Slashed carton coder downtime sees extra 6,000 bottles packed

With the Matthews’ solution saving downtime, Ozpak is able to output an extra 6,000 bottles a week, while clear barcodes make the labels easier to scan at the distribution end of the supply chain as well. Image credit: iStock/ PeopleImages

Reducing downtime on labelling equipment has boosted output volume for a leading wine-packaging service, after turning to Matthews for help.

Ozpak is a full-service, contract wine-packaging company. Based at Nagambie in central Victoria, it offers services in packaging, laboratory facilities and skills, logistics, tank farms, filtration and bulk storage. From its establishment in 2000, Ozpak is now one of Australia’s top packaging operations that handles premium-quality wine.

As such, equipment needs to be reliable.

Ozpak has two bottling lines; one with one packing station, while the second has two, with two labellers at each station. Both lines run five days a week, 16 hours per day, outputting 6,000 bottles per hour.

Jake Lloyd, who’s in charge of wine logistics at Ozpak, says, “Our old applicators were around 12 years old and parts were becoming hard to get if we needed to replace them. They had probably run their race, and were starting to become less reliable.

“We were averaging three minutes a shift per packing station of downtime, including roll changes and breakdowns. That may not sound like much, but those three minutes over three stations is nine minutes per shift, and over two shifts that’s 18 minutes a day, which is an hour and a half of downtime over five days.”

The company has lasers and coders from Matthews, including for permanent lot coding and traceability on bottles, but also researched other suppliers to find the best technologies and service.

“We chose Mathews because our ongoing relationship with the company is important to us.” They also found the recommended solution better than others.

On Matthews’ recommendation, Ozpak installed two Evolabel Label Printer Applicators (LPAs), with two units on each packing station.

Jake says there have been several benefits.

“The first is that we are now averaging just one minute per shift of downtime, so only 30 minutes a week; which cuts our downtime by two-thirds.

“The units also allow us to apply a larger sticker to cartons than we previously could, which gives us flexibility to print more information. They also give us a more consistent print and application position than the old units, which is all positive for our customers. With the old units we relied on rollers to apply the carton sticker, whereas the Evolabels have a tamp pad on an extendable arm that applies carton labels.

“Staff find the units very easy to use: our supervisors send out the messages to the printers and the line operators easily ensure that the machines don’t run out of ribbon or labels.

“Both our lines output 6,000 bottles per hour, so saving an hour a week in downtime on these carton coders alone equates to 6,000 extra bottles per week that we can pack.

“Add to that, clear print on the barcodes makes the labels easier to scan, so saves those at the distribution end of the chain time as well. It’s a win all round.”


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