RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ICE AND REAL YORKSHIRE PUDDING COMPANY CONTINUES TO RISE AFTER SUCCESSFUL VULCAN INSTALLATION
Coding specialist Interactive Coding Equipment (ICE) is helping the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company to increase its production line efficiencies following the UK-first installation of the company’s new ICE Vulcan print and apply labeller.
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The Vulcan continues a history of ICE installations at the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company that spans 13 years. The company was also the first customer for ICE’s revolutionary Zodiac thermal transfer printer when it was launched in 2001 and its equipment portfolio now comprises four Zodiacs as well as the new Vulcan.
Based in Thorne, the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company supplies chilled and frozen Yorkshire puddings to leading retailers, including Waitrose, Tesco and Morrisons. With around 1.5 million Yorkshire puddings coming off the line each week the company needed a printer applicator machine to improve productivity at the final packing stage.
Replacing manual labelling on its secondary packaging line, the Vulcan prints and applies onto the company’s outer cases. This has resulted in significant savings of around 4 to 5 hours in production time and is also enabling The Real Yorkshire Pudding Company to achieve significant waste reductions as it now prints only the labels it needs in real time.
In addition, the new system allows the use-by date to be incorporated into the product barcode, enabling more information to be added to the outer box.
The ICE Vulcan print and apply labeller is the first of its type to print and directly apply the label to a pack – both traded unit boxes and shrinkwrap packs – in one continuous action without the need for a tamp applicator or compressed air. This means the machine can print at the speed of the line, even when packs are very closely spaced, without ever missing a pack, achieving speeds that are up to three times faster than traditional print and apply labellers.
Like all ICE equipment, the Vulcan uses the company’s Clarity intelligent and intuitive interface, which offers ease of set-up and operation and simple integration into factory systems.
Real Yorkshire Pudding Company managing director Paul Holmes says that the reliability of the ICE equipment has been essential to the productivity of the company.
Previously, the company had a number of other coding systems that didn’t live up to the high levels of output needed. He explains: “These machines all offered a supposedly low cost solution but the reliability just wasn’t there.”
The impact of the Vulcan installation has been similar to the introduction of the very first ICE Zodiac TTO at the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company, which replaced a non-digital rotary coder and was fitted to a Record Panda Flow wrapper.
The Zodiac provided improvements to print quality, ease of use and product changeover times and also allowed for real time printing of production dates and times.
This resulted in a much higher output of 100 packs per minute, on a long pack approximately 450mm long. The company now has additional Zodiac HS machines fitted to flow wrap machines, as well as one fitted to a Sandiacre VFFS Bag Maker.
Paul Holmes adds: “When the first Zodiac was installed the change was impressive – it ran at a very fast speed. Reliability and quality are key to our production facility and because we had such a lot of downtime previously the switch to the ICE systems has made a significant impact to our production levels.”
The company is now considering further extending its ICE equipment range. “There is a very good chance that this isn’t the last installation of an ICE system, as we have been very impressed by the continual reliability of the Zodiac systems and now the Vulcan too,” confirms Paul Holmes.
The relationship between the two companies has always been very strong with the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company valuing the high level of service that ICE offers covering maintenance, servicing and production advice.
ICE director Chris Simpson concludes: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company. The installations are examples of how the Zodiac and Vulcan can achieve benefits that can be seen not just in day-to-day operations but, equally important, on the bottom line, with a fast payback on investment.”