Dairy Producer Increases Output by 100% With New Label Printer

Posted by: Tom Masters

Executive Summary

FlexPAC worked with a local dairy producer to find an automated upgrade that met their unique needs and aimed to increase their productivity. Prior to FlexPAC’s help, the food processing company was manually applying labels to each glass jar of yogurt as it came down the assembly line, which bottlenecked their production by 50%. FlexPAC offered a cost-effective, automated printer, as a replacement to manually applying labels which made their bottleneck completely disappear. In addition, this allowed the food processing company meet their increasing production demands. By allowing FlexPAC to help optimize their production line and meet their unique needs, the food processing company has now increased their output per minute by 100%.

Challenges

The dairy industry has ever increasing demands. However, each jar’s expiration date label had to be hand applied, which was placing a delay their productivity and making the appearance look a little less professional. The labels weren’t always being applied in the same position and had the potential to be illegible. Before upgrading, the food processing company designated employees specifically for applying these labels. Because hand applying was too time-consuming, a change was needed to create a more fluid production process.

Before upgrading, the challenge was keeping up with a required output of 30 units per minute. They wanted to upgrade and meet their new demands without having to add any additional production lines. But, the food processing company felt upgrading was impossible because they had two very unique needs. The first was that their upgrade needed to be able to print on a non-porous surface without smearing and the second was the printed label ink needed to be dry and ready to enter into an 180-degree Fahrenheit steam tunnel only seconds after printing.

FlexPAC’s Process

After assessing the food processing company’s situation and needs, FlexPAC conducted research and development which lead to implementing the Videojet 1220 Printer. The installation process only took a few hours along with a technician on-site for training employees. Previously, the food processing company was paying employees to hand apply labels. Today, the Videojet instead codes and marks every glass. This solution was the best for the food processing company because it’s able to withstand food processing wash downs and the ink dries immediately before entering the steam tunnel, resulting in a clearer more precise label.

Results

FlexPAC’s solution eliminated the production’s line bottleneck and increased their output per minute by 100%. The food processing company met their 20% increase demand without having to implement additional production lines. They also received 14 hours a week of manual labor back, that was previously used for hand applying the labels. In 4.5 months, their ROI was 40 hours a week of manual labor. FlexPAC’s solution was the best option because it completely eliminated the bottleneck in production. The substrate of ink withheld the steam tunnel shortly after application and printed on the surface without smudging. After the food processing company fully implemented the Videojet 1220, President feedback was, “The printer is a game changer for us”.