VeriBOX Packaging Verification Case Study:
How a Sandwich manufacturer installed VeriBOX to ensure product packaging complience
Cross-Check have recently installed a Packaging Validation Solution for a leading manufacturer of pre-packed fresh sandwiches and snack salads in the UK producing over 1.51 million portions every week. They are the name behind many of the sandwiches and salads we purchase every day from coffee shops, forecourts and supermarkets.
Their portfolio includes salad bowls, wraps, pasta and of course sandwiches; where ensuring high quality is key. With such a diverse product range coupled with complex sophisticated packaging, the company found they were devoting more and more resources to ensure the products were labelled and packaged correctly.
The cost of getting it wrong carries huge penalties including large fines and potentially lost contracts, something feared by all food manufacturers.
Cross -Check began developing the VeriBox family over 6 years ago when they were approached by a “ready meal” manufacturer who had inadvertently shipped meals with an incorrect carton sleeve. Cross -Check responded with a simple “go/no-go” scanning system to validate each and every barcode. The early systems were a far cry from the functionality now available on theVeribox 2000 system installed across 9 production lines.
A major criterion stipulated was ease of set up. Production runs can be short hence changeover times must be kept to a minimum. VeriBox 2000 was designed to keep set up times to an absolute minimum and takes less than 30 seconds. Product details such as the barcode, name, and description are stored on the Veribox 2000 along with other user defined fields. To start the system, the operator has two options, the first is to select the product from the list or use a hand held barcode reader to scan the product package – it’s as simple as that.
Once in production VeriBox 2000 reads and checks every 1D and 2D barcode on every product. Production stats are displayed on the VeriBox touch screen in real time so managers can see at a glance the overall line performance and production statistics. The system has the ability to monitor several serial and digital inputs, especially useful in tandem packing lines.
One Veribox 2000 will handle all the serial inputs from multiple barcode scanners, monitor up to 16 digital inputs and control 16 digital outputs to stop production should an error be detected.
The VeriBox 2000 is unique in that in configuration mode it allows the system to “connect” any input to an event and use the result to drive any output. The input could be data from a barcode reader, an image from a camera or even a digital input from a sensor. Simple on-screen menus and drop-down tables provide the means to “connect” devices. No special programming skills are required. Outputs could be used to stop a conveyor, drive a labelling machine or drive an inline weighing machine.
A further feature is the ability to easily network the entire system. This is a “bolt on” enhancement which may be added after the main VeriBox 2000 system has been installed. In network mode, VeriBox connects to a server which manages all the product data files and configurations centrally. The major benefit is that product data is entered on the server and then distributed all to the VeriBox 2000’s on the network automatically. Products can be added, maintained or deleted from one central point. This feature saves a considerable amount of time and simplifies ongoing file management. The greater number of Veribox’ 2000’s connected, the greater the time saved and consequently reduced cost!
The VeriBox 2000 has brought a level of security and checking that will enable the sandwich maker to guarantee their products are exactly what they say they are! It has reduced overheads as less time is spent manually checking product before it leaves the production site.