Marco packing lines simplify process of labelling fruit for retail customers

The often complicated and exacting task of setting up labelling systems for fruit packing lines and changing them for each retail customer has been made easier by packing lines supplier Marco, whose UK office is based in West Sussex.

The company's new modular system, TRAC-IT LCM (line control manager), demonstrated at Fruit Focus, is said to facilitate the rapid automated setting up of the packing line's date coder, barcode validation scanners, check weigher and metal detector. It also ensures that the right product goes into the correct pack with the right labelling and better traceability.

The new system extends the capabilities of Marco's TRAC-IT MES (manufacturing execution system) which now incorporates novel twin barcode sensors that scan the top and bottom of each punnet.

Marks & Spencer punnets, for example, have a standard barcode on the bottom and a two-dimensional barcode on the top that can be read simultaneously.

Marco systems application specialist Colin Platt said the company's packing lines are installed in numerous large packhouses - including that of large-scale Surrey soft fruit grower Hall Hunter Partnership (HHP).

HHP representative Richard Woodcock said that, apart from increasing its packhouse throughput and reducing its "giveaway", the new line meant that "we now have full traceability and can measure the effectiveness of individual operators, allowing us to optimise our levels of training".


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