Ready meal trays with tubs, round ‘bowl’ trays and compartmentalised trays are causing headaches for the sleeve coding operation to apply best before dates and traceability codes, according to Richard Pether, Director at offline coding and marking specialist Rotech.
With more awkwardly-shaped packs, the chances of presenting the pack and sleeve squarely to the coder can be slim. Getting the coder into the correct position can also be difficult, as shaped packs have difficult-to-reach areas. If the code misses the target area, this results in mis-coded packs, which can potentially cost ready meal manufacturers thousands in retailer fines, said Richard.
Rotech’s RF2, a standalone friction feed overprinting system, enables the manufacturer to code the sleeves offline and bring them to the production line already printed. The RF2 uses Rotech’s stack-to-stack feeding technology to pick sleeves from a stack, accurately print date or batch codes, and place the printed sleeve neatly onto another stack for collection, at speeds of up to 400 per minute.