Rotech Seiko Printer Perfectly Planted in a Horticulture Production Line

4 mins

Westland horticulture logo

Westland employee wearing hi-vis jacket

All budding gardeners will be familiar with Westland Horticulture, who are a leading supplier of branded horticulture products in Europe. From fertilisers to bird care to gardening tools, their comprehensive lines will impress even the most green-fingered of individuals. Understandably, you will find their brand scattered within every greenhouse and garden shed across the UK.

Established in 1990, the business has seen huge growth over the last 30 years. Originating from Northern Ireland, Westland now have a monumental nine separate locations across the continent. However, their Huntingdon warehouse is slightly closer to home and a familiar face of Rotech. Rooted into the Westland production line in Huntingdon, is a variety of Rotech’s most prestigious printers.


Thermal Inkjet Technology Proves its Potential

X1Jet printing onto Westland spray bottle

Steve Ryan, Rotech’s UK Sales Manager, originally approached Westland with Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) technology. Previously they were using Continuous Inkjet

 (CIJ) throughout their factory and assembly line – which proved to be costly, messy, and required more space. The old systems were struggling under the pressure of increasing demand and required enormous amounts of TLC.

Rotech presented the benefits of Thermal Inkjet with an initial trial period. The wireless networking add-on was an appealing asset to Westland, which enabled them to control the full collection of printers from a single PC. Not forgetting the obvious cost saving, space saving and maintenance free benefits of TIJ, the trial unsurprisingly went well- leading to a blanket order of 6 X1 Jets– they were sold!


Labellers Leave Westland Wilting

Following the success of the initial TIJ printers and the outstanding service and support from the Rotech Team, Steve Ryan approached Westland again with an improved solution for a different aspect of the production line. The solution? An X72 Outer Case Printer.

After visiting their factory and forming strong connections in the warehouse, Steve could see that their current method of Outer-Case labelling was leading to many issues on their production line. The labellers were proving temperamental, costly, and causing issues through mislabelling and downtime.

The consensus was that the “existing print and apply systems were dated, unreliable, and costly to maintain as they had many moving parts. They became inefficient to operate and often caused unwanted downtime.”


Westland Cultivate their Packaging Process with Outer Case Printers

Westland’s keen interest in direct box printing led to an initial trial and test period. Where the unit very quickly proved its worth internally and with Westland’s external customers. Westland’s Chief Engineer, shared his original thoughts of the X72 trial:

Based on the impressive performance of the existing printing equipment that we already had on-site from Rotech (TIJ Printers for batch coding), we were very happy to investigate the potential of the X72 Outer Case Printer and agreed to a trial to ascertain the flexibility, reliability, and ease of use of the system, I am pleased to say that we were not disappointed.

It was an easy decision – Westland quickly progressed into purchasing one of the Seiko X72 units. Without hesitation it had shown itself to be the reigning champion of large area coding when compared against its print & apply counterparts.


Reap and Reward – the Benefits of a Rotech Seiko X72

The Rotech Seiko X72 uses a unique FREEFLOW® technology which explains many of the key benefits that Westland experienced. Primarily, the unit is unphased by the harsh and dusty environment that comes with handling horticultural products.  It has no moving parts, so is zero maintenance and isn’t messy unlike CIJ. Those benefits combined make it far more economical than any other solution.

Notably, the printed barcode, batch number and additional information forms a visually attractive code that leaves a more reliable, secure, and permanent image directly onto the case. Removing the labels, removes the risk of damage and labels peeling off.

All of Rotech’s direct box printers will start saving you money in no time at all. Not just through the initial investment of equipment, but also through the reduction of consumables and waste, elimination of labelling errors and increased uptime on the production line

Westland’s Chief Engineer’s closing thoughts, sum up the undeniable potential of the units perfectly:

In summary, the X72 has proved to be far more economical. Our savings based on direct box printing versus label print and apply are more than £3.5K per year, per unit. We have increased the uptime of the lines as the systems are so reliable and ‘simply, do not break-down’, further proving the financial benefits of investing in the units.

Rotech's X72 large area printer fitted on to Westland's conveyor Large area printer printing product information and barcode onto outercase Outercase boxes stacked on pallet in warehouse

Outer Case Printers Helping Westland Blossom!

Currently the printer is being used to pack and palletise their popular new product ‘Westland Boost All Purpose Liquid Plant Feed’. Moreover, since the success of the initial trial unit, Westland has ordered and installed a second and third system. There’s no better proof of the X72’s success than that.

If you would like to find out more about Rotech’s range of Seiko Outer case Printers, or would like information on any of our coding and marking solutions, please contact us on 01707 393 700 or send us an email [email protected]

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