Confectioner Uses OAL Connected to Improve Product Quality and Consistency

A leading British confectioner with highly recognisable and iconic sweet products has protected their brand with automation. The company is using OAL Connected to ensure their products are in the right pack, eliminating errors from the packaging line.

They supply both branded and own label products in the UK and overseas via a number of channels including grocery, wholesaler, cash and carry, discounter, forecourts and more independent channels. 

Challenge

The confectioner was facing a number of challenges that are common in the food industry:

  • Compliance with retailer codes of practices.
  • High fines from retailers following product recalls related to label and date code errors. 
  • Quality problems associated with paper based systems due to a lack of accountability.

They chose OAL because it's the market leading system in the UK for preventing product recalls and with the extensive expertise in the team they could create a customised solution to meet their unique challenges.

OAL’s Autocoding system is a tried, tested and proven system. After assessing our individual circumstances and challenges as a company, OAL was able to provide a customised product in addition to the standard system to help address these challenges. This level of service was not offered anywhere else.

Technical Solution

The OAL Connected system was installed on 3 packaging lines. Additional mimic screen terminals were installed in other areas of the factory to allow control from different locations. In this instance, mimic screens were installed as production takes place over two floors. Mimic screens are also used to overcome the physical high low care divide. 

How OAL Autocoding works.jpg

Control Your Packaging Line

with OAL COnnected

Interesting Packaging Line Features

Printer Control & Label & Date Code Verification

Previously operators manually set-up ICE Printers on the line. Manual set-up can easily result in the wrong date code being printed onto packs. The OAL system automates the set-up controlling the ICE printers so the information comes from the master database, eliminating the risk of keying errors.

 How OAL Autocoding work? - click to expand

Automated Paperless QA Checks

The customer supply mixed bags of sweets with 4 or 5 different coloured / flavoured sweets. Previously, the assembly process was paper-driven with limited traceability and accountability for which sweets had been assembled.

OAL automated the process flow removing the paperwork and providing a higher degree of traceability and accountability. Now operators scan each tray of different coloured sweets to complete a works order.  As the OAL system controls the whole packing line, if trays haven't been scanned or errors have been identified, the line is automatically stopped and cannot recommence until operators have intervened and solved the issue. This QA check is vital to providing retailers and consumers with the high-quality product they expect.

Results

The confectioner now has a fully integrated factory and has peace of mind that labels and date codes are verified.  The site is now fully compliant with retailer codes of practice strengthening their relationship with their distributors. Technology has helped improve the quality of their end products, and the factory now has a full paperless traceability system.

They have been able to increase their factory’s output making more informed decisions based on the data that OAL’s Autocoding system has collected and reported to them. On the back of the success of this first job, they have now installed OAL’s Autocoding system into a second factory and is investigating adding it to their third site.  

 

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Jake Norman