Published on April 24, 2014
Coding & Marking Essentials For Confectionery Manufacturers & Packers Linx Printing Technologies
Overview • Growing Confectionery industry • Coding considerations and digital solutions • Linx coding technologies for confectionery 2
The growing Confectionery industry • According to Euromonitor, the chocolate confectionery industry is set to generate constant value sales of £6.7 billion by 2018 • Mintel’s report in 2011 deemed the industry ‘recession proof’, consumers not cutting their confectionery spend despite pressure on household budgets • In the same Mintel report, the chocolate industry’s growth was set at a constant 5%; at worst it will be worth £5,059 million in 2016 • Bitesize confectionery has seen a 40% growth in the last four years according to Mars
Coding considerations There is a wide range of considerations when coding in the Confectionery industry: • Coding Integrity • Linx Speeds • IP Protection & Hygiene • Seasonality • Changes To Packaging
Coding integrity The challenge: • Confectionery needs to be accurately coded with information to conform to stringent standards, such as strict EU legislation for food • Older, non-digital coding technologies such as roller coding or hot stamping, which are contact methods of coding, can lead to smudged codes or ones that are liable to be scratched off The digital solution: • Digital coders which are non-contact can code clearly on a range of packaging materials and irregular surfaces, and in small, hard-to-reach places on the production line • Digital coders such as Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) or lasers provide a more permanent code
Line speeds The challenge: • Line speeds can be anywhere up to 150 packs per minute (ppm) on a 24/7 basis depending on seasonality • Variation in speeds especially with contract packing – so coding needs to be consistent at lower speeds e.g. 50 ppm on a 12/5 basis • Products may need to be detected on the production line in a non-regular way, where companies use hand-fed conveyors The digital solution: • Digital coders can work with varying line speeds, and non-contact sensor technology allows for coding only when a product passes the machine, meaning no waste • The variety of line speeds at which digital coders work means no loss in code integrity
IP ratings & hygiene The challenge: • Powders used in the production of confectionery products can make the coding environment dusty, which can interfere with machinery • As they are dealing with food, the coding area must be hygienic The digital solution: • IP ratings on many digital coders ensure that they are secured against environmental conditions which could affect their components • IP ratings also ensure that machines can be washed down after use to maintain hygiene • Many digital coding technologies are non-contact, further ensuring maintenance of hygiene • Food-grade inks can be used either onto the product itself or where it may come into incidental contact with the product
Seasonality The challenge: • Confectionery producers need to ramp up production at different times of year e.g. Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day • Machines may be used by new staff with varying levels of training, or may be controlled centrally by management • Coders need to be able to start up reliably every time, as and when required • Codes may need to be changed frequently with minimal downtime The digital solution: • Coders can be pre-programmed, lowering the chance of errors from the operator • Most CIJ coders flush through the system at shutdown, ensuring a clean startup every time • Code setup and changeovers are quicker and easier
Changes to packaging The challenge: • New packaging trends, reacting to changing consumer tastes, using various different materials • Changes to packaging design, whether for smaller or more complex packaging The digital solution: • Non-contact coders deliver clear codes on a wide variety of substrates, including anything from card to flow wrap • Wide range of inks available with CIJ coders allows legible coding on any colour of substrate • Increased flexibility of coders allow product marking in various orientations and at different code sizes at the touch of a button • Future proof with add-ons enable users to react quickly to changing trends
Linx coding solutions • We offer a wide range of technologies for both primary and secondary packaging to deliver high quality codes that meet the industry’s exacting standards • You can ramp up production without having to worry about a loss in code integrity • We deliver a flexible coding solution through leasing: – We offer a range of options to help you ramp up production without the need for any capital outlay – Leasing delivers peace of mind as you have the benefit of a fully serviced coding technology
FIND OUT MORE WWW.LINX.CO.UK/CONFECTIONERY
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