ABOUT THE COMPANY
The company is a well-known British supplier of still and sparkling bottled water. Its water is carefully drawn from protected land that it keeps free from pollution, pesticides and habitation to ensure as pure a product as possible.
The company required a direct-application print system to apply labels to the outer shrink wraps of packs of six-to-12 bottles of water. The system had to be capable of matching its 24/7 high throughput of approximately 35 packs per minute, and provide excellent accuracy and reliability.
The company was experiencing a number of problems with its existing label applicator. It suffered a lot of premature printhead failure, with heads expiring long before the standard 100 km of print. Nor was it receiving enough support from the supplier over this problem.
In addition, the existing system had a poor application procedure, which required operators to manually remove labels during changeovers, and was therefore time-consuming and subject to human error.
The company required a print system whose components were durable and reliable, whose supplier provided frequent and responsive servicing, and which featured a label out system that automatically printed the correct label after changeover, minimising the possibility of incorrect labelling.
Having identified its Vulcan Print & Apply Labeller as the perfect solution, ICE installed one at the company’s factory, as well as a barcode reader and verification system.
The ICE Vulcan is significantly more advanced than the company’s previous labelling system, providing speed up to three times faster than traditional machines, and therefore matching the company’s high throughput requirements.
The system has a small footprint, enabling easy integration into the line, while its sophisticated ribbon drive helps ensure that it never misses a label – regardless of line throughput, build pack or pack size.
This means the ICE Vulcan is essentially maintenance-free, though ICE nevertheless keeps in regular contact with the company to check that it is performing.
Due to the fact that, with the ICE Vulcan, 80% of traditional wear parts such as the slip clutch and the nip drive are removed, the system is also providing the company with vastly improved reliability and reduced expenditure on consumables.
Finally, thanks to the ICE Vulcan’s label-out system, whenever there is a product changeover now, the next label printed will always be correct – something that could not be guaranteed with the accumulation system of the company’s previous labelling solution.
Since it began using the ICE Vulcan to apply labels to its packs of bottles, the company has enjoyed massively increased uptime and significant savings on consumables expenditure and servicing.