Labelling compliance and traceability in the food sector is a major issue for manufacturers, processors and distributors the world over. So, when Jennings of Caversham, a distinguished supplier of quality meats and meat products, was looking to change how it labelled the produce that it distributes to its clients, they sought a solution that could save them both time and money, as well as ensuring the traceability of their products was maintained in line with all required regulations.
Jennings approached the global barcode, labelling and AIDC specialist SATO for a solution, and it proposed the new TH2 label printer which offers portable, standalone, intelligent printing and introduces the concept of Application Enabled Printing (AEP).
Jennings of Caversham receives large cuts of beef and veal that have been sourced from approved suppliers which it then processes into smaller portions and sells on to caterers. Information on goods received including the origin (where the animal was born and raised), the abattoir code, the cutting plant code and the batch code, must all be transferred to the product from the original box label.
Depending on the order and requirements of Jennings' customers, each large cut of meat may be cut down and placed in smaller packs. Each of the smaller packs, which could be up to 40 from a single piece of meat, must also be labelled with the identical tracing data.
Before employing the SATO TH2, the company used label sheets where the data had to be hand-typed in the back office. If only one label was required, then a whole sheet of labels was wasted. Now, by using SATO's portable TH2 printer the operator is able to print labels where they are working. The TH2's large display screen prompts the operator to input the relevant data and the label is printed out immediately. The TH2 also prints a two-dimensional (2-D) barcode on the label which has all the data encoded within it.
When a batch of identical labels is required, the original 2-D barcode is simply scanned with the TH2 optional scanner. All the data is therefore retrieved and further identical labels can be printed in any quantity and applied to the boxes.
Using this labelling solution allows Jennings to make considerable savings on label costs and in time spent by the company's personnel. Plus, despite its capabilities, the TH2 is extremely competitively priced and there are no other products in its price bracket which offer such innovative features and benefits. When looking for a new labeling solution, Jennings was given a competitor quote for a system that was four times higher than the cost of the SATO TH2 printer solution.
On integrating the SATO TH2 into his business, Jennings of Caversham's Director, Nick Jennings said:
"The benefits that SATO's TH2 has brought to our company are both obvious and instantaneous. Not only has this solution helped to increase the efficiency of our processes and our productivity through removing the manual label creation process, it has also helped to improve our traceability management something which is critical in our line of work. The TH2 solution is helping our company to realise real cost and time efficiencies".
The TH2 is extremely simple to use, lightweight yet robust and able to operate within a temperature range between 0 and 40C. It also has an anti-microbial coating making it ideal for use in the food industry. Designed with practical use in mind the TH2 is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that allows between 4000 and 5000 labels to be printed from a single charge. The TH2 features an in-built keypad, so there's no need for a PC in close proximity. It has a wide, adjustable LCD screen which offers mobile phone type, intuitive operation.
The TH2 comes complete with a carrying handle as standard and a range of accessories is available such as a keypad cover, SD card, a hanging wall mount and a label cutter.