Ask someone who works in the food, drinks and pharmaceutical industries about what’s important in respect of label verification and the chances are they’ll start talking about paper label sheets or cameras – depending on whether they’re running a conventional paper based or a more modern automatic QC system.
Either way, once you start to dig down into the detail, you are highly likely to find a system that relies far too much on human intervention. Jenton Dimaco systems take over the responsibility and focus in on the data – actually the Data, Data & Data…
This is the primary information on the product’s constituents which allow most of the other decisions to be made. For example in the case of pork sausages, it will likely be the slaughter date and country of origin of the pig, and the additional ingredients to be added – are they allergens?
This is the processing data and will vary both by product and customer but will include many of the following: price/kg, weight, use-by date, cooking time and even QR codes linking to recipes.
Closing the loop – this is the data provided back by the label verification system such as number of rejects, yield percentage and actual images of passed and failed products. Not only does this help with improving the bottom line, but it also allows you to prove what you claim!
That’s lots of data. It has to be accurate, used correctly and result in the right things being printed in the right way. Jenton Dimaco systems make sure that this has happened. On Line. All the time.
Jenton Dimaco’s label verification system is based on high performance cameras lighting and optics running Jenton Dimaco’s own optical character recognition (OCR) algorithms developed over twenty years. This undoubtedly sets us apart as it allows us to read labels that, put simply, other just cannot read. As good as this is though, it really wouldn’t be of that much benefit to the user without the unsung hero – Veri-CENTRAL.
Veri-CENTRAL is proprietary and has also been developed over the same twenty-year period and is Jenton Dimaco’s SQL Server based back-office system. Veri-CENTRAL integrates with and works in parallel with the processor’s own MRP system.
Not only does it extract the Data #1 information from the MRP system without human intervention, it can be used as a validation tool as well. The “rules” can be configured on a product by product basis (rather like an aeroplane having multiple decision-making control systems) to prevent problems occurring in the first place.
At the start of every production run the barcode of the product being made is scanned into the local Veri-PACK label verification system. This is instantaneously passed to Veri-CENTRAL which combines the Data #1 information with the required Data #2 information stored in Veri-CENTRAL itself. This creates a complete blueprint of a valid label including artwork version, pre-printed data, variable data and even additional promotional information.
Once the production line starts every single label is checked against this blueprint – products with good labels continue down the line, badly printed products and those with missing labels can be rejected, whilst incorrect data will stop the line.
Whilst the line is running the Data #3 is being created according to pre-configured instructions. This varies from application to application, but it is normal to take an image of the first label, a label every thirty minutes and the last label plus a selection of the rejected labels. Statistics of throughput, speed and yield will be computed and stored along with time and date information. Critically ALL modifications to configurations, such as dates and prices and failure overrides require a user login and ALL such modifications are logged in the database.
Veri-CENTRAL includes a range of report options, any of which can be tailored to a specific requirement. So, if you want to know the yield on line 5, the reason for failures on lane 6 or who allowed a product to run with incorrect information just look in Veri-CENTRAL. Veri-CENTRAL is viewable using a standard web browser, as long as you have a valid username and password, which means you can see the results and even the line running in real time from any networked computer – but make any changes and it will be logged!
Veri-CENTRAL is the glue that holds the system together & enables us to offer a label verification capability that requires no production line intervention except for scanning a single barcode at the start of each run. Label verification isn’t rocket science it’s just data, data & data.
Veri-CENTRAL is in use in suppliers to all major UK supermarkets. It’s written by and unique to Jenton Dimaco and we’d love to show it off to you.
Dr Russell Sion & William Everitt - Jenton Dimaco Limited.