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Pet food company doubles output

August 16th, 2012 Posted by Coding Canada Team

Next Generation Pet Foods is a leading distributor of fresh and frozen pet foods, plus dry dog food, for some of Australia’s largest manufacturers.

The company has recently improved its efficiency by purchasing a Linx TT10 thermal transfer overprinter to code onto a wide range of pack sizes. The company had expanded into second premises in 2010 and found that their output volume and speed were hampered by a manual coding process. Staff had to stand on the line, using a hand-held label gun to put a sticker on each pack. This was costly on resources: both in terms of manual labour and materials, with the company holding thousands of stickers in inventory. Wastage was also an issue. Human error resulted in wasted stickers, some products had to be thrown out if the coding error could not be fixed, and misaligned stickers gave a less than professional finish. N

ext Generation Pet Foods wanted to improve labelling efficiency to match their output and to enable the company to continue to grow. Having always had a manual-labelling process, the purchase of a new piece of capital equipment was a big step for the company. They wanted value for money, yet a solution that was easy to use and would allow them to expand their existing markets.

The solution needed to be able to code a wide range of pack sizes – Next Generation Pet Foods has some 60 different SKUs. They were also looking to code a vast amount of information, ranging from barcodes and best before dates to ingredients listings and promotional text. Automating the labelling process was an essential requirement for them, and the new coder would need to be integrated into the existing vertical form fill and seal (FSS) machine.

After comparing several coding solutions, the Linx TT10 thermal transfer overprinter was purchased from Linx’s Australian distributor – Matthews Australasia – for a variety of reasons: value for money solution; local service capabilities; and easy to use interface. Matthews integrated the TT10 into the FSS machine where it prints onto generic plastic film. It codes barcodes, product-tracking codes, best before and production dates, an ingredients listing plus any other information, as needed.

The Linx TT10 has enabled Next Generation Pet Foods to use generic film for their Australian Pet Treats label, which has resulted in large cost savings. By removing the manual process alone the company has managed to double its production output rate, product and label wastage has virtually been eliminated, and the company’s professional finish has improved.

The new coding solution has also given the company the flexibility of a 24-hour turn-around time for new products. This has enabled them to personalise products for promotions, or to test new products with minimal outlay. GM Alison Minnikin says, “That has been worth thousands of dollars to us. Plus, our clients love the ability to customise promotional products. It’s very valuable to them.”

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