11th March, 2015

Europe’s largest ice manufacturer has installed seven Zodiac thermal transfer overprinters from Clearmark Solutions (Interactive Coding Equipment - ICE) to meet the growing demand for its products.

The ICE co needed to replace outdated and unreliable printers as it enjoyed rapid expansion, including a growth in exports alone from 7 per cent to 36 per cent in three years, which resulted in the company winning The Grocer Gold Award for Exporter of the Year.

Replacement printers had to be easy to use, reliable, and simple to integrate with existing Vertical Form Fill & Seal (VFFS) machines on The Ice Co’s bagging lines.

The director of The Ice Co, Philip Marr says it was also important to choose a coding supplier who could be responsive and provide excellent after-care support.

“It’s vital to ensure that the equipment we use meets the same high quality standards that we set ourselves, and which our customers demand,” he states. “After meeting the team at ICE and seeing the Zodiac in action, we were impressed with the complete service they could provide.”

The first Zodiac purchased was so impressive that The Ice Co then installed another six across four production sites, printing a Julian date code for traceability on pillow pack bags of ice ready for distribution.

Like all ICE coders, the Zodiac incorporates the CLARiTY touchscreen operating interface as standard, which makes the Zodiac user friendly and intuitive. Pre-defined fields can be set up to minimise costly errors, while a use indicator tells the operator how much ribbon is remaining and predicts when it will run out.

Philip Marr says this functionality has been particularly valuable for The Ice Co: “The Zodiac is very efficient and the ribbon usage indicator is a great feature which allows us to plan ribbon changeovers. It also leaves little ribbon waste, making it efficient and cost effective."
“The printers are reliable and print high-quality codes,” he adds. “Combined with low maintenance, they have helped to improve our overall production efficiency.”

Founded in 1860 by Joseph Marr to provide a way of keeping the catch cold at sea for his fishing fleet, The Ice Co makes quality ice products for the retail, wholesale and food manufacturing markets. It is part of the expanding J Marr Group, which also includes The Ice Co Storage & Logistics, Blue Keld Springs Bottled Water and a property business.

To view the case study as a PDF click here ICE co Case study

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