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Full product traceability for personal care products – how easy could it be?

Full product traceability for personal care products – how easy could it be?

Traceability on your production line
A key element of your line is your coding and marking equipment. Traceability in the UK cosmetics industry is covered by the Regulation 1223/2009 with came into effect in 2013. All products must bear indelible, easily legible and visible written information on the container/outer packaging or sometimes both. In addition there are over 40 natural and organic standards for cosmetics across Europe, so your coding solution needs to be able to meet all of these.

Traceability can mean right back to the raw materials, in some instances. Strict internal quality control standards; high expectations of end customers for quality coding that matches your high value products; and legislation all mean that requirements for coding and marking your personal care products can be high, with:

• Clear, legible coding
• Consistent quality code
• More information applied to the product, often in smaller areas as product sizes become more compact for portability and raw material savings
• Robust code that stays in place during production and end-use

Implications for getting it wrong

Poor code can cause quality freezes which result in downtime whilst you resolve the problem – downtime you can ill afford if you are to keep up with the growth opportunities of the sector.

Codes which don’t meet your internal or customer standards can mean scrapping, rework or even product recalls with the associated costs and damage to your reputation.

Growth opportunities in the personal care sector

The personal care sector is an expanding market, and forecast to grow from 2013 to 2018 at a CAGR of 4.9%. Emerging markets such as China and Brazil have seen the most growth in beauty products, and new markets such as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and UAE are also expected to deliver above average growth. The personal care market is therefore set to provide opportunities for local manufacturers both in the domestic market and for export.

Expanding your production facilities to cope with increased demand may mean acquiring new equipment, and you need to ensure that this new equipment can cope with production volumes now and in the future.

Coding solutions

CIJ printers – the non-contact nature of CIJ (Continuous Ink Jet) printers means it is ideal for accurate coding onto all shapes of personal care packaging, including curved bottles and the bases of aerosols.

Choose an ink that complements your packaging but which will also stay in place during production and end-use.

Linx CIJ printers come with a wide range of ink colors, so you can choose one that will stand out clearly on all your packaging no matter what its color: grey, yellow or blue pigmented inks are popular choices as they adhere well, and only one printer is needed for a variety of colored substrates
• Adherence to your packaging material – HDPE can be particularly difficult to code onto with ink taking too long to dry with the risk of transference to other products and smudging. Ensure you test a range of inks on your products before making your choice. Dedicated plastic adherent inks are designed to adhere and dry quickly on personal care packaging, in particular HDPE.

Laser coders – for guaranteed permanence, even on containers with alcohol-based contents

Scribing laser coders produce excellent code quality which can match your premium packaging. The permanent nature of the code also makes laser coding a good anti-counterfeiting measure for your high value goods.

Laser coders make a permanent mark by:

o removing the top microns of paint on cardboard to reveal the lighter color beneath;
o melting plastic to leave an engraved mark;
o affecting a chemical change in some plastics to produce a colored code
o making micro cracks in glass to leave an etched mark
o in all cases, the integrity of the packaging is not compromised

The very fine spot sizes of laser coders allow a large amount of information to be printed into small areas to meet regulations. And the high quality nature of the code means none of the detail is lost, whatever the size of code.

For dedicated, high volume lines, fiber laser coders deliver very fine codes, even on bare metal, and at high speeds. They can also be used in both static and on-the-fly marking applications; a worthwhile investment to keep up with the growing opportunities in the personal care sector.

Thermal Inkjet printers - high resolution coders for high quality coding

Is your product being let down by your secondary coding? Then consider a Thermal Inkjet printer. These high resolution printers are an ideal alternative to roller coders or valvejet technologies. No more mess or blobby codes. Code resolutions are up to 300dpi so code quality can be as good as your packaging design. Available with a range of ink types for different packaging materials, such as paper, card and plastics, they are ideal for boxes on slower lines, plus it has the flexibility to code onto primary packaging as well.

Linx can help you with your personal care coding needs

With a range of coding solutions, we can help you ensure that the traceability on your personal care products meets the needs of both your customers and legislation. Capitalize on the growth in the industry and make sure you don’t get left behind.

Find out more about Linx coding solutions for the personal care industry by downloading our Expert Guide here