Markem-Imaje Provides Best-in-Class Coding for a New Ultra-Modern East Coast Bakehouse Site

When selecting the code printing technology for its new state-of-the-art production facility, East Coast Bakehouse opted for Markem-Imaje’s SmartDate X60. This solution is designed for high-volume applications — it can print 300 dpi codes on flexible packaging film at high speeds.

This local company with far-reaching ambitions was launched in 2016 in Drogheda, which lies some 40 km north of Dublin on the east coast of Ireland. Founded by the former management team of the Jacob Fruitfield Group, the owner of many iconic Irish food brands, East Coast Bakehouse’s vision is to provide ‘home-baked’ quality biscuits made with local ingredients to customers far and wide.

To achieve this, the company has a test bakery, innovation center and production facility that stretch over its 20,000 m2 grounds. The Bakehouse itself is a massive 15,000 m2, making it one of the largest in Europe. It includes a 25 m long oven and a 40-tonne chocolate tank.

This brand new facility has two production lines with fully automated packing. These high-speed packaging lines produce 3,600 packs per minute, for a capacity of 20,000 tonnes of biscuits per year. With such advanced production operations, it was critical for the company to choose infallible coding technology to ensure quality, reliability and efficiency in product identification and traceability.

To find the right coding system, the company sought the help of Markem-Imaje’s distributor in Ireland, M Pack. “They worked with us to understand our needs and to develop the best integrated solution without compromising on quality,” explains James Yarr, East Coast Bakehouse’s Operations Director.

A system was required that could guarantee impeccable quality at ultrafast high volumes. To meet these demands, the SmartDate X60 thermal transfer coder was recommended for its ability to print two lines of alphanumeric text for batch codes and ‘best-before’ dates at high resolution at any production speed. A tailored solution was designed that could be fully integrated into the Cavanna flow-pack packaging machines operated by East Coast Bakehouse.

Two SmartDate X60 coders were mounted onto the Cavanna Zero 5 wrappers using custom-made Markem-Imaje brackets. An encoder was then fitted to regulate print quality at all speeds, and the coders were fully integrated into the parent machines to track printing and fault signals. Various ribbon grades were tested to ensure the quality and suitability of the end result. “One of the big advantages for us was that the solution was plug-and-play,” says James Yarr. “Once integrated in our line, it was ready to go.”

Given the huge investment in this state-of-the-art facility, it was essential for East Coast Bakehouse to ensure both high quality and cost efficiency for all aspects of the production line. The selection of Markem-Imaje SmartDate X60 coders results in excellent quality at improved cost per print with this technology’s reduced ribbon and power consumption.