The confectionery industry is changing as the trend towards recloseable bags or tubs of bite-sized chocolate has brought demand for different types of plastic pack, in addition to the traditional paper or card outer wrapper of the chocolate bar or box.
Manufacturers and packers now need to be increasingly nimble as they switch production, machinery and staff between lines. Linx understand that in this environment mistakes are expensive, both in terms of downtime and wasted product.Only a the individual business working with the confectionery industry can tell the specific costs incurred during downtime, but commentators agree; wasted time on the production line makes a significant impact.
Coding and marking equipment in the confectionery industry plays a small but vital role in this process so reliability and versatility are crucial. Code requirements may be simple and driven by legislation – usually a best-before or use by date, batch code or other identifier. But stringent food regulations and the importance consumers place on accurate labeling information mean this is something no manufacturer can afford to get wrong.
Fast moving confectionery production
Linx’s own research into the confectionery industry has confirmed that fast-changing production environments, with quick switches between products or lines, increase the likelihood of operator error, especially where staff may be unskilled or temporary with a high turnover.
This is an area where making the right choice of coding and marking equipment can help, for example our Linx 7900 range of coders are capable of storing many different messages of various types that can be changed quickly and easily by production staff.
Code quality that meets the confectionery industry’s standards
The need to code onto a wider variety of materials and at different line speeds means coders have to be capable of delivering quality print at varying line speeds without loss of integrity, especially during the confectionery industry’s peak production times such as Easter or Christmas when the pace of production is crucial. With our industry leading printheads you can remain confident that your coder will not let you down.
In a crowded market place with many products jostling for impact on shelf, every millimetre of the packaging is valuable as a carrier of branding. This means the area where the code has to be printed may be small, further driving a need for accurate, mistake-free coding at different angles – on the side, top or bottom of a container.
Reliability is a must: as other parts of the production line become faster, coding equipment has to be able to keep up, especially in coding environments where sugar or chocolate dust or powder could cause a machine to fail.
You need to keep your line moving not just at high-speed peak times, but also just as reliably when volume output may be lower.
Increasing productivity means reducing unscheduled and scheduled maintenance time and costs. Printers have to be equipped with quicker trouble-shooting and servicing capabilities, and ‘self-service’ options to allow basic maintenance to be carried out without the need to bring in an engineer.
Ease of Use
Feedback from Linx research across a range of FMCG and industrial markets, including the confectionery industry, suggested that users prefer a simple cost-effective solution rather than complex, feature-heavy machines. A printer with an intuitive interface such as the Linx CJ400 will save time during product changeovers when new codes are entered: prompted coding fields can simplify this process even further, and remote control features will also allow code control from a central location, further reducing the risk of coding errors.
Download our top 10 tips for selecting the right coder
With packaging requirements changing all the time, what should you be looking for in your next confectionery coder?
Find out with our top 10 tips on selecting the right coder and make the best choice for your production line.
The coding and marking essentials for a confectionery manufacturer