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icon Clock  30/4/2014

The confectionery industry always works on a seasonal basis, delivering higher volumes of chocolate and other sweet treats at certain times of the year such as for Christmas or Easter. Contract packagers are often called upon to ramp up production in advance to be ready for these periods, to ensure that packaging is effectively coded to match the industry’s exacting standards.

The Effects of Seasonality on Confectionery Coding
With seasonal changes continuing to have an effect on manufacturers and their coding requirements, the BCMPA is looking for ever more opportunities to even out the undulating confectionery calendar. They know that sways in seasonality can cause massive changes on a production line (Confectionery Production March 2014).

What are the changes that seasonality brings though? Firstly there is a personnel consideration. With increased production comes an increased requirement for labour. As such businesses will be taking on more staff that may not necessarily have the same skill levels, the consistency of the code will need to be monitored to ensure it remains at a high standard.

When coding the products themselves, it is worth noting the changes that can come about at these times of year. Specially designed packaging for the Christmas or Easter customer could mean that different substrates are used, on products that are of different sizes and shapesto normal. Therefore it is essential that they have a flexible coding solution that can deliver high quality codes whatever they may need to code onto.

Finally, there is a requirement for more machines. As a result coders that have been sat for some time may be brought into use again, something that can cause issues due to ink sitting in a machine and drying out. Blockages are not something that a production line needs when they want to ramp up their output.Sometimes packers may even lease or rent further machines to increase their capacity for short periods, without the investment in a brand new machine.

How can coding technology help?
There are a wide range of ways in which coding technology can help confectionery coders weather the seasonality storm.

First of all, to help those personnel that are new to coding, it is important to deliver a user friendly interface for them and even to remove them as far as possible from the more complex parts of the process so as to avoid errors.Coding technology can help you to input preset messages to be quickly selected at the touch of a button, meaning you take full control of the code contents without any loss of quality.

As mentioned, when coding onto varying substrates or packaging of different sizes, it is important to have a coding machine that can deliver high quality codes on whatever material the client may have decided to use. Specialist inks, laser coding or other digital technologies can help to ensure that codes are accurate, consistent, and perhaps most importantly - permanent.

When bringing back machines that you know have been sat for a while, you need them to be able to start coding effectively from the get go, without any costly downtime due to blockages. Thankfully, some modern coders automatically flush through the system at every shutdown, ensuring they are ready to code first time, every time, no matter how long they have been idle. Your production can then continue without delay or loss of code quality.

If you want to find out more about how our printers can help you with confectionery coding, why not have a look at our industry white paper?


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