Flexible product labelling at Sonac Uśnice Sp. z o.o.
Objective of the implementation:
- Modernisation of the weighing and labeling system
Benefits of the implementation:
Sonac Uśnice Sp. z o.o. manufactures highly specialist ingredients for producing pet food and farm animal fodder, including fur-bearing ones and fish. The end products are created by processing slaughterhouse poultry offal and pork blood in two manufacturing plants in Uśnice in the voivodeship of Pomerania. What is more, the company offers services of collection and transport of other animal byproducts not designed for human consumption, classified as category 1, 2 and 3.
Using innovative manufacturing lines and technological processes, as well as following strict legal standards (including GMP+ system), the company ensures high quality and safety of the products delivered by it. At present, Sonac is a brand of American corporation called Darling International Inc.
Besides ensuring high manufacturing standards, effective process flow is of high importance for Sonac. To maintain it, in late 2017 the company faced the challenge of improving the weighing and labelling system in one of its plants.
The factory has three stations where the products are weighed and labelled.
Until recently, the labels contained data which was pre-set and saved in the programme. The major problem was the absence of any functionality which would enable to edit label formats and content depending on the current needs. To eliminate those issues, the company decided to implement the system proposed by SKK S.A.
The new system, similar to the previous one, covers panel computers, software, scales, and thermal transfer printers. During the implementation, the first two components were changed.
SKK specialists created a solution based on Nice Label PowerForms Suite, i.e. a labelling system where printout logging takes place additionally. They also prepared a database (of products) on the customer’s server. The system is fully integrated, meaning that it communicates both with the server and with devices (scales, printers).
At present, the weighing and labelling process is as follows: once a pallet with a big bag is placed on the pallet, the operator selects a product code on the panel and then they read the tare weight. After the bag is filled with the product and the scale is stabilised, they read the weight, print the label (usually in several copies), and stick it on the product.
The barcode on the label encodes such data as the product code, weight, and the manufacturing date. What is more, the label contains descriptions in different languages, which primarily include product information as required by the applicable law.
The company uses mostly a three-language label (in Polish, English and Russian). It can also print other language versions which were designed by SKK employees during the implementation. Thanks to the solution flexibility, it is possible to add new modifications of the graphic layout and label content in the future.
An extra system functionality is every printout logging, so there is an access to historical data which can be downloaded any time. This becomes highly useful when repackaging, e.g. when the product in the big bag is to be moved to smaller bags, then the data from the original (historical) label is downloaded and the only information changed is the newly read weight.
Another system component which the company did not have before is the product database implemented on the server. Codes (digits and letters) signifying individual products and their classes were used to create it. Thanks to that centralised product management, we eliminate errors as the operator can choose solely from products included in the database in the panel, without entering anything manually.
The system is very open. It can be integrated with any types (models) of devices, such as scales or printers. It can be modified and expanded with new functionalities or new weighing and labelling stations.
Besides creating the labelling system, supplying new panel computers of high tightness, as required for manufacturing halls, and installing all solution components, SKK performed training for all key users of the system.