Avoid Recalls with the VXR® – the ‘end of line solution provider’

We live in a world where packaging regulations are constantly evolving. Supermarkets are demanding improved quality, 100% error-free labelling and a marked reduction in recalls – placing increased pressure on suppliers. But the good news is, our new game-changer, the VXR® will not only meet these demands but will outperform manual operations for a fully streamlined process. The VXR is the ‘end of line solution provider’.

When combining its three technologies, the key functionality of the VXR system, is to identify and reject food trays that are seen to contain errors. Vision inspection and ‘Sapphire’ carbon nanotube field emission technology will resolve these issues. ‘Sapphire’ is a leading technology in the field of x-ray, boasting low energy, high speeds and resolution for unparalleled performance.

VXR USPs

  • Total inspection incorporated into just 1.9 m
  • Avoid damaging press coverage and extortionate costs resulting from recalls
  • Eliminate human error
  • Reduce labour
  • Increase production times
  • High speed user-friendly interface for rugged factory environments
  • Benefit from multiple changes between products
  • Machines are built bespoke to feature just one of these technologies or all three for total control (x-ray must be incorporated if including seal check)
  • Faultless linerless labels and unrivalled quality control when linking to our Nobac 500 sleever

Vision

  • Identifies and rejects errors enabling operator-free end-of-line automation
  • Automatically detects faulty labels, printing errors and poor quality print
  • Analyses label position, quantity and orientation
  • Checks for barcodes, use-by dates and traceability codes

X-Ray

  • Heightened sensitivity for detecting a broad range of dense mass and contaminates
  • Identifies ‘common’ foreign bodies such as glass, metal, ceramics including all types of bone
  • Products are cast aside and placed into the removable reject bin

Seal Check

  • Checks for a secure seal on all food trays
  • Detects for contaminants in the seal including foods that have ‘slipped’
  • Locates for the correct position of the product in the tray
  • ‘Counts’ number of products in a tray; i.e. meatballs, burgers and sausages
  • X-ray functionality must be incorporated for seal check

2016 Food Recalls due to Foreign Matter & Contaminants

According to Food Safety Magazine, in 2016 they counted 764 food recalls, a 22 percent surge compared to 2015. Of that total were 44 foreign matter recalls. Pieces of glass, metal, plastic, rubber and wood were amongst some of the culprits found. Foods affected by these recalls included meat, fruit and even ice cream.

Video Footage and PR

See the VXR in action below on our YouTube channel>

 

VXR
VXR – Vision, Xray and Seal Check Technology

 

VXR
VXR – rear of the machine displayed with the back panel opened (closed when in operation)

 

VXR
VXR – Faultless linerless labels and unrivalled quality control when linked to our Nobac 500 sleever

For further information, contact Marketing on +44 (0) 1284 749144 or email marketing@ravenwood.co.uk. Read all about the launch of VXR at Pro2pack!

Ravenwood Invite you to embark on the ‘Quest for the Circle of Linerless’ at Label Expo

The countdown has begun. It’s International linerless coming to the rescue again! Only this time Ravenwood is embarking on a ‘quest’ with material suppliers; Evonik, Innovia, Ashland, Henkel and Antalis.

Leaders in linerless, Ravenwood Packaging and its supplierswill be showcasing the complete linerless package, ‘The Circle of Linerless’ at LabelExpo (25-28 September 2017). This year’s show is set to be the biggest one to date with nine halls and more than 650 exhibitors.

The company’s ‘Raveneers’ will again be out in full force, joined by their trusty comrades, the Fauxlafels, at the leading trade show for labelling, package printing and converting. They’ll be showcasing their linerless technology and taking centre stage will be the awesome Com500 Coater on the dazzling ‘life-sized’ labelling video wall along with linerless applicators from the flagship Nobac 500 machine range. And totally new for this year’s show is their ‘Quest for the Circle of Linerless’ trail.

The ‘Quest’ invites the show’s visitors to ‘embark on a journey of linerless discovery’, commandeered by their bravest and most trustworthy Fauxlafel of them all – ‘Sir Fauxalot’. The gameplan is simple and those that complete the quest will be entered into a draw to win an amazing prize. Quest cards can be collected from any one of the stands in residence on the trail. The full line-up includes Ravenwood, Evonik, Innovia, Ashland and Henkel. Antalis will also be involved but not exhibiting at the show, although they will have a presence on the Ravenwood stand. A ‘stamp of linerless approval’ will be awarded from each and on completion of the quest, cards should be popped into the prize draw bins provided at each stand.

The ‘Circle of Linerless’ is a bond of trust and honour forged over the years with the Ravenwood approved network of suppliers and distributors to ensure customers have peace of mind through the entire labelling process. Ravenwood doesn’t just sell machines, they offer the complete Linerless solution. The ‘Circle of Linerless’ is a term coined by Ravenwood due to their seemless and joined up approach to the whole process.  They build the coater to make the labels, the applicator to apply them, whilst working with globally renowned raw material suppliers for developing the best substrates, adhesives and silicones to work in a consistent and quality approved manner for producing faultless linerless labels.

Ravenwood’s linerless technology is spreading like wildfire on a global scale and becoming the go-to label of choice for many food manufacturers. Linerless is the eco-friendly replacement for traditional labels that carry non-recyclable wasteful backing paper. With 20 years of linerless experience and a range of labelling solutions to help increase production efficiency, the company can tackle almost any packaging challenge in the food sector; from fish and meat, to fresh fruits and vegetables including dairy and ready meals.

Ravenwood will be on Stand C645. For further information, contact Natalie Bonner on +44 (0)1284 749144 or email natalie@ravenwood.co.uk. Alternatively, you can visit their main website www.ravenwood.co.uk

Quest for the Circle of Linerless
Sir Fauxalot and the quest awaits…

Ravenwood Grow Linerless Market

At its annual congress, Ravenwood introduced new technologies and marketing initiatives designed to grow its share of the global linerless label market. Andy Thomas reports.

Outside of logistics applications, the global market share of linerless labels has not moved much in the last decade – despite the clear sustainability advantages of the technology.

Perhaps the main reason has been the requirement for end users to adopt specialist application machinery which is able to apply a label without peeling it from a backing liner.

UK-based Ravenwood, however, has achieved enormous success in the linerless label market by ‘closing the loop’ between linerless label production and application. The company operates a licensing system which includes the whole linerless supply chain from specialist materials to coating equipment and application equipment for the end user. The whole system is supported by Ravenwood certified engineers and by intensive training of licensees to ensure a standard, consistent and predictable product is delivered at the end of the packaging line. Currently over 1,000 applicator machines are installed worldwide.

Ravenwood has grown around 20 percent year-on-year since the 2009 crash and today 35 million linerless prime labels a week are produced on its machines by global brands and retailers.

Ravenwood was founded in 2004 by Paul Beamish, who had previously worked at SE Labels and then Skanem, both linerless pioneers. The company has recently expanded its headquaters in Bury St Edmunds. The building contains showroom, of ces, training facilities and R&D, and was the location for this year’s congress, bringing together suppliers, printers and distributors.

Ravenwood linerless ‘labels’ do not have to be adhesive backed – some of the company’s most successful products are ‘slideable’ sleeves supplied on the roll. Printed onto thicker materials, up to 300gsm and at sizes up to 500mm x 225mm, they are designed to replace cardboard sleeves on trays sealed with clear film, as typically seen in the ready meals market. The sleeves are applied on Ravenwood’s Nobac 500 series applicators.

Paul Beamish says these linerless label/sleeves are up to 30 percent more sustainable than cardboard sleeves. ‘And our products are flexo printed, which is as good quality as litho-printed cartons, and they retain their image right the way through the supply chain.’

Other Nobac machines can apply ‘Skin pack’ labels and can be attached to weigh scales to deliver complete fixed or variable weight packaging solutions. The latest addition to the Nobac line is the 500R, which applies a full ready meal wrap in format sizes up to 225mm.

A constant problem facing Ravenwood and its licensees is ‘non-approved’ labels, either pirated labels which ‘look’ like the real thing, or cheaper substitutes bought outside the authorized supplier network.

‘Pirated or non-approved labels do not work well on our applicators and at the end of the day these copies are of poor paper and adhesive quality,’ said Paul Beamish.

‘The production manager often won’t know that the buyer has cut corners and purchased these sub-standard labels and when things go wrong, many are quick to blame the applicator. Our engineers provide ongoing support and can spot these poor quality labels instantly, proving that any downtime or product recalls are as a direct result of these inferior copies. So going forward, we are now placing more emphasis on marketing and promoting our approved network of machine suppliers, printers and partners to emphasize the importance of using Ravenwood linerless labels.’

New developments

Ongoing material and machinery developments are key USPs for Ravenwood and the company works closely with its supply chain to identify areas for improvement.

Innovia, Ashland, Evonik and Henkel were present to talk about new developments in materials, silicone and hotmelt adhesives.

Explained Beamish, ‘We are being forced to go faster and faster, which is why we spend so much time working on materials, and why we need to make sure printers are using the latest materials.’

A high quality print surface is particularly important, said Beamish. ‘Dive characteristics and adhesive/silicone relationship are crucial. You could buy any paper but find the adhesive will be sucked in and the silicone relationship is wrong so the labels don’t release properly, and that in turn affects the machines. It is vital to guarantee 120 packs a minute, and this needs the whole chain to be working together.’

A wide range of application machinery was on show at the event, including the new VXR end-of-line quality control system. It detects contaminants and checks both label accuracy and tray seals, all within a 1.9m footprint. The x-ray inspection system uses leading edge Sapphire carbon nanotube field emission technology. The whole unit is food safe. Also introduced at the congress was a new flexible packaging variation of the linerless sleeve system.

What of the future? Paul Beamish sees major opportunities in direct thermal linerless labels supplied on the reel for logistics applications using handheld printers. And there are many more products which could be handled on the Nobac applicators, including fresh foods like cress, and fresh meat and fish, which require special coatings to enhance shelf life.

Primary linerless labeling, in 8-9 colors and using value-added materials is another area for development.

Linerless coater

For the label converter, the core production technology is the Ravenwood Comac coater, designed to coat silicone and adhesive in a form compatible with the Nobac range of applicators.

The Comac applies multiple lines of release and adhesive between 3-25mm wide, coating labels with silicone on the front and adhesive on the back at speeds up to 450fpm (137m/min).

The labels can be printed on both sides before silicone and adhesive coating. The silicone sits on top of a special lacquer developed for linerless, and the laquer and silicone together act as a protective layer against UV, moisture and chemicals.

New Comac developments announced at the congress include the ability to run digital media. Ravenwood is also looking to add flexo units for varnish and reverse print, as well as potentially a slot coater and chill rolls so thermal materials can be run.

‘We are looking at new coat heads for more accurate coat levels,’ said Paul Beamish. ‘We now have on board an industry professional who says he can measure glue weight on clear film more accurately.’

Marcus Greenbrook, international sales manager at GEW, explained to delegates the N2 nitrogen inerting system used on the Comac silicone coating station. A nitrogen blanket reduces oxygen in the chamber to 50PPM, preventing it inhibiting the silicone curing process. ‘We control web movement into the chamber so we can get the gap much closer and stop oxygen being dragged in,’ said Greenbrook. The result is decrease of odor and migration – key for food grade applications – and the ability to cure at a lot lower power levels.’

Continued Greenbrook, ’Our Rhino power supply gives us better control of the UV system and reduces nitrogen consumed compared to older systems.’ UV output monitoring is integrated into the E2C lamphead, with up to seven sensors mounted across length of the lamp. GEW is now looking at closed loop control of lamp output based on sensor readings, said Greenbrook.

Ravenwood will be exhibiting at Labelexpo Europe. Visit the Label Expo website.

The above article was written by Andy Thomas, Strategic Director at Labels & Labeling and is featured in the June/July issue of Labels & Labeling. Flip to page 49 and read the online article.

Ravenwood Packaging
Ravenwood Packaging