Solutions Finder

Select a question

New RF Auto Codes Troublesome ‘Lift-The-Flap’ Sleeves With Ease

11th July 2017

Responding to the coding and handling challenges of the latest ‘lift-the-flap’ style luxury pack sleeve, Rotech will launch its new offline RF Auto sleeve and carton friction feeder at PPMA 2017 (stand A37).

This offline sleeve coding solution for overprinting essential information, such as batch numbers and use-by dates, accurately handles the latest cardboard watch sleeves which vary in thickness due to the new addition of an informational flap incorporated into the sleeve. Without any human intervention, the system’s patented auto-gate feature automatically adjusts to accommodate the varying thickness of each flat pack to boost coding productivity and eliminate set-up time and sleeve waste, which could amount to £20k per annum alone.  

The new lift-the-flap sleeve style is being used by premium food brands looking to impart additional value-add product information for consumer benefit. The luxury packaging market is growing globally at a rate of 5% per annum which far exceeds that of general consumer goods packaging, explains Neil Farmer Associates: “Forecasts predict the market to be worth $17.6 billion by 2019, compared to 14.2 billion in 2014, which adds to the pressure for manufacturers to maximise the versatility of their coding operations. Rising demand for added value packaging and the introduction of new technology and innovations is driving this growth – Rotech has quickly responded with the launch of the RF Auto to facilitate this fast-paced market.”

The RF Auto’s new auto-gate function targets food manufacturers who find that increasingly varied packaging styles can present a challenge for conventional coding systems. With gourmet convenience food on the rise, meal kits and ready meals are using the lift-the-flap sleeve to print recipes and nutritional information, but the sleeve is harder to code and feed because of the flap.  

The RF Auto stack-to-stack feeder works using a non-contact thermal inkjet coder offering a complete offline overprinting solution. For the first time, the new auto-gate function eliminates the need to make manual adjustments to handle cartons of different thicknesses, minimising set-up downtime in coding operations and eliminating waste packaging. With some manufacturers experiencing 10 product changeovers a day, this prevents wasting costly packaging sleeves or cartons which can cost up to 79p per sleeve comments Steve Ryan, Sales Director Rotech: “It’s quite possible that manufactures having to manually set-up and test a sleeve feeder could see waste amounting to £395 per week alone - the RF Auto is designed to eliminate this waste.”

Conventional stack-to-stack carton and sleeve feeders ensure that the packs feed through the printer correctly by manually setting a separation finger to allow one pack through at a time. That setting varies depending on the thickness of the carton and making adjustments can add several minutes to the set-up each time. In contrast, the RF Auto’s auto-gate function eliminates these delays. In addition, simple controls and the use of quick-set hopper guides also help keep downtime to a minimum.

Its small footprint allows the RF Auto to be moved easily between production lines. It offers high throughput speeds, with the high torque of its friction feed system retaining control over the cartons as they are automatically separated and dispensed.

Offline coding is an increasingly attractive option for companies in industries such as food and pharmaceuticals, especially since unusual pack designs and the need to maintain a high-end finish can prove challenging for online solutions on today’s fast-paced production lines.

To discover more about the RF Auto and our other offline coding solutions, visit us on stand A37.