Glanbia, the Irish manufacturer of brands such as Avonmore and Yoplait, has implemented a print and label application system from Zetes to comply with new customer requirements for full product traceability.
Currently all butter manufacturers in Ireland are required to assign every pallet of butter produced with a unique label combining information including the manufacturer, weight, lot number, pallet number and best before date.
Gerry Warren, butter store manager said: “We were concerned that this new customer requirement would have an impact on our production costs and so looked for a solution that required minimal levels of human intervention.”
At the end of each butter production line a traceability label is affixed after pallets have been shrink wrapped. The pallet’s existing barcode label is scanned and a new label combining any additional production and traceability information required is generated automatically.
The printer recognises individual pallets before they are shrink-wrapped on the production line and is able to generate the correct label for application after wrapping.
By integrating the label printer with Glanbia’s product database, details relating to lot number and expiry date can be captured and combined with manufacturer information in a single label. The label is then transferred to an applicator pad ready to be affixed to the pallet following shrink-wrapping.
Warren said: “It has eliminated the need for additional staff to manually produce labels and there has been no impact to the volumes of finished goods we can dispatch each day.”
The print and apply solution developed by Zetes uses wireless technology and MCLNet as its communication and dispatching programme. This runs a Motorola wireless handheld scanner, Datamax A Class printer hardware and a print and apply applicator unit developed by Zetes.