Uncovering the best coding and marking solutions for the bakery industry

  • By Neil Cook
  • May 04, 2017
  • Food
  • Baked

Due to the vast nature of the bakery industry, there are a variety of coding technology solutions available that answer the demands of the bakery sector. Production managers will have to look hard at both their current and future requirements to be able to accurately gauge what will deliver the most value to their lines according to the highly diverse packaging types in the industry.

Determining factors

Factors including packaging material, production speed and complexity of code required will ultimately determine what is the most suitable printing technology for a given production environment.

Solutions available include:

  • Thermal Transfer Overprinting - TTO
  • Thermal Ink Jet - TIJ
  • Continuous Ink Jet - CIJ
  • Print & Apply Labelling - PALM
  • Laser

Solution examples

Taking bread packaging as an example, the solution required will vary depending on where the code is to be applied and the material at the point of location – be it a bread bag or tag on the bag closure.

A non-contact solution like CIJ can be employed for coding onto bags once filled with no risk of compromising the integrity of the product or the packaging. In comparison, the tag coding will depend on material – an adhesive closure tag can be efficiently coded using a TTO printer, while the harder plastic clip style closure may be ideal for laser coding.

Another example, cakes & biscuits, often come in trays or wrappers which can be coded before the product is packaged. Since breathable packaging can pose an immediate issue due to ink migration, labelling methods such as TTO and print & apply labelling are suitable alternatives as they remove the risk of ink-based contamination.

Leading technology innovations

With so many variables to consider, it’s important that managers evaluate current and future production expectations as the selection of the right coding and marking solution can prove instrumental in maximising uptime in the bakery industry.

Coding systems with auto-swap features allows ink cartridges to be automatically exchanged mid-operation extending production runs, whereas the ability to manually edit text and messages while the printer is still running will guarantee continuous production is maintained on the packaging line, resulting in zero downtime.

TTO leading the way

TTO has been a favourite and most relevant solution to the bakery industry, primarily driven by the industry’s preference for flexible packaging – the packaging type of choice for 79% of all baked goods produced in 2015. Established in industries of high volumes, low margins, and where flexible packaging is prevalent, TTO systems incorporate various processes that allow cost savings and overall equipment effectiveness.

TTO has the capability to print both graphics and QR codes at the same time providing a significant reduction in downtime and coding errors to maximise output. TTO also helps address the issue of allergens identification, producing superior quality code in a range of fonts and sizes, making it perfect to single out allergens in bold, ensuring compliance.

Uncover more about how Domino’s range helps commercial bakeries overcome production obstacles. Contact us today for more information.

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Confronting coding challenges in the bakery industry

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