Based in Cumbria, UK, The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, a supplier to leading retailer and food service customers, has increased its egg pre-pack coding capabilities since the installation of two Domino D320i lasers in December 2011.
The Lakes team is now said to be ‘so confident in the fully integrated lasers and the quality they produce’, that the need for someone to watch over the company's five packing lines has been removed and the lines are now fully automated.
Domino’s D320i scribing laser permanently applies codes to a variety of materials from low to high production speeds, and is capable of producing unlimited lines of text in any orientation, and in many fonts and sizes. It is described as energy efficient, compact and user friendly.
The lasers are said to have had a positive impact on production levels, cutting the time taken to check accurate coding and eliminating the need for human intervention on the now fully automated lines. Integrated into five packing lanes, the D320i lasers code egg pre-packs that are destined for some of the leading UK food retailers, such as Morrisons, McDonald’s and Booths.
Mark Gaskin, managing director at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, commented: ‘With the recent upgrade of our facilities we felt it was time to upgrade our capabilities too, and wanted something new to work on five packing lanes out of a total 14, which were previously all covered by thermal label applicators from another product manufacturer.
‘Maria Harris, our factory manager, felt that by introducing a solution that diminished the need for human intervention, whereby someone would need to be checking the packs and labels for accuracy, we could gain considerable time and cost savings that would allow us to increase our production capacity.
‘We decided to move away from thermal labels in the hope we would no longer need to check consistency of the codes on the boxes, and when Domino approached us with the D320i Laser, the high quality results produced by the laser looked like the perfect solution to our needs.’
Maria Harris, factory manager, commented: ‘The D320i lasers were seamlessly installed and integrated with the robot packers that are fed via a Moba conti-flow system from five lanes on the Moba Omnia Egg Grader. The main issue that we have with thermal labels is achieving consistently accurate label positioning; this requires ongoing monitoring and adjustment. The lasers therefore save on labor as well as labels.
‘The D320i’s are fully integrated so the lines stop automatically if there is a problem, which we are delighted to say has so far been very seldom. In addition to being extremely reliable and efficient, the quality of the codes is excellent, and the laser can be used on plastic, polystyrene or pulp fiber packs giving us clear and precise results every time. Our team has found them easy to use and one major advantage is that we don’t need to contend with replacing consumables as is the case with labelers, resulting in reduced downtime and further cost savings.’
Pictured: Domino’s D320i Scribing Laser in action on the packing line at The Lakes