Bakkavor Protects Factory Against Allergens with Automation

Bakkavor Caledonian Produce is a premium manufacturer supplying Marks & Spencer. They produce prepared vegetables, convenience salads and ready meals over 12 production lines and deal with a large number of product changeovers throughout the day.

What challenges did Bakkavor face before automation?

Like all food manufacturers, Bakkavor were facing increased pressure from their customers to guarantee that all packaging and date coding was correct or face heavy fines and potential loss of business. There were a number of key challenges identified:

  • Many of the products had similar packaging and fall within the same date ranges
  • Packaging varied significantly with a number of different barcode printing positions and orientations
  • Tray labels were printed offline and added manually during production runs, it was essential for these to match the product and date of production
  • Packaging with multiple labels (top & bottom)

How did OAL's automation software solve these challenges?

Following a successful trial of Autocoding, the OAL team rapidly deployed the system across all 12 lines. Central management and reporting meant the system could be under full technical control, with packaging issues identified onsite – eliminating product recalls. 2D coding and scanning allow Bakkavor to scan products without a barcode and means all areas of packaging are traceable. 2D also offers full version control, meaning small ingredient changes affecting allergens can be controlled and labels verified. Our experience in 2D coding assisted with the positioning of codes and allows for colour coding to match the packaging.

I would rate this as my simplest implementation and yet it has also been one of the most effective. Over a 7 year period we have had no issues which could be attributed to the system.
— David Cornwallis, Logistics Manager, Bakkavor Caledonian

Results

The solution has been very effective with no issues to report after 7 years of use. David Cornwallis was particularly impressed by the installation team as the installation was carried out without disruption in an area that was particularly busy and cramped.

Deborah Stokoe