Westland Horticulture at Alconbury is automating its pallet labelling operation with a Logopak system that uses RFID to ensure that pallet loads of mixed goods, assembled by hand, are accurately identified to the print & apply labelling machine after wrapping. The new system, which is due to be installed during October, will be the first of its type in the UK, Logopak believes.
The pallet loads are assembled on seven lines and can contain a mix of products ordered by garden centres and other outlets in a variety of packs including sacks, cases and plastic containers. They are then placed on a conveyor at random and stretch hoods applied automatically.
“Pallets cannot be labelled for transit immediately after loading, since the thickness and opacity of the stretch film prevents accurate scanning,” explains Logopak UK general manager Wilson Clark. “But with pallets being wrapped at random, each needs a unique ID that can be read for automatic labelling.”
The solution is RFID tags, created from the works order documentation for each pallet load and attached to the completed pallet by hand. As pallets emerge from the stretch hooding machine, RFID antennae read the tags and pass the data back to the Westland host computer.
Labelling data is then returned to the Logopak 920PF RFID print & apply machine.
“The RFID tags mean that the identity of each pallet load is captured at the point of creation eliminating any risk of incorrect labelling,” points out Wilson Clark.
Logopak International Limited
Tel: 01904 692333