Heinz Portion Control is the industry leader in the production of small portion products with an unparalleled portfolio of brands and packaging options. Whether it is dipping cups, condiment packets or salad dressings, operators and food manufacturers turn to Heinz for the products that fit their needs for carry-in, take-out and beyond.
The Heinz Mason, OH, plant was partially automated with filling machines for dipping cups. The machines insert layers of filled cups in corrugated cartons and automatically seal the cartons. However, workers pre-labeled flat cartons with non-bar coded labels and then hand-stacked filled cartons on pallets. They were working with limited conveyors and outdated equipment.
Heinz chose to implement new conveyors and automatic palletizing robots. For this system Heinz required labels on cartons in a standard location so fixed mount scanners could direct each carton down the proper conveying line to the automatic palletizers. Their customers also required labels with certain information. Heinz knew it would be expensive from a manpower standpoint to continue to hand apply labels.
Heinz contacted AbeTech to provide automatic print and apply labelers. AbeTech chose to work with CTM primarily due to the reliability of their products. Heinz wanted flexibility to put labels on the front and side of cartons, so AbeTech provided a Dual Action Tamp (DAT) style labeler. AbeTech installed 19 CTM PA3600 Dual Action Tamp labelers with Zebra PAX print engines at the Mason, OH location. All of the labelers are the same which allows Heinz complete interchangeability. These labelers were mounted on various conveyors just after the carton sealers. As the labeled cartons go down the conveyers, Microscan QX-870 fixed mount scanners read the bar code and direct each carton to the appropriate palletizer.
Bob Lindhorst, Engineering Manager in Mason, OH, stated that the labelers have been "robust" in comparison to other equipment they have purchased. There always is a label on each carton. Having the labelers prevents additional waste of materials vs. pre-labeled boxes. "AbeTech has been excellent to work with. It doesn't take long to get a quote, delivery is always on time and training is good." Bob also commented, "this piece of the project was the least of our worries." Heinz is now automatically labeling and sorting cartons for their automatic palletizers. There has been a large decrease in the amount of manpower needed for this task which allows the company to run more efficiently.