Category Archives: Machinery

Cracking the Code on Linerless Labels

In food labeling, coding and marking equipment plays a small but vital role in supporting adding ‘need-to-know’ information about the product itself. ‘Best Before’ or ‘Use By’ dates including batch numbers, product weights and barcodes form some of the information that is needed to be incorporated into end-of-line labeling.

The Challenges 

The food packaging landscape today means that stringent regulations must be followed to meet consumer health and safety. When things go wrong, the cost implications and damage to a brand can be devastating. A product is recalled when information is inaccurate, poorly displayed or if someone should fall ill or tragically die as a direct result. So when things take a turn for the worst, investigations need to be carried out. Batch codes are extremely useful and will assist in track and traceability. These clever codes link to a direct point in the production process, making clear each stage of the supply chain, helping to pin point where a particular process has failed.  For heightened quality control in terms of identifying contaminated produce, our latest game-changing technology, the VXR really packs a punch. The system combines vision, x-ray and seal check technology. Find out more on the VXR here>

Application

Ravenwood works with an approved supplier network to achieve the seamless integration of both linerless and coding technologies. Coders can be purchased as stand-alone machines although when ordering a Ravenwood Nobac 500, we strongly recommend that a coder is purchased alongside. The coding machines that we offer complement our linerless applicators, suiting all sizes of production lines. Even companies with multiple lines will benefit from printing at increased line speeds without ever missing a pack – regardless of throughput, build back and pack size.

Thermal Transfer Coding Technology

Thermal transfer overprinting is the established technology of choice for a wide range of coding applications. Compared to traditional contact coders such as hot-stamp or roller coders, thermal transfer overprinting offers superior print quality, economy and lower running costs. From label overprinting, to high speed digital coding on flexible packaging, thermal technology delivers fast print speeds, minimises downtime and ensures accurate display of critical data. And with fast moving lines and frequent changeovers, coding equipment offers a fail-safe step up from less flexible, non-digital methods. In the factory environment, hygiene requirements are also paramount and strict standards must be met. Coders that adopt ‘thermal inkjet technology’ feature stainless steel enclosures coupled with fast drying specialist inks proving invaluable when there is a risk of smudging through manual handling or where moisture is present.

When Less is More

Supermarket shelves are jam packed with many different brands all screaming for consumers’ attention. So it’s no surprise that brand owners utilise the packaging space to its optimum potential to increase shelf appeal and visual impact. This often results in the coding area to be very limited. By opting for thermal coding means that information can be printed and displayed accurately – even in the tightest of spaces.

Ravenwood supplies a diverse range of coding printing equipment from our approved supplier network. We can advise and recommend different options for printing various critical data on food labels and packaging. Contact us today to find out more or call us on +44 (0)1284 749144. We are currently in the process of building a new website and plan to have a dedicated page on Coding but until this time, please visit our current site here>

The ICE Vulcan Coding Machine
Diagram of the ICE ‘Vulcan’ Coding Machine

Welcome to the Magnificent World of the Ravenwood Nobac 500

The almighty Nobac 500 is Ravenwood’s flagship applicator and the first prototype to go into production when Ravenwood was founded in 2004. Today’s ‘500’ is still based on the same design but due to industry demands and changes in buyer behaviour over recent years, the company has evolved the original ‘500’ concept. Many machine variants are now available for applying a multitude of different linerless label formats.

What is Linerless?

Linerless has been around for over a decade now. The labels are unique in that they eliminate the need for wasteful, non-recyclable backing papers destined for landfill. Processing this waste proves both costly and time consuming. So the good news is, from a sustainability angle, this labelling is taking centre stage. And rightly so, as the world of packaging is going all out to be ‘seen as green’. Linerless labels are set to stick around – enlighten yourself further here : ’10 Reasons for Choosing Linerless Labels’ and ‘Food Packaging Trends – Prepare to See Green in 2017’.

‘500’ Flexible Formats

The Nobac 500 sleever is an inline machine, designed for maximum flexibility.  Quick changeovers between wrap formats are achieved by eliminating the need to turn the packs. The ‘500’ and its counterparts are also capable of applying sleeves in many different formats including:

  • Top
  • Top and Side
  • C-wrap
  • D-wrap
  • Full Wrap
  • Skin Pack
  • Skin Pack Protruding
  • Skin Pack Super Protruding – up to 100mm above the height of the tray
  • Ready Meal
  • Salami and Haggis

And what’s more, the ‘500’ offers great versatility in terms of label materials. These include board, paper and synthetic substrates. And by printing at the point of application, means that wasted printed labels on changeovers are greatly reduced. Ravenwood has also developed a twin-head machine for non-stop high speed labelling.

‘500’ Functionality

In addition to sleeving fixed weight products, there’s the added benefit of linking the ‘500’ to weigh scales. These scales allow for variable weight products as well as check weighing. It’s great that production speeds are not compromised in fixed weight mode.  Ranging from 100-140ppm is achievable, although much relies on tray size. And in variable weight systems, linking to the latest weigh scales over 100ppm is also possible.

‘500’ End of Line

Adding vital information such as expiry dates, weights and batch numbers are essential for providing detailed information about the product itself.  Additionally, bar codes are now crucial for track and traceability – worth every penny, especially when faced with costly product recalls. Ravenwood partner with an approved supplier network for printing this information by way of coding technology. With fast moving lines and frequent changeovers, coding equipment offers a fail-safe step up from less flexible, non-digital methods. And if you require RFID labels, Ravenwood offers Trojan technology as an ‘add-on’ machine as well.  The Trojan is an extremely small and cost effective label applicator. Both the Coder and Trojan are ideal for incorporating into end of line labelling requirements.

‘500’ Global Footprint

The Nobac 500 has been developed for today’s food retailers and packers and is the first choice of many high profile brands. With over 1,500 machines sold worldwide and in excess of 14 billion applications every year, you could say the ‘500’ is a global authority in the ‘Land of Linerless Labels’. Our labels can be found across Europe, Asia, America and Russia.

Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed

Our customers are privy to a complete support package. Servicing, parts and technical assistance come as standard with our field-based Raveneers always on standby.  Furthermore, we offer a break down and call-out service, should the need arise. And our well-stocked cupboard is bursting with spare parts which can be rushed to you on a next day delivery. Dedicated and bespoke training packages are also available.

To find our more on the Nobac 500 and other machine variants in the range, contact us or call us on 01284 749144.

Nobac 500
The almighty Nobac 500 Applicator