Egg essentials — cracking the code for faster productivity with laser coding
The Avicola Velasco Poultry Farm is a Spanish company located in Villacastín, Segovia province. They produce eggs and bird feed, as well as liquid eggs for the hotel industry.
The company´s egg business has annual sales of 10 million euro and Velasco is involved in and controls all segments of the business, from production through sales and delivery.
Avicola Velasco has its own poultry farms and also packages eggs from other farms. They use their own logistics and transportation to sell eggs through the distribution chain.
To comply with Spanish traceability requirements, all egg packages must have expiration information on the packages. Velasco was identifying half- dozen and dozen paper and transparent cartons using a manual labeller. A team from Videojet Technologies analyzed the customer’s operation and suggested replacing the hand labelling with an automatic solution using laser marking equipment to simplify and improve their process.
“The Videojet lasers have not had a single glitch since they were installed and are working well every day!”
Mr. Jose Luis Munoz Manager, Velasco Poultry
The customer, with Videojet’s assistance, investigated the potential savings associated with implementing a laser solution.
They analyzed their process and determine areas for cost savings, including eliminating the expense of purchasing and managing label inventory, complaints from customers on illegible labels, and returns caused by labels coming loose and falling off the carton. Additionally, they were able to realize cost savings from redeploying employees to more productive and income-generating activities. After the analysis, they calculated a monthly cost savings of
€1,400, which made the project a worthwhile investment One of the challenges Velasco faced was a special plastic carton. It was important that the laser solution work on all their carton materials. Lasers can easily print on PETE cartons, however, it’s difficult for consumers to read the information because of the low contrast between the laser code and the plastic carton. The Videojet team proposed slightly modifying the carton by including a dark overprint on
a small area of the carton so that the laser could mark this darker area and produce a high contrast code. Velasco consulted with the package supplier, who confirmed that they could add this coloured area to the carton at no extra cost.
Once the samples were created by the Videojet team and reviewed by Velasco, the project became a viable solution.
Velasco has Moba packaging equipment with two packing lanes. To meet their production needs, the Videojet solution was designed with three Videojet laser print engines. One packing lane was capable of printing split cartons and a two-laser system was proposed to be able to simultaneously print on both cartons. The other packing lane was designed to pack dozen egg cartons and one laser was proposed for this lane. This solution provided the customer with the optimal performance and was designed to allow for future production growth as their business grew.
With Velasco’s approval, the Videojet application team developed a mounting solution for the two-laser system that mounted directly to the packing lane frame. The integration was designed to maintain the proper alignment of the Videojet lasers with the carton and also ensured that there was no equipment on the floor, which simplifies daily cleanup.
The single laser solution on the other packing lane was designed so that the position of the laser could be adjusted across the width of the packing lane to meet current customer coding requirements and to be flexible for future carton designs. The lasers are capable of printing on 35 packages per minute.
Other vendor’s coding solutions were also evaluated. Velasco chose Videojet because of the company’s commitment to assisting the customer through the project development and feasibility testing, their commitment to developing a quality and robust solution that was designed to meet the customer’s future growth potential, and the ability to develop a customized solution.
“We are really pleased with the installation of the Videojet laser marking solution; the time savings is impressive and this has resulted in an increase in the control and quality of our product.” Mr. Jose Luis Munoz, Manager
Another very important factor in choosing Videojet was their strong partnership with Moba and compatibility with Smart Graph software. The Smart Graph software was installed on the Moba controller, which allowed the grader operator to control egg production and the laser information simultaneously.
This software allows the operator to directly view the control data for coding on the Moba screen, helping detect possible errors or missing codes.
“Now our operator has more time to observe the quality of our product packaging and remove those items that do not meet our quality standard,” states Munoz.
From the first visit, Videojet uncovered an area of improvement and offered a solution for the client’s needs. The Videojet team’s commitment to developing a solution designed to meet Valesco’s specific requirements, and Valesco’s ability to verify the benefits of the Videojet laser solution by talking with other Videojet customers, made Videojet a partner worthy of Valesco’s business.
Velasco is thrilled with the Videojet solution and has reduced annual costs by nearly 17.000€. The operator who used to hand-apply labels is now doing more productive activities for the client.
During the past 24 months, they have not had any problems with the equipment and are evaluating other areas for process improvement.
Munoz adds, “We are also saving a lot of money on labels and have improved our productivity.