Whitby Seafoods Wave Goodbye to Poor Codes and Missed Packs with Fully Networked ICE Coders and Print Applicator

22nd July, 2020
Thermal Transfer | Print & Apply | Flexible Packaging | Cardboard Boxes

About Whitby Seafoods

Whitby Seafoods Ltd is a privately owned family business. Based in the seaside town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, it specialises in sourcing, processing, packing and distributing over 9,000 tonnes of seafood a year. The company supplies several major UK supermarkets and processors.

The Need

With the business continuing to grow, downtime in the pack house had to be significantly reduced in order to keep up with growing production demands.

With Whitby’s legacy equipment struggling with reliability and throughput, ICE identified that its Thermal Transfer Overprinters, Print and Apply Labellers and CLARiNET networking technology could provide far greater printing capabilities, accuracy and performance.

As Whitby supplies to a range of retailers, it was important that the coders and labellers could be networked for various production cycles, to ensure both primary and secondary packaging would leave the factory with the correct variable information.

The Solution

Clearmark identified that by installing a Zodiac HS Thermal Transfer Overprinter and Vulcan Print and Apply labeller on two of Whitby’s packaging house lines, would allow codes to be easily printed onto flexible packaging bags at the desired throughput. It also allowed for the relevant secondary packaging information to be applied at the end of the line accurately, with minimal wastage.

Installation was organised and trouble-free, as a result of Clearmark’s growing and experienced in-house design and field-based teams – reflecting the company’s belief in supporting its customers and driving excellence through quality solutions and support.

With an intuitive error-proof operator touchscreen being supplied with every ICE machine, operator training was simple and easy, causing minimum disruption to production.

The Benefit

The ICE Vulcan is significantly more advanced than the company’s previous labelling system, providing speed up to three times faster than traditional machines, and therefore matching the company’s high throughput requirements.

The system has a small footprint, enabling easy integration into the line, while its sophisticated ribbon drive helps ensure that it never misses a label – regardless of line throughput, build pack or pack size.

This means the ICE Vulcan is essentially maintenance-free, though ICE nevertheless keeps in regular contact with the company to check that it is performing.

Due to the fact that with the ICE Vulcan 80% of traditional wear parts such as the slip clutch and the nip drive are removed, the system is also providing the company with vastly improved reliability and reduced expenditure on consumables.

Finally, thanks to the ICE Vulcan’s label-out system, whenever there is a product changeover now, the next label printed will always be correct – something that could not be guaranteed with the accumulation system of the company’s previous labelling solution.

“The Vulcan labellers have allowed us to significantly reduce label printing errors. Being able to check a job file from the office and on the coder touchscreen also provides added peace of mind.” – John Tate, Asset Operations Manager at Whitby Seafoods.

The Future

As a result of the proven performance and reliability of existing ICE equipment, Whitby has recently purchased a third Vulcan labeller with an accumulation system, delivering a full end of line solution. When installed, there will be a Vulcan Print and Apply labeller on all three packaging lines at Whitby.

“Since investing in our first ICE coder, we’ve continued to be impressed with the reliability of the machines.

It makes sense to continue to install ICE printers as we expand, knowing that they work well with other machines in the factory and can easily be added to the existing list of networked coders and labellers.”

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