Reducing carton waste and batch coding costs
Pelham Laboratories print batch code data on between 5,000 and 10,000 cartons per day, on up to 20 different types of carton. With such a high throughput, there is great dependency on the efficiency and reliability of carton feeding and printing technology. They were therefore becoming increasingly concerned about the performance of their carton feeder and levels of waste. The feeder, originally sourced from China, was slowing down production, often feeding cartons unevenly which was resulting in around 10-15% of costly packaging waste. In addition to the downtime and waste, the unit was not CE marked and had a number of safety issues.
Smaller, quicker, more flexible carton feeding
To address the increasing reliability issues, the company began researching to find a better, more cost-effective and reliable carton feeding solution. Having visited Rotech’s website, they were immediately impressed with the high-performance and flexibility of the RF Lite and arranged for a demonstration.
The RF Lite carton feeder would enable the production team to print batch codes on all sizes of cartons – from 30 x 70mm up to 300 x 200mm. This meant that even their smallest size carton could be fed through the system at up to 300 per minute, extending to 400 per minute for larger sizes. And changing from one carton size to another takes only a few seconds, avoiding any delays in throughput.
They were equally impressed with the size of the system; their old unit was almost two metres long, compared with just 500mm square of the RF Lite – this would free up some much-needed floor space. Clearly seeing all of the benefits and the performance, they placed an order.
Ultra-low-cost batch code printing
Pelham Laboratories were already familiar with the benefits of thermal inkjet printing. They had been using a very basic version for some time and were happy to continue using this on the RF Lite. However, the high performance of the RF Lite requires encoder technology which ensures that each and every carton is reliably printed in exactly the same position time after time.
Rotech recommended the Integra One thermal inkjet printer and demonstrated the high performance. They were immediately impressed with the speed, quality and, importantly, the low costs.
The Integra One thermal inkjet printer is small and easy to integrate with the RF Lite. They can now precisely print their batch codes – 2 – 2.5mm text of 6 – 8 digits – on every carton without any interruption.
In terms of cost-savings, the printer comprises a compact ink cartridge which produces an average of 400,000 prints. By printing the small amount of text required on each carton, Pelham Laboratories can achieve an impressive 1.1 million prints per cartridge. This makes consumables costs incredibly low.
The printer also requires no maintenance and is very user-friendly. It comes with its own iDesign format creation software; users can create and edit batch codes, control output speeds, view job status, view print quality and check ink levels at any time.
Pelham Laboratories are now reliably printing all of their cosmetics cartons without interruption and have reduced their costs, freed up space, increased efficiency and minimised waste – down from between 10 – 15% to just 1 – 5%.