When thePaulig Group (Helsinki, Finland) required a means to automatically print labels and validate the barcodes on pallets of coffee products, it contracted Informa (Espoo, Finland) to develop a solution.
The system Informa created for Paulig prints and applies labels on two sides of the pallets and simultaneously validates the quality and readability of the barcode on the label to universally recognized GS1 standards.
Once a ready pallet approaches the end of the packaging line, all the necessary data for the label is sent to a thermal printer from a centralized manufacturing database. When the labeling system detects the pallet, a label is printed and applied to the pallet with a robotic arm. The pallet then moves forward on the line, after which a second identical label is applied to its side.
The A5 sized labels can be used to identify the pallets through unique Serial Shipping Container Codes (SSCC) which are printed on them, enabling cross docking, shipment routing, and automated receiving processes to be automated.
Informa recommended the QX-870 sweeping raster laser scanner from Microscan (Renton, WA, USA) for scanning and validating the barcodes on the labels immediately after they had been printed. The QX-870 laser scanner features a programmable sweeping raster to read multiple codes in varying locations.
"We recommended the QX-870 from Microscan thanks to its reliability. Even though the pallet could be registered manually or with handheld barcode scanners, an integrated and automated barcode scanning solution is the fastest and most reliable option in this case," says Jari Hanén, Key Account Manager at Informa.
Paulig now relies on the automated labeling and validation solution to eliminate human errors, increase efficiency, and ensure that labels meet industry standards - all of which help to streamline its supply chain operations, ensure traceability and decrease costs.
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor,Vision Systems Design