Flexible labelling system taps into Fourpure’s expansion thirst

4th May, 2022

Located on London’s famous Bermondsey Beer Mile, the Fourpure Brewing Company recently installed a flexible and moveable case coding system from Clearmark Solutions to complement its £2.5million expansion investment, which now comprises a fully automated canning line.

Fourpure beer taps

Replacing a legacy ink coder on the case packing line, the ICE Vulcan print and apply labelling system now fully satisfies supermarket GS1 barcoding requirements by ensuring every single SKU contains a clearly legible Grade A barcode and is positioned in a uniform way.

Supplied with a modular conveyor, engineered to address several specific automation challenges, Clearmark designed, built and delivered the print and apply labelling system to accommodate multiple pack formats, in less than 10 weeks.

In 2021, the Bermondsey business, established by two brothers inspired by the US West Coast brewing scene just eight years previously, reported double demand for their canned beer. Prompting the popular brand to invest £2.5 million in upgrading its SE16 canning line. Fulfilling this swell in sales, Fourpure needed an ultra-reliable and fast print and apply machine for its new purpose-built packaging facility.

Three times faster than conventional print & apply labellers, Fourpure’s ICE Vulcan was innovatively customised to streamline the labelling of packaged cans destined for British supermarkets.

ICE Vulcan Print and Apply at Fourpure brewery applying a label to a box

Located on the outfeed of the case–packer conveyor, Clearmark’s unique Direct Apply non-pneumatic application ensures the ultra-reliable print and apply labelling system never misses a pack, no matter how close together they arrive and pass in front of the Vulcan. Even when cases aren’t evenly spaced or when the gap between two packs is as little as 10mm.

Kurt Fletcher, Packaging Manager at the Bermondsey brewery comments: “Before the Vulcan we were hand labelling boxes for a good percentage of our production runs. It was hard. Either we printed too many labels which meant lots of excess, or too few labels and were running around to source more. The Vulcan on cue printing is great for us and reduces our wastage. The physical application is seamless and places the label in the same spot every time, keeping up with our 30 packs per minute. This would be a tiring and repetitive job for staff to perform.”

Irrespective of speed, Clearmark’s Intelligent Motion™ technology automatically adjusts and maintains the label reel tension, eliminating label slippage. Simultaneously, the solid state printhead delivers the exact pressure required for repeatable and high quality print resolutions.

Refreshingly simple

In keeping with Fourpure’s comprehensive but easily understood brand appeal, the award-winning brewery intentionally selected a labelling system that could clearly present all the traceability and GS1 information without compromising the craft brewer’s modest case designs.

Kurt explains: “For our products to be heading to large retailers the labels need to be clear and legible. The Vulcan prints perfectly every time ensuring a uniform presentation and label integrity. For all team members it’s so easy to use. Simple, yet brilliant. The team really likes the design ease of the CLARiSOFT drag and drop software. It ensures that everyone is able to create top notch labels for our products.”

“Labelling on average 30 ppm with the highest precision with no compressed air requirements, the ICE Vulcan is capable of four times the current line speed, which gives huge future proofing. Additionally its maintenance free design reduces the printer’s total cost of ownership, equating to incredibly small ongoing operation and maintenance costs,” explains Clearmark’s Steve Hancock.

Clearmark’s ability to adjust the configuration of the packing line sealed the deal for Fourpure. Supplying the labelling solution conveyor on high quality castors, the packaging team can easily manoeuvre the ICE Vulcan to print and apply labels on both the smaller pack configurations upstream, in addition to the larger cases sealed for transit at the downstream outfeed.

“Our ability to reconfigure the line not only future proofs the business, they also have two solutions for the price of one,” exclaims Steve.

Interested in learning more about the ICE Vulcan Print and Apply Labeller? You can find all information on the LPA printer here. If you want to speak directly to us about the Vulcan, please feel free to contact us.