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Packaging and coding equipment trends in the manufacturing industry

Packaging plays an important role in consumer in-store purchasing decisions as it has the power to increase sales of any product. But a lot more goes into packaging than just the look and feel. The equipment used to label, code and print on packaging is just as vital.
Packaging and coding equipment trends in the manufacturing industryPackaging and coding equipment trends in the manufacturing industry

Cutting costs is something that drives trends in the manufacturing industry. Due to this demand we have found a few solutions to cutting costs yet at the same time not compromising on the quality of the packaging, labelling and printing.

Standardising on packaging

Online printing of labels may not be a new trend but manufacturers are opting to use one carton variant as opposed to 3 or 10, depending on the different information required on one label. When you have a product that has 10 different flavours, in the past you would use 10 carton variants each representing a flavour. Because all the information is readily available online and can be easily changed, there is no need for 10 cartons but only 1. There is only one point of printing and the product line flows quicker and more easily when transitioning new flavours, which in turn saves manufacturers on costs.

Minimising on cartons

Reducing costs on packaging material is probably the most common practice among manufactures, and for good reason. You can cut packaging material costs without affecting the quality of the actual product. Flexible film or packaging is becoming increasingly popular to use in South Africa as a packaging material solution, because it reduces the pack size and saves on costs.

The eco-friendly drive

Manufacturers are continuously becoming more eco-friendly and aware of reducing their carbon footprint during processes and procedures, not just when it comes to eco-friendly packaging. The rise of eco-friendly packaging hopped on the bandwagon first but manufactures have also realised that it can't just stop there. In order for them to immensely reduce their carbon footprint they need to look at the equipment used. Packaging is what consumers see first when purchasing a product and the appearance that manufacturers are eco-friendly might unfortunately just be that, an appearance, as consumers don't see what happens behind closed doors.

Pyrotec PackMark has an eco-friendly inkjet printer range designed specifically to reduce manufacturer's carbon footprint. The range includes the Markem-Imaje SmartDate X60 and X40 Thermal Transfer Coders and the Markem-Imaje 9232 and 9222 small inkjet printers.

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) free

Due to the harmful fumes Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) produces during the manufacturing process, manufacturers have become increasing aware of the side effects and in their pledge to become more eco-friendly, the trend for manufacturing plants to be MEK free is growing enormously.

Pyrotec PackMark offers MEK free equipment which includes the Markem-Imaje 9232 and 9222 small inkjet printers.

Minimising downtime

Downtime can easily cost manufactures millions. Equipment and machine glitches and complications are usually the main reason for downtime, causing product lines to come to a halt. A new software development called CoLOS® Enterprise is designed to complement coding equipment by networking two or more printers at a time, sending the same message to each one and reducing time and costs. But most importantly, CoLOS® Enterprise software identifies a problem with the printers before it occurs. This enables manufactures to fix all problems before a production line has started which ultimately reduces the risk of downtime.

Integration intervention

Just like downtime, eliminating errors before they occur is something that needs to be perfected by manufacturers. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) operating system helps with this as it sends information straight to the printer. This acts as an intervention and eliminates room for errors, in affect reducing unnecessary costs. The ERP is a common database that is supported by almost all applications which operates in real time and therefore does not need to be regularly updated.

Clients are always looking for new ways to reduce costs and these are just a few trends we see growing in the manufacturing industry.

11 Sep 2014 10:14


About the author

Brandon Pearce is the General Manager at Pyrotec PackMark.