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Nuts and seeds packager upgrades labeling operations

Installs automatic labeling machines to replace manual labeling of PET containers.
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Zymex Industries, Inc., Merced, CA, packages nuts, seeds, herbs, teas, and fruits in both bulk and retail container sizes for distribution to industrial and consumer markets. The company’s Ziba brand items are packaged in a range of square grip PET containers. Some of the containers and plastic caps are manufactured by Berry Plastics Corp. Others are distributed to Zymex by Independent Can Co.

Currently, Zymex manually applies caps with existing foil membranes to the PET containers and then seals them by induction using sealing equipment from Enercon Industries. The induction sealing provides tamper evidence and helps protect product shelf life (approximately 12 months).

The container labels are supplied by three different vendors. All the labels are pressure-sensitive and semi-gloss with adhesive backing.

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As Zymex president Ahmad Foroutan explains, “Label Technology, Inc. prints both our large and small container labels digitally, allowing us to reduce cost by doing smaller runs and test new label designs. Label Technology uses an HP Indigo 4500 Press, 4-color process. ID Technology-Markor flexographically prints front and back labels for some of our smaller containers. And Fernqvist Labeling Solutions flexographically prints some of our larger container labels.”

These containers had been manually labeled. Foroutan notes, “We had been spending too much time and labor hand-labeling these containers.”

To improve productivity and meet increasing product demand, the company decided to install automatic labeling equipment. After evaluating various labeling machinery options, Zymex chose a Model 5100 wraparound labeler and a Model 3111 high-speed air-blow labeler to apply three-sided prime body labels and a Model 3114 tamp-blow labeler to apply nutrition back labels—all from Label-Aire. The equipment was purchased through Label-Aire authorized distributor Taylor Made Labels and was installed in January 2010.

Foroutan says, “We chose Label-Aire because of their reputation and the fact that they are located in California—which meant savings to us in shipping costs. But what I liked most is that the label application equipment came fully assembled. All we had to do was plug it in and attach air. After minor adjustments to the setup—and a few problems understanding some of the instructions in the machinery manual—it was ready to run.

“Now that it is installed and up and running, this labeling system allows us to achieve much faster turnaround and shorter lead time on orders. It has definitely helped our overall productivity. The containers now are being labeled at speeds ranging from 30 to 45 per minute, depending on package size, versus about five to six per minute per person with the old manual labeling operation.”

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