Following a highly successful exhibition at this year’s PPMA show, the team at Cobalt Systems was thrilled to be recognized at the 2023 PPMA Industry Awards for its bespoke print and apply solution that was designed, manufactured and installed at Zebra Technologies.

The project demonstrated Cobalt’s ability to innovate and collaborate to develop a bespoke solution that solved a unique set of challenges and also put Cobalt’s long-term partner, Zebra Technologies, in the role of customer. Tony Hunt, Managing Director at Cobalt Systems, commented; “The project was developed to further improve efficiencies at Zebra’s label manufacturing facility in Preston. As a Zebra Premier Solution Partner, Cobalt was already very well known to the Zebra production team and so were well placed to recommend and deliver a solution to expand the process efficiency.”

The PPMA Industry Awards recognise the finest examples of innovation, smart manufacturing, entrepreneurship, and collaboration across all facets of the industry. “As a print and apply automation specialist, we were delighted when Zebra chose us to work with on this project,” continue Hunt. “In this instance, part of our solution was integrated into the assembly process of the Zebra wristband cartridges. The project has created many benefits for Zebra; the whole process is streamlined and efficient, saving time and labour. By removing much of the manual process, the labels are accurately applied and scanned to ensure print quality using Zebra’s Fixed Industrial Scanners. The elevator system has reduced the manual handling for the first operator, which means they can remain seated and comfortable throughout. The throughput capabilities of the NEXUS 20 print and apply solution, combined with the box erector means that there is the potential to step up production as the Z-band market grows.”

The award for Innovative Processing System was given to Cobalt at the Industry Awards event after the first day of the show. “We are long-standing members and exhibitors at the PPMA and events such as the Industry Awards is an excellent opportunity to celebrate our industry,” explains Hunt. “We always have success at the PPMA show and enjoy meeting customers and new prospects, but the awards is a wonderful opportunity for us to network with the wider industry and be part of something bigger. It’s an honour to win an award, especially for a project we’re very proud of.”

To see the award-winning solution in action at Zebra, watch our case study video on YouTube.