Using preprinted foil is a trend in soft fruit

The growing demand for transparency in the chain means more and more attention for coding and labeling. More customers are asking for the imprinting of preprinted foil, according to operational manager Ad Nouws, BerryWorld.

With 70 different kinds of punnets, trays, and buckets, supplied to the supermarkets and other retail channels domestically and abroad, a smooth running coding and labeling process is a must for the company. And it is necessary, with an average weekly production of 1.5 million punnets.

Ad: "Every day, the soft fruit from the various BerryWorld growers arrives at our sorting center in Made. We divide all the fruit into various classes and quantities. With 70 different kinds of punnets, we can pack in any desired form and content. We also supply trays and buckets with larger purchases of course. A bit of customization which greatly benefits our customers, because anything is possible."

"After an extensive, automatic product analysis, the approved soft fruit is packaged on eight lines. The majority of the punnets with soft fruit is closed off with a top seal by the tray seal machine. If seal packaging is not desirable, a lid is placed. Then our coding and labeling process starts, which we can completely customize according to the customer's wishes."

Flexibility was therefore an important condition to choose for a complete solution for coding and labeling of De Koningh Coding & Labeling. 

Direct coding
"We often print the weight, country of origin, product category, batch code, bar code, and packaging information. With the Linx TT5 and TT10, we can code any message directly onto the foil. Depending on the type of foil printer, a message can be printed of 53 mm to 107 mm wide. The preprinted foil of our customers has certain empty spaces which will be imprinted with the desired information, which is a clear trend in the soft fruit sector.

"If they have chosen for a label, we can imprint all variable data with our Altech print & apply machines for printed and empty labels in one go, both on the top side and the underside of the punnet. For applying promotional labels or extra labels, we use Altech labeling systems.

"To be extra flexible, we have our own print shop with multiple Zebra desktop printers. This enables us to precisely print batch labels on a roll. Then the labels are applied automatically with the labeling systems on the line. Hardly any maintenance is required and our operators can work quickly and efficiently with these machines."

Verification of label presence and correct coding
To ensure a flawless coding of the soft fruit, De Koningh has realized a smart software solution. The software first checks the presence of the label with the linked scanners. Then the bar code is scanned and all data verified. If a label is missing, or the scanned data does not match what should have been printed, the product is excluded.

Ad: "With this extra check, we are sure that the right product has been labeled and sent to the right customer. I want our coding and labeling process to run smoothly and that is why I have opted for the complete solution offered by De Koningh. For all our machines, print lines, software, and service, I can go to them, and that is worth pure gold."

This article was issued previously in edition 3, volume 33 of trade magazine AGF Primeur. See 

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