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Adjacent-Side Case Labeling Provides Solution For Dairy Co-op


Associated Milk Products Inc. (AMPI) is a dairy products marketing cooperative with 15 manufacturing plants located in the upper Midwest.

AMPI twin-tamp label printer applicators in action
At AMPI's Portage, WI, plant, wrapped chunks of cheese and bags of shredded cheese are manually case packed at the end of six separate packaging lines. As with the sliced-cheese lines, each of these six lines runs multiple products for multiple customers, so flexibility is once again vital.

What's more, some customers require identification on two sides of the carton instead of one. This ruled out using ink-jet equipment, because fitting two ink-jet coders on a single line was considered inefficient from a cost perspective.

AMPI solved its dilemma by installing, on each of the six lines, a Model 5100 Twin-Tamp printer/applicator, also from Weber. Integrated into each is a 203 dpi thermal-transfer printer made by Sato. Operators can move easily from one label variation to another by accessing a drop-down menu on a touchscreen panel. Label size, however, is fixed at 4"x4". After a label is printed, itís automatically peeled from its release liner and held by vacuum on an applicator pad. The pad is mounted on a special 90° rotary swing arm that reaches across the conveyor and blows a label onto the front panel of the passing case.

When the arm retracts, a second label is printed and a separate straight-line stroke applies the label to one side of the case. The Twin-Tamp unit is capable of 20 such cycles/min. It can also be programmed to label just one side of a case, too, which Turner likes because some customers require labels on only one panel of the case.

Two-sided carton labeling"The flexibility of this labeling system is what makes it so valuable to our operation," says Turner. "That's why we have one for each of our six lines."

AMPI wanted to use a single PC to control all Twin-Tamp labelers. Weber's Legitronic Labeling Software makes it easy for an operator to select any one of the numerous labeling formats needed for a particular shift. Based on that input, the software will automatically switch formats during production.

"Using the Weber software has been easy," says Turner. It's among the reasons, he adds, that he is so pleased with the overall case-coding solution now in place. -PR

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