Developed in partnership with a leading ‘fresh produce / multi menu’ home delivery client to automatically print and accurately apply various labels on to randomly sized flat cartons, with on-board ‘match’ verification.
The process is aimed at distribution operations that pick and pack mixed orders across multiple sized cartons.
Each customer ‘box’ is identified and completely labelled pre-launch into the warehouse: labels include LPN bar-code (for order tracking through internal processing) pick information for operatives and outbound carrier label.
A string of customer order data queues on the host system, batched by carton size. Each flat box is placed on to the infeed conveyor which transfers it through a series of control sensors to the print and apply labellers. Labels are applied static and simultaneously. Before the labelled carton exits the line, all bar-codes are read by overhead scanners to verify they all belong to the same order.
The functionality includes full fault detection and recovery: if labels do not match or the verifiers do not detect all labels, the line stops and goes into ‘fault’. Once all materials are cleared down and the system is reset, it resumes reprinting from the point of failure, ensuring every order has a carton generated successfully and only once.
The system is manually loaded, performance is nominally 1300-1400 cartons per hour, depending upon carton size, operator capability and logistics around the line.