April 27, 2022 - RAVENWOOD
Ravenwood to Launch Automatic Linerless Label Applicator at IFFA
Ravenwood Packaging is set to unveil its latest linerless innovation at this year’s IFFA. The Nobac 5000 Auto (linerless label applicator) will feature alongside the VR Inspection System. Both machines will be on demo throughout the show.
The Nobac 5000 Auto and VR system can be stand-alone technologies or seamlessly integrated for the faultless application and inspection of linerless labels across a diverse range of foods including meat, fish, plant based proteins, ready meals, salad pots, desserts and fresh produce.
Let’s take a look at Ravenwood’s latest linerless adaption – the Nobac 5000 Auto. The 5000 Auto is now the 9th addition to join the diverse and world-leading range of Ravenwood linerless applicators. Building its core foundation on the Nobac 5000 linerless label applicator range released in 2020, the new Nobac 5000 Auto is a customer optional addition that automates switching between products, pack sizes and label size, thanks to its motorised adjustment of top lay belts, infeed guides and height adjustment. Operators, factory management software and or weigh-price labellers can select pre-programmed tray sizes to allow the machine to move automatically, to new positions freeing up time for the operator to load labels.
Joining the 5000 Auto will be Ravenwood’s VR Inspection System which offers unrivalled brand and consumer protection. Directly after the packs have been labelled, the VR will then inspect to identify errors and reject any packs where faulty labels are detected. The VR does this by optical vision inspection. Faults are largely due to poor quality print and inaccuracies, but the VR analyses even further and will check for label position, quantity and orientation for guaranteed consistency across all packs. Furthermore, even small print such as barcodes, use-by dates and traceability codes are also inspected. In fact, all printed information. The process offers complete peace of mind, alleviating the need for manual analysis which can lead to faults going unchecked.
David Gooding, Ravenwood’s Commercial Director said: “It’s great to finally be getting back to normal in attending events in person. I know that the team is really looking forward to both the show itself and the launch of the 5000 Auto. ”
Gooding added: “It will also be the first time we have exhibited at IFFA so we are hoping it will prove to be a great success and the first of many for Ravenwood.”
IFFA takes place every 4 years and is the world’s leading trade fair for the meat industry with the 2022 show opening up to the alternative proteins markets. The show is very well established with this year marking IFFA’s 71st anniversary. The show covers the entire supply chain for processing, packaging, selling and distribution and offers a great platform for networking opportunities across a global scale. Around 900 exhibitors will be in attendance from over 40 countries. IFFA will run from the 14 – 19 May 2022.
April 6, 2022 - RAVENWOOD
Ravenwood Proudly Presents It's Latest Linerless Mission: THE LINERLESS CO2 SAVINGS CALCULATOR!
We have created a CO2 Savings Calculator to prove how much CO2 can be saved when comparing linerless to self-adhesive labels.
Three values are entered into the calculator:
• Measurement A (the longest length of the label)
• Measurement B (the shortest)
• Label Quantity
Ravenwood researched how much CO2 is emitted when manufacturing a tonne of backing liner for self-adhesive labels. A total of 2,200kgs of CO2 per tonne is emitted to produce 1,000kgs of liner paper (source: AWA and Avery Dennison).
• The calculations are based on 3, 4 and 5 adhesive / silicone lines.
• Our calculator displays the CO2 savings in kgs and a percentage value.
Check out our calculator at the link below and see the savings for yourself!
March 4, 2022 - RAVENWOOD
Ravenwood to Showcase Linerless Fruit Packaging at Fruit Logistica
Ravenwood Packaging will exhibit its linerless and vision inspection technologies at Fruit Logistica in April. The ‘leaders in linerless’ will have two machines on demo – the Nobac 5000L ‘fresh produce’ linerless applicator and the VR Inspection System. The perfect combination for the packaging of fruits and vegetables.
The Nobac 5000L and VR system both work in synergy for the labelling and inspection of all foods including fresh fruits and vegetables. Both machines can be stand alone or seamlessly integrated for the labelling and inspection of packs.
The fresh produce linerless applicator is the latest 5000 machine variant to join Ravenwood’s linerless ranks. The 5000L applies ‘Fruit Lid’ linerless labels to carton board trays. When combined, the food grade Fruit Lid and tray, forms a complete pack for labelling and packaging of fresh fruit and vegetable products. The pack concept replaces the need for plastic flow wrap and single use plastic bags. As a result, the entire pack is highly sustainable and 100% kerbside recyclable. With various tray sizes available to suit a wide range of requirements coupled with the option of bespoke Fruit Lid label designs to fit, the pack concept offers a high degree of flexibility. Furthermore, if retailers are looking for high application speeds, then the 5000L will not disappoint with speeds up to 70ppm. When considering the benefits overall and most importantly, the elimination of plastic packaging, it’s no surprise that the new pack concept is generating much interest with packaging technologists around the world for the packaging of fruits of vegetables.
Joining the Nobac 5000L on stand will be Ravenwood’s VR Inspection System which offers the ultimate in safeguarding for brand and consumer protection. Directly after the packs have been labelled, the VR will then identify errors and reject any packs where faulty labels are detected. The VR does this by optical vision inspection. These faults are largely due to poor quality print and inaccuracies, but the VR analyses even further and will check for label position, quantity and orientation for guaranteed consistency across all packs. Moreover, even small print such as barcodes, use-by dates and traceability codes are also inspected. In fact, all printed information. Collectively, the process offers complete peace of mind, alleviating the need for manual analysis which can lead to faults going unchecked.
David Gooding, Ravenwood’s Commercial Director said: “Fruit Logistica is a new show for us. The new fruit lid and carton board pack concept has now opened up a completely new market for Ravenwood and its distributor, and printer network.”
Gooding added: “This will also be the first time we have exhibited the VR Inspection System.”
Find Ravenwood on stand: 6.1/B06.
Fruit Logistica is the world’s leading trade fair for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry and will take place in Berlin from the 5 – 7th April 2022. At the 2020 show, more than 3,300 exhibitors from 91 countries presented their products, services and technical solutions with around 73,000 trade visitors from 135 countries in attendance. Fruit Logistica represents the entire value-added chain for the fresh produce industry, from producer to point of sale.
February 18, 2022 - RAVENWOOD
Bella and Duke Reduce Packaging Shipping Costs by 98% with Linerless
ABOUT BELLA AND DUKE
Bella and Duke was founded in 2017 by Tony Ottley and Mark Scott. Both Tony and Scott had lost their dogs to cancer and were convinced that the processed foods their dogs had eaten their entire lives could have potentially caused the disease. After carrying out extensive research on raw and natural dog food and finding there was a gap in the market, they decided to take action and create their own.
Their foods have been developed with animal nutritionists and vets to ensure the utmost quality and all ingredients are sourced from local suppliers. During the last four years, business operations have gone from strength to strength, and Bella and Duke now deliver frozen raw dog and cat food all over the UK and are the UK’s largest D2C pet wellness brand.
Tony and Mark were not happy with their current packaging which comprised a self-adhesive top label and ‘ice cream’ style tub. Both of these packaging elements needed addressing.
Self-Adhesive Top Label
The self-adhesive top label would only allow for print on the face of the label. Tony and Mark wanted the option for an increased surface print area but with the underside of the label stuck to the pack, space was limited.
‘Ice Cream’ Food Tub
Bella and Duke’s recipes were prepared and packaged by a third party. The packer packed the raw food into ‘ice cream’ style tubs with a lid. This form of packaging was very dense in plastic and the lack of overall control meant that the process was clocking up food miles, time, and cost. And subsequently, the company’s carbon footprint.
Switching from Self-Adhesive to Linerless
Bella and Duke switched from a self-adhesive top label to a c-wrap linerless label.
Linerless labels feature double the surface print area with both the face and underside free for print. Bella & Duke’s linerless labels are currently utilising the face of the label for print but there are plans to make use of the reverse. This will be used for adding additional product information, including nutritional facts, healthcare advice, marketing mechanics and promotions.
Linerless labels do not feature label liner which means the need to landfill, incinerate or recycle the backing paper is completely eradicated.
Bella and Duke’s labels are printed by a Ravenwood approved linerless printer:
The Printing Company: Reflex
Tony states that Reflex has been extremely accommodating, providing support and advice both on label design and ensuring the seamless transition from the previous method of label application to the Nobac 5000.
Nobac 5000 Linerless Applicator with ‘Plug & Play’ Second Head
Bella and Duke purchased a single head Ravenwood Nobac 5000 label applicator for applying its c-wrap linerless labels. The ‘Plug and Play’ element is a 2nd head unit added to the original head which when combined, transforms the applicator into a twin head machine.
The Nobac 5000 ‘Plug and Play’ twin head unit has been developed to meet the needs of those customers whose labelling requirements have increased and a single head Nobac 5000 doesn’t meet production requirements. The twin head extension unit can resolve this problem by alleviating the need to purchase an additional full Nobac 5000T Twin Head machine.
Planning investments based on production requirements reduces the risk of buying machinery that could potentially be underused. The Nobac 5000 ‘Plug and Play’ extension has enabled Bella and Duke to increase production and benefit from zero downtime.
Both the Nobac 5000 ‘Plug and Play’ with a second head unit and the full Nobac 5000T Twin Head meets the demands of retailers and packers for higher speeds, less downtime and quicker product changes.
Both machines benefit from:
1) Continuous operation with two labeling heads in line;
2) The ability to swap between heads to allow label reels or thermal printer ribbon to be changed on the unused head;
3) Allowing preparation in readiness for labeling the next product;
4) The option of continuous application of promotional labels, which can be achieved using a Trojan Flash labeler.
The Nobac 5000 is capable of applying linerless labels at a rate of 150 ppm and is the only fully automated sleever approved for applying Ravenwood’s linerless labels.
New Thermoform Tray
Tony and Mark decided to take full control of the food preparation and packaging process and in doing so opted for a thermoform tray sealed with MAP to replace the ‘ice cream’ style tubs. The decision to switch was largely made from an environmental perspective. The pre-formed ‘ice cream’ style tub weighed 21g whereas the thermoformed tray weighs 13g resulting in a significant saving on plastic packaging.
Bella and Duke has enjoyed a multitude of benefits by switching to linerless and changing the tray format.
Changing the tray format alone, has resulted in a 38% reduction in plastic packaging. The raw pet food supplier has also witnessed a massive 98% reduction in their packaging shipping costs, which has also reduced their carbon footprint.
The retailer is also reaping the rewards by taking full control of the food preparation and packaging process which as a result has eliminated the food miles associated with the transportation to and from the packer.
The c-wrap linerless label compared to the previous self-adhesive top label has improved the aesthetics of the packaging and increased the available print space. Bella and Duke’s products are of a premium standard and the packaging now reflects this.
With supply and demand constantly increasing, there was a need to drive more uptime and increase throughput. Opting for linerless along with the purchase of a Nobac 5000 linerless applicator has streamlined production and as a result, the weekly labelling capacity has increased by over 80%. Labelling speeds now run at 120 packs per minute.
Bella and Duke’s online store is now fully optimised for meeting the needs of its customers.
January 10, 2022 - RAVENWOOD
Ravenwood's Linerless Fruit Lid Fast Becoming Label of Choice for Brand Owners, Retailers and Packers for Fresh Produce Packaging
Ravenwood’s linerless Fruit Lid is fast becoming the label of choice for brand owners, retailers and packers for their fresh produce packaging.
The Fruit Lid when applied to a carton board tray, forms a complete pack for the supply of fresh fruit and vegetable products. The food grade packaging concept replaces the need for plastic flow wrap and single use plastic bags. Subsequently, the entire pack is highly sustainable and 100% kerbside recyclable. The new fruit pack concept is generating much interest with packaging technologists around the world.
During the last year, Ravenwood has supplied its Fruit Lid to many high profile retailers including Iceland, Waitrose and Ocado as well as tomato packer, Tomeco. The Fruit Lid has been applied to kiwis, apples, pears and tomatoes. Further Fruit Lid projects are in the pipeline.
Paul Beamish, Ravenwood’s Managing Director said: “Our linerless Fruit Lid can help brand owners tackle the problems associated with single use plastic. Across a global scale, we use a horrendous amount of this material in our daily lives. Plastic has got itself a really bad name but the problem stems from how we discard it. Fortunately, efforts are now in place to tackle this problem in creating a circular economy for this material.”
The Fruit Lid is applied by Ravenwood’s Nobac 5000L linerless applicator which is designed to run and apply labels to a wide range of carton board tray sizes. Date and batch coding requirements can also be added by purchasing and integrating a Viper TIJ. Average pack speeds are around 60-65 per minute, depending on the size of the Fruit Lid, tray and products. All linerless projects, from label design concepts and tray style, right the way through to label application and launch, is handled collectively by Ravenwood and its network of printers and machinery distributors. Depending on where in the world you are located.
Ravenwood operates and supplies its linerless technology across 25 countries around the world with 21 printers and 38 machinery distributors. The packaging and labelling specialist supplies the complete linerless solution, known as the ‘Circle of Linerless’. Brand owners, retailers and packers can benefit from faultless linerless labels, a performance guarantee, fully approved sustainable materials, 24/7 support and disaster recovery.
The launch of the linerless Fruit Lid is well timed as France bans plastic packaging for all fruit and vegetables from January 2022. Following on from France, Spain is also preparing its new legislation to come into effect from 2023. As we are all too aware, plastic pollution is a global issue and despite efforts to suitably dispose of waste, every year thousands of tons of bottles, wraps and other plastics make their way into the environment and the oceans.
November 22, 2021 - RAVENWOOD
Prep Kitchen Transforms Ready Meal Packaging with Linerless About Prep Kitchen
Prep Kitchen was established in 2016 and originally started out as a health food restaurant in Southend. Reacting to consumer demand, they started delivering healthy and freshly prepared dishes locally, direct to people’s doors. The ready meal delivery service proved to be a great success, so much so, that Prep Kitchen expanded business operations and launched an online shop. Moreover, its range of foods continue to be developed with 29 meals now tailored across each of four categories: balanced fat loss, balanced muscle gain, lower carb fat loss and lower carb muscle gain.
READY MEAL PACKAGING CHALLENGE
Poor Label Application
The success of the ready meal service was not being mirrored in the factory environment. Subsequently, Prep Kitchen was experiencing many issues with its banding machine for applying ‘strap bands’ to its product ranges. Machine downtime was a common occurrence in the factory as the banding machine was causing so much disruption. Most notably, was the slow label application and blockages in the machine were frequent, due to the strap bands creasing up when being fed through. And on changing to a new product, with a new reel of banding material, a large amount of this material was being wasted. These issues led to spending more on staffing, as the banding process is partly manual. And to add insult to injury, the finished result was a poor quality label that did not reflect the standard of Prep Kitchen’s foods. Prep Kitchen decided to seek an alternative labelling machine coupled with a different style and format of label for its ready meal packaging.
In addition to the ready meal label issue, Prep Kitchen was also having problems with its plastic ‘takeaway’ container. The lids were proving inconsistent in the application process, with some lids not fixing to the plastic tray at all. This again, lead to further frustrations and downtime in the factory. Consequently, the decision was made to source a different tray and sealing process for its range of ready meals.
After fully researching alternative labelling methods and technologies, Prep Kitchen decided to switch to linerless for its ready meal packaging.
Nobac 5000 Applicator & Linerless Labels
Prep Kitchen purchased a Ravenwood Nobac 5000, capable of applying linerless labels at rate of 150 ppm. The Nobac 5000 linerless applicator is a fully automated linerless sleever and the only machine approved for applying Ravenwood’s linerless labels.
The Nobac 5000 applicator has also been fitted with Thermal Transfer Coders: a 53mm Falcon and 106mm Eagle. With the integration of the Coders, the printing of variable data in two separate locations on to the same label is an added functionality. With multiple recipes and SKUs, Prep Kitchen love the flexibility that the Twin Coder has to offer. The Coders boast fast print speeds and minimise downtime with the ability to change printed ingredients on various batches, quickly via the Coder interfaces. At present, Prep Kitchen is utilising the face of the label for print but there are plans to make use of the reverse, with additional product information, marketing mechanics and promotions. Due to the absence of the label liner, linerless labels benefit from double the surface print area with both sides of the label free for print.
Prep Kitchen’s labels are printed by a Ravenwood approved linerless printer:
Coveris has advised both on label design and has assisted in the seamless transition from the previous method of label application to the Nobac 5000.
New Tray and Sealing Method
Ravenwood recommended machinery distributor, Versatile Packaging, based in Ireland, for the new ready meal tray, and Proseal UK to provide a tray sealing machine to seal them. Again, both the tray and sealing process outperforms the previous ‘takeaway’ tray. The Proseal sealer can seal trays at a rate of 60 ready meals per minute. The finished result also boasts a much improved presentation.
Switching to linerless for Prep Kitchen’s ready meal labels and changing the tray format, has completely transformed Prep Kitchen’s packaging and labelling facility. With business operations expanding, there was an urgent need to drive more uptime and increase throughput. Prep Kitchen has now fully automated its labelling processes and subsequently, reduced the number of people on the production line. As a result, this had led to an increase in line efficiency and a reduction in costly downtime, attributed to the previous labelling method.
According to Prep Kitchen’s Director, Mark Morley, the presentation of the linerless labels on pack is also unmatched when compared to strap bands. Subsequently, linerless has been rolled out to all four of Prep Kitchen’s ready meal ranges.
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October 27, 2021 - RAVENWOOD
Ravenwood’s Linerless Tech Surges in APAC
A global leader in linerless labelling, label verification, and pack inspection systems, Ravenwood Packaging is expanding its footprint in Asia Pacific. The opening of a new office in Australia has boosted its local presence and ability to service FMCG end-users, including major retailers. Founded in 2004, the privately owned Ravenwood, with headquarters based in the UK, continues to expand across the globe. Mostly notable is the significant growth across the Asia Pacific Region. This surge has not come without its challenges though.
Let’s look at Ravenwood’s linerless success story and how the company has conquered against all odds.
It was back in the early 2000s, when Ravenwood attempted to penetrate the APAC region by appointing its very first Australian linerless label converter and machinery distributor. The partnership proved to be a slow burner with only two linerless applicators being sold on average per annum. Moreover, as the company explains, complications and setbacks were constantly encountered in the factory environment, due to the previous distributor refusing to supply linerless labels to specification. (Ravenwood refers to this process as the ‘Circle of Linerless’ – more on this later.)
As a result, substandard and cheaper material alternatives were sourced by this distributor while operating under the name of ‘Ravenwood’. Subsequently, these inferior labels were the cause of prolonged periods of factory downtime, and poorly labelled packs on supermarket shelves. And worst of all, Ravenwood was being blamed for these failures.
Fast forward to 2018, and Ravenwood dissolved its distributorship and went in search of new partners. Since this time, Ravenwood has secured partnerships with the supply of Com500 Coaters to four new linerless printers. The current line-up includes Hally Labels in Brisbane, TMA in Melbourne, TMA in New Zealand and Label Force in Western Australia. In addition to its printer partners, three new machinery distributors have been appointed for the supply of its Nobac 5000 applicators and VXR / Vision Pack Inspection Systems. Ravenwood welcomed Linco, based in New South Wales and Result Group in Victoria, with SPM NZ Ltd, located in New Zealand being the latest to join the team.
New APAC office set up in Sydney
In 2020, Ravenwood felt it was a pivotal time to set up a dedicated Asia Pacific office in Sydney, due to increased supply and demand. During the same year, Sam Aloschi was appointed Asia Pacific managing director. Previously, he was head of site for Retail Ready Operations in the Coles Group. Since Aloschi’s appointment, business operations have continued to flourish, most notably in the chilled protein and ready meal markets. T3 Engineering has also been brought on board to offer servicing, parts supply and machinery support to the APAC distributor and printer network.
In summary, within the space of just four years, Ravenwood has appointed four new linerless printers and three new machinery distributors across the APAC region. Moreover, the company says faith in the Ravenwood brand has been restored, including the confidence of its customer base.
What is the Circle of Linerless?
Ravenwood has been providing retailers and packers with linerless labels since 2004. The company says the tried and tested formula provides a fail-safe process to produce consistent labels across a global scale. Subsequently, the process safeguards brand owners, food packers and consumers. With strict standards and guidelines in force, Ravenwood’s linerless labels will remain consistent throughout the entire production and application process, before reaching food retail outlets.
“Once appointed, all Ravenwood printers and machinery distributors become members of the Circle of Linerless,” APAC MD Sam Aloschi explains. “Each is briefed fully as to the entire process. The basics are quite simple. To begin with, all members must purchase Ravenwood machinery only for the production and application of linerless labels. “Secondly, no cutting corners for sourcing cheaper material alternatives. Only Ravenwood approved materials can be used,” he says. “Simply put, following these two main rules means that Ravenwood and its distributor network can guarantee quality, consistency and faultless linerless labels.”
Aloschi notes that Ravenwood’s network is all too aware that by using non-approved materials, the client’s operation can be severely disrupted. “For the best label substrates, adhesives, and silicones, we have sourced and developed a vast selection from multiple industry leading raw material suppliers,” he adds.
“This network of support ensures minimal disruption to the supply chain and allows the end user continuous operation, while guaranteeing unrivalled performance of the label in the factory. No other linerless label provider currently offers this level of service. And from an environmental perspective, it’s good to know that all materials are sustainably sourced and tested for quality control,” he says.
When the unexpected happens, Ravenwood also guarantees full disaster recovery for all machinery out in the field. This also applies to events such as fire, floods, natural disasters, and pandemics. Where label production is concerned, multiple partners use common key lines, die lines, artwork, and equipment to provide during breakdowns.
“This support ensures business continuity for minimal disruption,” Aloschi says. “When such an outage occurs, Ravenwood can assist the customer fully with our educated and connected approach. Our Engineers are on call 24/7.”
The final stage of the process Ravenwood calls the ‘Preloved Programme’. The programme undertakes machinery work from complete set up to full rebuild, as well as refurbishments and conversions on Ravenwood’s range of linerless applicators and coaters.
“A Ravenwood machine is for life which also means a lifetime of free software upgrades,” Aloschi adds.
Net Zero 2050
Aloschi says that as organisations are now beginning to embark on their Net Zero 2050 journeys, Ravenwood can assist retailers in reaching this goal.
“Not only does linerless offer a sustainable alternative to traditional self-adhesive labels due to the absence of the label liner, but Ravenwood also generates minimal C02 during machinery build,” he adds, noting that all machines are UK built, including the Nobac 5000, Com500 and VXR. The Circle of Linerless enables Ravenwood to keep its carbon footprint low.
With over 20 years of linerless experience and a range of labelling solutions to help increase production efficiency, Ravenwood can tackle almost any packaging type and challenge: from fish and meat to fresh fruits and vegetables including plant-based, dairy, ready meals and bakery products.
Aloschi says he looks forward to continuing to build the company’s presence in the APAC region, and partnering with distributors and end-users to deliver sustainable labelling solutions.