Coder delivers healthy benefits for U.K. vet lab

Faster coding and clearer print on each label enable Veterinary Laboratories Agency to speed the supply of tuberculin to veterinary establishments throughout the United Kingdom.

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VLA is a Weybridge, Surrey-based lab that works primarily on animal health research for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. VLA produces tuberculin, used in the country's tuberculosis eradication program for cattle. The liquid is filled into 1-, 3- and 5-mL glass vials that are pressure-sensitive labeled.

Thanks to a new TT53IM thermal-transfer coder from Allen Coding (Elmhurst, IL), the coding process is now much more efficient. "We print all relevant batch numbers and expiration dates onto the label," says Gerald Goldsmith, VLA's tuberculin production manager.

That amounts to nine lines of copy on each label. The new coder prints 70 labels/min, about 20/min faster than the coder VLA had used previously.

"The code is applied to the label before the label is applied to the vial," says Goldsmith. The coder is mounted to a Multivac (Kansas City, MO) p-s labeler that produces approximately 500ꯠ vials of the liquid annually.

"Since we installed it about three months ago," Goldsmith says, "the coder has performed superbly. It was easy to set up, it provides clear type and it prints accurately onto the label. Also, with this coder, we can print twelve characters/sec, as opposed to the eight/sec we were able to use with the coder that this unit replaced."

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