How food manufacturers can turn Barcode-Labelling Compliance into an opportunity.

Glenrath Farms are one of the UK’s leading egg production companies. Supplying leading supermarkets, they needed to comply with short-life product coding, which meant moving from an ITF 14 barcode, holding static data, to a GS128 barcode, which could hold dynamic data for traceability.

To comply with this legislation, Glenrath had been printing labels offline and hand applying, but this was expensive and open to human error.

Line challenges to be considered

With the rest of the line automated the challenge was to engage Print & Apply experts who could design and install a solution around the existing conveyor system. To ensure all boxes were stable when palletised, mixed boxes on all the lines at Glenrath were sent through a single shrink-wrap tunnel and each box would need to be identified as it exited.

With each box already having an old ITF 14 code, Cobalt proposed a solution that could read this code through the shrink wrap. The system would then identify each product and apply the correct label with a GS1-128 code to each case including batch number and date with full validation.

Intelligent configuration and approach delivers 30 week ROI.

Importantly, Cobalt intelligent design ensured no alterations would be required to the existing line and box orientation.

Cobalt were appointed because they were able to provide Glenrath with what they wanted, whereas all the competition had insisted the packs needed to be turned pre-labelling. – John Pearson, Head Engineer at Glenrath Farms commented

Cobalt partnered Glenrath to deliver compliance effectively, enabling them to satisfy their retail clients and meet food standards strict criteria on traceability and labelling. Although legislation was the key driver, the project not only removed risk but also reduced waste and cost from hand labelling.

The result was an amazing return on investment in just 30 weeks!

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