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Machinery Lends A Hand


A Move To A New Machine Increased Output, While Reducing Manpower

Challenge: Business growth made manual labeling for clamshells unnecessarily time consuming and expensive.

Solution: Invest a cost effective wipe-on labeler that effectively kills two birds with one stone.

When it first entered the wholesale berry business, Berry Fresh Produce LLC could maintain its steady growth by adding additional employees and mixing and matching existing equipment to label its fruit-filled clamshells. Eventually however the different machines began to create more headaches than they were built to solve. Couple this issue with the rising costs of adding additional employees and the Dominguez Hills, Calif. Company decided it was time to upgrade its equipment.

Warehouse manager Daniel Giner sought the advice if the company that provided labels for Berry Fresh and found that they offered a solution that solved both problems.

"Berry Fresh is a leading national distributor of assorted fresh berries; specifically, fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. We are located in Southern California and distribute berries in clamshell ranging from eight ounces up to two pounds. As we've grown, our distribution has risen and we now provide, on a wholesale basis, to retail food chains such as Wal-mart, Costco, Trader Joe's, Albertson's, Safeway, Kroger and select food companies."

"In the beginning we used strictly manual labeling and eventually accumulated two different labeling machines and three conveyors belts. This caused several problems including the simple transfer of product. We had to bridge the gap between each conveyor and were constantly adjusting the speed of the belts. Without an operator constantly monitoring the machines, the clamshells would get stuck, pile up and eventually spill over onto the floor."

"A change was in order and we spoke with our labeler distributor Taylor-Made, Lake Oswego, Ore., ( www.taylormadelabels.com) about any recommendations or potential solutions they might suggest. After talking to them about our needs they immediately suggested Label-Aire's Model 3015 Wipe-On Primary Applicator to apply our top labels and their 3111 with hot stamp imprinter to apply a sealing label. We had Label-Aire products already in our facility and liked the idea that it would be easy to bring our operators up to speed on the new machines."

"Taylor-Made explained that both the 3015 and 3111 would offer us the speed and accuracy we needed at a cost effective price. Each was designed to lower operating costs while increasing productivity." "The equipment also offered flexibility. Not only can the labelers be easily converted to the left-or right hand use, both can apply labels to top, side or bottom of products."

"From the beginning of our investigation into new machines until they were up and running took about six months, but the actual installation was a mere two days. The controllers were similar to what we had in the past and Taylor-Made helped smooth the transition."

"After installation our line was able to apply two labels per clamshell at 100 to 125 ppm, much more accurately than the past."

For more information on our 3015-ND Wipe-On Label Applicator or our other products, please call us at (714) 449-5155 or fill out our Info Request form.

Click here to view a short video of this machine in action.

Published in Packaging Machinery Technology, July/August, 2010.


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