Pyrotec PackMark, June 2021: Coding, marking and labelling is essential to the FMCG supply chain – from raw material to the end users. At every stage of a product’s life, coding, marking and labelling equipment and materials are used for identification, tracing, shipping and marketing.
With this in mind, the equipment you install needs to not only be fit for purpose and able to withstand the production environment in which it needs to operate, it also needs to ensure that downtime is minimised, product changeovers are fast and efficient, and that it offers easy use for operators.
Because packaging is generally categorised by its function – primary, secondary and tertiary packaging – specific equipment has been developed for the coding, marking and labelling requirements for each category.
Primary packaging is the material that contains or comes into direct contact with the product. For this category, labels and codes are most often used for regulatory purposes. They include traceability information, use by, best before date codes, barcodes, lot codes and serialisation numbers.
These codes or labels are typically applied using one of the following, depending on the packaging material, design, and speed of end-of-line requirements:
- Label applicator
- Continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer
- Thermal Ink Jet (TIJ)
- Thermal Transfer Overprint (TTO)
- Thermal Transfer label printer.
Holding a number of primary packages together is the secondary packaging.
In this case, labels and codes are printed or applied directly onto the case. These usually showcase the manufacturer’s logo and other graphics, as well as any necessary regulatory and distribution information. Promotional information may also be printed on POS (Point of Sale) packaging to present multiple products in an aesthetically pleasing way. Well-designed and printed POS packaging solutions can support a consumer’s buying decision as the packaging can be creative and feature key selling points about the displayed products features.
Equipment for this coding and labelling step in the packaging process includes:
- Print and apply label applicators
- Piezo Ink Jet (PIJ) printers
- Thermal Ink Jet (TIJ) printers
- Thermal Transfer label printers.
Tertiary packaging is the outermost carton and is used for bulk handling, warehousing, transport and shipping. The most common form is a palletised load for shipping. To code or mark these cartons, manufacturers need:
- Pallet label print and apply equipment, or
- Thermal transfer label printers.
Considering what you need
There are many factors that affect the quality of the code or label application, such as temperatures variances, dusty or wet production areas, and the line’s speed. When deciding on new coding, marking or labelling equipment, consider where the labelling or coding will occur on your production line.
Pyrotec PackMark provides a comprehensive portfolio of world-class coding equipment for primary, secondary and tertiary packaging requirements.
For assistance selecting the perfect machine for your requirements, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.