Laurens Patisseries, a leading US cakes and pastries manufacturer has installed a Package Coding Management System from Claricom to allow centralised network control of on-pack coding to increase efficiency and eliminate the risk of product recalls due to coding errors.
Laurens Patisseries is a major supplier to retailers who lay down strict guidelines about the need for coding accuracy, with heavy penalties imposed on suppliers who fail to meet these standards.
Laurens Patisseries uses the Claricom ClariSoft Generic Image Design Software to compile and maintain a centralised technical database of product coding information (Use By Dates, Price etc.) and associated message designs for all of its product lines. This allows a single controlled source of all coding information where data need only be entered once.
The use of ClariSoft allows all the coding information, including the "look and feel" of the printed images to be managed off-line, further reducing the scope for errors and ensuring consistent coding across all lines.
A network is then used to automatically set up all of the coding equipment and on-line barcode reading equipment, reducing the risk of human errors that could occur if the information had to be inputted separately to each machine. This therefore promotes consistency and accuracy during every production run.
Supervisors use portable handheld bar code readers to set up the equipment on a given production line, confirming that the correct product and product packaging has been selected. Using a bar code reader increases efficiency and reduces the scope for manual error.
All the information is then inputted automatically from the secure technical database; this includes the date coding, price and weight declarations and the format the printed information should take.
At the same time on-line bar code reading equipment is also automatically activated to ensure that every single carton matches the selected product i.e. the product is in the correct carton.
The Claricom products provide an open platform system that works with all leading makes and models of coding and labelling equipment, and are therefore able to operate across the different models of ink jet coders currently in use at Laurens Patisseries. Equally important, they can be extended to case or tray end labelling when required.
The decision to install the Claricom system was a key part of Laurens Patisseries' quality manufacturing objectives, as technical manager Jenny Gamon explained: "As a supplier to the major retailers product quality and safety are paramount. We therefore installed a system that would reduce the risk of human error in setting up our coders, while at the same time being flexible enough to cope with a large product range and frequent changeovers".