S&A Group picks ICE printers to improve efficiency
13 October 2015 • Author(s): Victoria White
S&A Group, the largest independent berry and asparagus grower in the UK, is now using Zodiac thermal transfer overprinters from Interactive Coding Equipment (ICE) to help reduce packaging costs and increase coding efficiency across its two production sites in Herefordshire and Kent.
The 18 Zodiac printers, integrated with Proseal GT2 Twin traysealers, are being used to print variable information directly onto film on heat seal trays. They have replaced inkjet coders printing onto pre-printed labelled lids, a process which S&A found was not able to cope with the increases in the volume of produce they were experiencing.
“As a growing business, we needed a faster and more efficient operation that could cope with increased throughput at busy periods,” explains S&A Packhouse Manager Fred Williams. “It’s also much more cost effective to print onto film and it reduces the waste on pre-printed materials.”
Zodiac’s features help to simplify the operator’s task
S&A reports that the Zodiac printers are easy to operate with switching between product lines a simple process using the touchscreen interface.
In addition, S&A has benefited from fewer coding errors thanks to the CLARiTY touchscreen operating system, used in all ICE coders, which controls the way operators can edit the variable print fields available. The sell by date, best before date, fruit variety and grower code can be inputted using pre-defined fields which the operator selects on the screen. Dates may only be adjusted as allowed by a concessions system, while the other fields are chosen from a pre-defined list. The features help to simplify the operator’s task and drastically reduce the risk of coding errors.
S&A has also installed barcode verification scanners to check the information is correct before produce is transported.
“We consistently achieve high quality prints – proof that the ICE coders are doing a good job,” says Fred Williams.
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