Packaging Machines for the Beverage Industry

Tea, Coffee, Drink Cartons, Bottled Water (Cardboard Trays)

Whether a high volume manufacturer, or a supplier of lower volume specialist products, security in transit and traceability are essential requirements of product packaging in the beverage industry.

A common way of preparing beverages for transit is to place the primary packed product into a cardboard tray and shrink wrap the tray & product together. The wrapped trays will then be stacked on a pallet for storage and / or shipping.

The space for putting information on a tray tends to be limited, and a label may well be too big. The tray contents need to be easily identified with human readable information, especially once located in a warehouse or a bulk distribution facility. For automated storage facilities, some type of label / bar code may be required, and for inventory rotation purposes and traceability, best before dates, batch codes, shift codes will also be required.

Given the nature of, say, tea & coffee, they may alternatively be packed in Shelf Ready Boxes or narrow & small cardboard outer boxes.

Traceability: Tray Coding

A cardboard tray may only be 30-40mm high. The area therefore available for attaching information to a tray is very limited. Only the smallest of labels will fit. The smaller the label the less information it can carry. The smaller the information, the more difficult it is to distinguish what it says, especially by eye. Not all business is able to invest in state of the art RFID or bar code scanners. It is therefore still important to supply human readable information so that shelf fillers, for example, or warehouse personnel can be certain of getting the stock location and rotation correct. No one wants to be left with inventory that is very close to its sell by / use by date, or risk putting out to sell first the products with the longest life left.

A dot matrix case coder such as the Microjet, or the small character, high resolution Microjet HRP, HP cartridge printer are ideally placed to meet these requirements. Small, compact and self-contained, they print messages with excellent visibility.

HP Cartridge Printer

The HRP, HP Cartridge Printer is the first NO maintenance printer from within the ITW product range. Developed to use an HP cartridge with specialised industrial ink, it is an extremely clean printer with no spillage issues. The unit gives a very high quality print and compares very favourably with much more expensive CIJ systems or other high resolution printers. For example, a well known high street tea company wanted to code its trays within a very confined space just before the shrink-wrapping process. Because of its small size and excellent print quality combined with NO risk of spillage, this style of unit was chosen ahead of a Domino High Resolution Printer. And this was despite the customer being offered an FOC maintenance deal for the Domino System.

The tea company concerned now has plans to standardise all of its production lines with this printer.

Security in Transit: Pallet Wrapping

Pallets facilitate the moving / shipping of large quantities of filled trays in a stable and controlled manner. However, if the trays are not secured properly to the pallet for transit, there is a risk that the load will move and become damaged. This in turn leads to rejected deliveries, returns, re-work, and possibly a further, second delivery. All non-value added activities that add cost. Unnecessary cost.

Securing a palletised load to a pallet with pallet-wrap film is a simple yet economic method of eliminating these risks. A Pallet Wrapping Machine, when utilised for Wrapping Pallets, will enhance security, improve productivity and reduce packaging waste. It also helps build customer confidence that the products to be received will be in pristine condition ready for immediate sale. This in turn will enable the customer to minimise their inventory levels, so saving space, and money tied up in holding unnecessary inventory for re-sale.