenser to be labeled.
The LA 4050 B looks futuristic with Panel PC and Blow Box. Really something else than the tamp blow. The peppers pass under the blow box and in no time a label is fired on them.
Because 60 bags of pointed peppers have to be labeled per minute, there is not enough time for a tamp blow, which is why the blow box is used in combination with a Sato printer. The force and precision with which the labels are blown onto the peppers is impressive, and this without damaging the peppers or moving the packaging.
Different solutions for different packaging lines
On a second packaging line, cherry tomatoes are packed with two labeling machines for top and bottom labeling. The labeling machine has been upgraded with a print module, panel PC and bartender software. Specific customisation by Weber Marking Systems makes it possible to place the labels on the packaging at the right time and with precision.
Not only was the choice made for Weber solutions at this wholesaler, but also for cooperation with a partner. On another line, two peppers are placed on a belt and packed in a foil. The peppers are weighed by a weighing system of Label Solutions. When the peppers are above a certain weight, a Weber LA 4050E Tamp Blow blows a label on them.
The bags of peppers then land on a turntable and an employee separates the labeled from the unlabeled peppers in boxes. An innovative system that adds value to this packaging line.
Adding value and quality with food labeling
We believe in cost-effective and automated coding and labeling solutions that add value and quality to production and logistics processes. I saw that at this bakery and fruit and vegetable wholesaler. Professional labeling in the food sector increases production capacity and reduces costs!