Grantek Delivers a Modernized Label Verification Solution for a Food & Beverage Manufacturer

August 10, 2022

Grantek Delivers a Modernized Label Verification Solution for a Food & Beverage Manufacturer

Overview
A large American food manufacturer contacted Grantek looking for assistance to modernize the label verification system on one of their packaging lines. Grantek met with the manufacturer and conducted an assessment of the current packaging line operations. After speaking with both senior management at the enterprise level, and manufacturing leaders who oversee production at the facility, it became clear an improved label verification solution from Grantek could help many aspects of their operations. The goal became to deliver a solution that would not only help operators ensure accuracy on packaging lines, but also provide needed data that could drive decisions and reduce waste for the entire company. Another goal for the new label verification solution from Grantek would be reduced risk from mispackaged food reaching end consumers causing recalls and potential health issues, while also protecting against the reputational risk to any manufacturer facing a recall.

Challenges
There were many challenges with the incumbent label verification system that were identified by Grantek and the manufacturer. There was a need to ensure the quality teams were aware of potential impact from new SKU’s, especially if the pack size changes. Coordination between various business units was also identified as a key challenge. Corporate operations, the packaging group, business intelligence/finance teams, maintenance people and marketing teams were all identified as key stakeholders in any label verification solution. It was also determined that communication between these groups, and insights into what is printed on packaging. The incumbent solution also had challenges integrating to a defect detection system and on-demand code date printing inspection. Leveraging the existing SKU section, electoral/mechanical installation and line integration were all goals of the new label verification solution.

Solutions
The solution Grantek delivered did not increase the installation footprint. Rather than adding a new conveyor/camera system, Grantek mounted our label verification solution over the line, saving valuable plant floorspace. This solution was also built to confirm packaging against actual Quality Specs and the Bill of Material. To do this Grantek used industry standard camera hardware from Cognex, which ensures flexibility for the future and so plants can maintain the system if independently if desired. The solution installed also utilized Ignition by Inductive Automation software, allowing for easy remote system management and integration to other aspects of the production environment.

The solution implemented on the packaging line not only improved verification of barcodes (1D or 2D, from UPC to Data Matrix), but it also allowed for code date inspection. The solution seamlessly integrated code date inspection as part of a full packaging validation solution. SKU management was also included in the solution, this integrates with other systems to provide SKU lists and BOM’s automatic SKU selection/line changeover 05. It can also integrate with web-based SKU management and local changeover systems if needed.

Finally, this solution assists with defect detection. This tool integrates with the same Cognex cameras to provide defect detection, including: over/underwrap, carton counting in bundles, or improper/damaged packaging.

After implementation the manufacturer was able to utilize the benefits of the solution to improve communications between their corporate operations, the packaging group, business intelligence/finance teams, maintenance people and marketing teams. This has helped improve overall operations and prevented unneeded downtime and waste during production runs all while protecting their customers.

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