Blog : Our LEAN THINKING Series: Issue #2

Reduce Coding & Packaging Errors

How to avoid waste due to coding and packaging errors with a closed-loop solution.

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LEAN THINKING is our series of thoughtful ideas on waste minimisation strategies.

We bring you smart product solutions to reduce all types of waste on your packaging line. These are the very same principles we use to design and build turn-key packaging lines for Australia’s biggest FMCG manufacturers.

Download the second in our series


Considering the cost of product reworks and recalls, it’s critical to ensure your production line is packing products in the correct packaging, with the correct online printed date and traceability codes.

Any activity that does not add value from the customers’ perspective should be considered a wasted activity. Without an automated, closed-loop, coding and packaging quality assurance solution, the following 6 waste points are likely.

  1. Disposing of defective products: the ultimate waste
  2. Increased production downtime during SKU change-overs
  3. Manual verification processes taking extra time
  4. Wasted time and materials from rework or recalls
  5. Waiting for QA processes to be validated
  6. Unnecessary movements of incorrect packaging materials.

The Lean Solution

Automated and integrated solutions eliminate manual error and waste, creating customer value.

The simplest way to get started is to connect a vision camera to your online printer which can check for print presence, print quality and print position.

This can be the first step towards an integrated and network-based solution, which has the following architecture:

  • A database of each product SKU, which is ethernet-connected to the production hall
  • Networkable printers that produce a good quality and consistent print
  • Networked barcode scanners or cameras in strategic positions on the packaging line
  • At each product change-over, the new SKU is automatically selected from the database and product data is downloaded to all coders and

By networking coding devices, we eliminate the chance of incorrect codes being printed on different packaging layers.

The vision cameras perform several functions. Are you printing the correct code, with acceptable quality, in the correct location? Is the packaging correct for the selected SKU? And is the pack quality acceptable?

No manual intervention is necessary, reducing the risk of human error.

And of course, an automated solution allows rapid visualisation of those vital few events that impact OEE, allowing a real or virtual ANDON cord to be pulled.

The results of this Lean Solution are threefold:
1. Eliminate Own Defects (EOD),
2. Detect Own Defects (DOD), and
3. Contain Own Defects (COD).

Financial Impacts

In our experience, a single recall will cover the cost of a coding and packaging quality solution several times over.

For product waste and rework, we’d expect a payback of less than 24 months.

We can also provide a financial solution to overcome any potential up-front capital expenditure barriers. Foodmach FLEX is a pay-only-for-output arrangement that may better suit your budget.

Or even better, check out CODE ONE, our fixed-price coding and labelling offer. For as little as $10 day, it includes the printer, spare parts, consumables and technical support. One fixed and low monthly charge covers everything you’ll ever need to place codes on products.

In Summary

A coding and packaging quality assurance solution eliminates multiple wastes points and the potential for brand damage.

Foodmach has the online printing technologies, software options and camera vision experience to design and commission a system that meets your needs. 

Even better, we have the integration expertise to make it all work together with your existing equipment.

Foodmach is simply the fastest way to get control of your packaging line. 

Just ask us!

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