Coding and labeling in the cold cuts sector
Labeling in the food industry is an essential tool for guaranteeing product health and safety.
The regulations in force in this area underscore that food labels provide information that helps consumers to make decisions regarding their diet.
These decisions can be influenced by a range of factors, whether they be economic, health related, environmental, social or ethical. These regulations also already take into account avoiding missing information.
Table of contents
- The importance of labeling in purchase decisions
- A coding solution
- A comprehensive labeling and inspection system
- Macsa ID printing and label application systems
- Information sources
The importance of labeling in purchase decisions
Food labels need to be very clear and understandable, highly legible and easy to comprehend, in order to meet consumer expectations, because more and more people are comparing product labels before buying.
Paying attention to labels should be a habit, as it not only helps us to find out the ingredients, but also helps us to avoid substances or products that may cause allergies or intolerances. Therefore, nutrition labeling is becoming a valid communication tool for promoting consumer food education.
Worldwide, there are different legal provisions for food labeling, but in general, they indicate the same aspects:
- Name of the product
- Ingredients and quantities
- Expiry date
- Storage and conditions of use
- Name and address of the food company
- Country or place of origin
- Nutritional information
In addition, if necessary, the instructions for use will also be provided, as well as details of the ingredients present in the food that may cause allergies or intolerances.
¿Would you like more information about Macsa ID’s solution or Coding and labeling in the cold cuts sector?
A coding solution
Labeling is one of the four coding systems currently available, along with laser, ink systems and thermal transfer printing.
Label printing and application systems allow trays, boxes, bags or pallets to be labeled, either by contact or air ejection. They are easily integrated into production lines and can be adapted to future coding needs.
When it comes to labels, high quality materials are available in both standard and custom sizes for packaging and product labeling:
- General labels (self-adhesive/pressure-sensitive).
- Customized (non-adhesive/non-backing film)
- Hang tags
- Specialty (labels without backing paper)
- RFID tags
The materials which these labels are generally made of are:
- Paper: matte and gloss, in different color ranges.
- Thermal: protected, semi-protected or normal.
- Films: polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, as well as any type of thermal and non-thermal film. All of them incorporate appropriate adhesives for their application (acrylic, hot-melt, anti-frost, permanent…).
A comprehensive labeling and inspection system
Macsa ID, as a leading company in marking, coding and traceability, adapts different solutions to the specific needs of each client and each sector.
In the case of food, we have implemented the following comprehensive labeling and inspection system for different companies in the sector.
Description of equipment
This machine is in charge of receiving the product from the thermoformer in three different formats (2×1, 3×1 and 4×1), to deliver it individually to the next stage.
To achieve this, it has four conveyors in parallel. Once the packages are positioned on the conveyors, they move laterally to coincide with the exit and thereby deliver the properly sequenced containers to the next machine.
The settings are loaded from the main screen and the operator will have to mount some rails or other modifications depending on the tray they are going to work with.
This machine is in charge of weighing, labeling and rejecting products that do not comply with the desired weight range.
The settings are loaded from the main screen and must be configured before and saved from the screen of the machine itself. The operator can use the desired label roll in each case.
This machine is responsible for dispensing one label at the top and one label at the bottom of the product. It is also houses the main screen.
The settings are loaded from this main screen. The operator will have to adjust the side rails and the height of the upper dispenser with the indicated position indicator cranks and will have to use the desired label roll in each case.
The Macsa ID equipment used in this installation is from the MLA5060 SP – SHIFT and MLA5060 PR – SHIFT series, with an OEM printer.
The labeling machine is affordable as it does not require any label transfer or mobile application systems.
The mechanical peel-off label application system allows for a rate of up to 150p/minute and different contact application systems on irregular surfaces.
The label dispensing speed is 30 meters/minute, depending on the label size (minimum 10mmx15mm and maximum 120×300 mm).
These series work with all types of materials, as they incorporate different accessories in order to label different objects and surfaces (aluminum, wood, paper and cardboard, plastics, film, glass,…).
This machine is in charge of checking whether the envelopes are sealed well, the data on the labels and that there are no foreign bodies inside the package by way of artificial vision. It also rejects the packages if any of the above requirements are not met.
The settings are loaded from the main screen. The operator will have to adjust the height of the upper chamber with the indicated position indicator cranks.
Information exchange from the customer’s ERP
The system will exchange information with the customer’s ERP via text files in *.csv format. The information received from the ERP must include the PLUs of the various equipment, as well as the traceability and expiry information that will appear on the labels.
The information sent to the ERP will include the scale weight, as well as the information related to the rejection of products that are outside the weight limits, poorly sealed products and those with unreadable labels.
At the start of production or product changeover, the relevant product must be selected on the main screen. For this purpose, the settings have already been configured separately for each machine.
The trays leave the thermoformer with the agreed format. The trays then enter the conveyors of the unitizer, which delivers the trays one by one to the next machine.
The scales will weigh, label the top of and reject envelopes if they are not within the desired weight range. The trays then arrive at the next labeling area, where a label is placed on the top and another on the bottom with labeling equipment.
Finally, the packages arrive at the machine vision inspection area and scanned both above and below, and are rejected if any of the following requirements are met:
- Incorrect sealing of the envelope.
- Incorrect label reading (product type, lot, expiry date, bar code).
- Detection of foreign bodies in the package (as long as the label does not cover it).
- Registration of the PGI number of the products (quality guarantee number).
Macsa ID’s label printing and application systems
Our company offers a wide range of labeling solutions that are adapted to the specific needs of each customer, which are divided into different series: Idblocks, Idblocks pallet, MLA and idPrima.
These are blown, contact and non-contact belt-driven labeling machines of different speeds and lengths, which provide optimum quality and performance at the best price.
Macsa ID also solves one of the main customer concerns; dealing with a single supplier that can cover the needs of equipment, coding and labeling management software, value-added services and any respective consumables.
In addition, we have transferred our consideration for the environment to the manufacture of labels. This concern has given rise to the new range with ECO-Pro backing, ideal for Macsa ID’s Print & Apply solutions.
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At Macsa ID we will be happy to find the marking, coding and traceability solution that best suits your needs.