The software, called Claricom CLARiNET, is designed to control the coding equipment across the corporate wide-area-network between both manufacturing sites. The company believes that the resulting high level of control will ensure that it can minimise costly coding errors, meet the demands of both leading retailers and legislation and protect brand reputation.
Brand protection is becoming a definitive trend in food manufacturing. In the past, customers have been seen as being primarily concerned about price, quality and customer service, but now retailers are catching on that brand protection is a key concern.
In addition, the drive towards ensuring complete supply chain traceability is inexorable. Retail giants are rolling out traceability mandates to all their suppliers, and the biggest of them all, Wal-Mart, is currently working out traceability standards for all fresh products.
As far as these retail giants are concerned, their primary motivation is building customer loyalty and trust. In driving through these traceability measures down the supply chain, they are putting into place guarantees that if there is ever a recall, then any problem could be contained quickly without losing credibility.
For manufacturers such as the Cadbury Trebor Basset division Monkhill Confectionery, this provides an opportunity. By ensuring the quality and safety of their brand, the company can present itself to both retailers and customers as a product they can implicitly trust and comply with the new EU Food Regulations.
This is the reasoning behind the installation of PCMS. Crucially, the solution can be deployed across multiple brands of coders, allowing the company freedom of choice in choosing its coding equipment suppliers.
The Claricom PCMS eliminates the day-to-day potential for errors in critical coding information - such as the Use By date - by removing manual setup of thermal transfer coders. All data is controlled centrally using CLARiSOFT Message Design Software, and transmitted to packaging lines via the CLARiNET Ethernet network application.
In addition, the CLARiNET remote intranet viewer enables pack line performance and real-time status of all coders to be viewed across the wide area network for instant and accurate diagnosis.
"Given our experience of Claricom we confidently predict a return on investment,"said Andy Hamilton, senior project engineer at Monkhill Confectionery.
The Claricom solution has been recommended to its supplier base by Marks & Spencer.
"The Claricom system has been purchased to replace previous proprietary networks and overcome some of their limitations. As an independent supplier Claricom can provide an effective solution in one simple network using industry standard technology," said Gerry McDonough, engineering manager, Monkhill Confectionery.
"CLARiNET can integrate our Markem SmartDate coders and newer ICE Zodiac thermal transfer coders into a common package coding management system. The coder-independent software allows us to also integrate barcode case coding and barcode packaging validation, and extends flexibility of choice to future purchasing decisions."
Another key consideration was that the Claricom system is designed specifically for an Ethernet network, ensuring its capability for networking the large number of coders used by Monkhill. "The Claricom PCMS is ideal for high-volume operations such as those at Monkhill's Pontefract and York factories," said McDonough.
Monkhill Confectionery specialises in confectionery products, with an extensive range including boiled sweets, wine gums, popcorn and chocolate-coated products. According to Claricom, its Package Coding Management System (PCMS) typically pays for itself within 12 months.
Monkhill Confectionery, a division of Cadbury Trebor Bassett, has purchased a Claricom Package Coding Management System (PCMS) for the accurate control of on pack coding at its two sites.