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Food ID: No matter if individual or series labeling – cab provides solutions

cab devices and systems trigger unique identification, automated processes and networking. Retailers and wholesalers thus remain compliant with continuously changing regulations.

Label data can decide whether a product is carried by a consumer to the checkout or returned to the shelf. Ingredients, nutritional values or allergens, prices, quantities, shelf life or origins may be relevant. Individual tasks are required from a label: identification of items indoor or outdoor, in freezers, on packaging or as tags on meat or fish. See the following examples.

Juice knows apple
Autumn is the season of truth for orchard growers. Apples, pears and quinces have matured and are ready for harvesting. Some species are fine for juicemaking. Mobile presses support at various locations. Mr. Ralph Joos operates the Malsch Saftmobil. When on-site at appointed locations within South Germany, he has always has a cab printer and proper labels with him.

What exactly is going on here?
Joos: All the apples delivered are cleaned with high pressure, conveyed to a tank, mushed and pressed. The pomace is separated and the juice led to another tank. Brief heating makes it durable. The pasteurized juice is filled in foiled bags providing an outlet valve. We then pack the bags in cardboard boxes. Some customers like their juice untreated. Alcoholic fermentation turns it to cider.

How do you label the juice boxes?
Joos: We used to buy labels ready-printed with our logo and address. We removed them from their liner material by hand and stuck them. As our system has been certified eco, we now make juice also of fruit organically grown. These are sold by resellers. We therefore need on the labels additional EAN codes, dates of expiration, lot numbers and descriptions related to a product.

This is why you decided for a MACH 4S?
Joos: Yes. We offer juice made of apples, pears and quinces, type-specific or mixed, clear or turbid, or of fruit organically grown. 3 or 5 liters can be selected. Such variety results in a lot of different labels we would have to buy ready-printed. Now I set up labels myself using the cablabel software and transfer them to the MACH 4S using USB. Stand-alone operation requires no PC. We can access the labels anywhere, print them and stick them to boxes, according to the juice we have just produced.

Why a peel-off printer?
Joos: We all know how uncomfortable it is to peel off a label, locate corners and margins and, on this occasion, cause damage to them. The printer model we selected separates a printed label from its liner material. I only have to remove it from the peel-off plate. While I stick the label, the printer is already printing the next one and provides it as well. This is great!

You have become more flexible with the label data.
Joos: Yes. We can add another prompt on a label – “Grandpa’s best” for example, or “Pete’s favorite juice”. Kids love that. They occasionally help us on the bottling trailer and are then happy and proud to return home with their own juice.

Broccoli on the fly
It is green and known to be healthy: broccoli. In Europe, the Netherlands ranks among its most important exporting countries. The Gebr. Hoff en Zonen company cultivates in Western Frisia. Freshly harvested, the broccoli finds its way to the packing hall to get prepared for delivery to supermarkets. Along each conveyor line, a maximum of 70 broccoli per minute can be shrink-wrapped in transparent foil, weighed, labeled and sorted fully automatically one by one.

Customized workstations
Each broccoli is different. As a consequence, label printing systems must dynamically apply the labels on vegetables of different sizes and shapes within a conveyor line. Uneven foil materials for shrink-wrapping as well as broccoli passing the labeling station quickly one after the other are further factors to take into critical account.

Two cab HERMES systems are installed on each conveyor line for printing labels and applying them. Various label layouts are in use. Product information is printed rapidly on labels by the first HERMES and these labels are applied precisely on each wrapped broccoli. Pre-printed decoration labels are applied by the second HERMES. As for transferring printed labels, the air jet box 6114 was first choice. It sucks a label printed by the print unit with the help of a fan. A powerful blast of air makes labels overcome distances of about 20 cm to land on the broccoli without contacting its surface. No pressure is exerted on the vegetables. Finally, the identified broccoli are sorted along the conveyor to the correct weight section.

The packing plant has been designed by a system integrator and cab partner. The HERMES integrate very well to conveyor lines with the help of stands, assembly aids, sensors or switches. The firmware enables fast printer programming. A minimum of efforts is required to maintain these devices.

Any conceivable operation
Products require labeling, in the food sector, but also beyond. Labels trigger identification, refer to origins, indicate batches or quantities. In the automotive sector, they ensure components to the smallest screw be traceable, in logistics scheduled delivery. On electrical devices, metal or plastic typeplates refer to performance data and use. The pharmaceutical industry sees labels secure analyses relevant to health. In chemistry, labels point out to risks associated with the handling of a product – multi-colored and without language barriers. Textile labels display best possible care.

cab since 45 years develops and manufactures markings solutions for any operation, added by a wide range of accessories. Practical case studies are provided on www.cab.de/en/news/case-studies

Company profile
cab is Europe’s leading manufacturer of devices and systems to label individual components, units, products and packaging. Healthy global growth, both technical and functional lead and competent customer support are prior goals of the company. There are 400 employees in Germany and in seven subsidiaries abroad as well as 820 distribution partners in more than 80 countries to meet the targets.

forrás: cab.de 2021.02.15

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