For Nordic Sugar, prominent producers of sugar-based products for the Northern European market, autumn is a busy time of year – especially when a harvest has exceeded expectations.
Each year, three million tons of sugar beet are grown in southern Sweden and transported to the only sugar beet processing plant in the country. But before the sugar-based products can be delivered to stores in Europe, they must be properly labeled to ensure that they adhere to regulations and accommodate the need for track and trace. For this, Nordic Sugar needs reliable labeling equipment that can keep pace with fast production speeds without compromising on safety, usability, or the readability of the label.
This resulted in them installing the Domino M-Series M230i-S4 for labeling on the front of all trays of syrup at the factory in Arlöv, Sweden.
From beet to sugar
Every year in mid-September, the sugar beet farmers in southern Sweden begin harvesting their crops. Throughout the autumn, harvesters pick 18,500 tons of sugar beet every day for transportation to the processing plant in Örtofta. The beets are washed and sliced before being turned into raw juice. After filtration and evaporation, all sugar beets are processed into a sugar powder. Nordic Sugar produces approximately 3 million tons of sugar every year. Some 80% of this sugar is sold to food producers in northern Europe for further refining, while 20% is used to manufacture consumer products including sugar cubes and jam sugar etc. These products are sold under the brand Dansukker to stores around Europe. Another one of Nordic Sugar’s main products is syrup, which is often used for baking, especially during the holidays.
“It is very important that all machines in the production line are reliable and can keep pace with production in order to minimize unplanned and costly downtime. With the M230i-S4 we feel confident that the labeling of all our products is done according to our requirements.” BENNY AHLBERG, SUPPORT ENGINEER FOR AUTOMATION AND SOFTWARE AT NORDIC SUGAR
At the production site in Arlöv, where all syrup is produced, warm syrup in different flavors is poured into plastic tubs or bottles. The packaged syrup is then transferred into display trays of eight or 14 items. This makes it easy for retailers to refill their shelves.
The trays are shrink-wrapped, before being labeled to ensure that they adhere to food safety regulations and track and trace requirements. To take care of Nordic Sugar’s labeling requirements, in June 2019, the new M230i-S4 was successfully installed.
After its installation, it was well received by all production operatives. The chosen configuration allows the M230i-S4 to label trays containing both high bottles and low tubs, while still getting very close to the conveyor.
The M230i-S4 prints a clear label with information such as:
- Product information
- Production date
- Best before date
- Lot no.
- EAN no.
- Article no
The addition of the M-Series TouchPanel has made it much easier for operators to select the correct label. The result – fewer production interruptions caused by human errors.