By Greg Batton
The world is experiencing an on-going, large scope, COVID induced, supply chain challenge. The global supply chain has been impacted in unforeseen ways and continue to appear regularly.
A long term client came to Insight with a COVID-19 related, supply-chain disruption asking for resources to fill this manufacturing gap.
- Polymer manufacturing has been impacted globally.
- Client supplier could not get resin.
- Client supplier could not make containers for product.
- Industry could not produce standard, printed containers.
- Unprinted containers were available
- Client could not ship product without key regulatory information on the containers.
Client needed a mechanism to either bridge this issue or not produce for key customers for at least 3 months.
Desired option was to apply a pressure-sensitive label to all filled/lidded containers at speed to meet regulatory requirements for salable product. Keys to project success was speed to market and a robust solution.
- 8/13 first client contact
- 8/20 Line testing was conducted with redundant labelers for multiple production legs
- Results were 99.6% but would require additional line attendants to watch for any missed labels.
- 9/10 Insight responded with an option for an additional labeler for each leg with a vision inspection and ‘clean-up’ system for any missed labels.
- Results were 99.9+% conversion.
- Line was then scheduled and new tactic commissioned 10/1.
- 6 weeks from first contact to production
- Label delivery at burst speed of 500 labels/min
- Redundant, low down time labeling system
- Multiple production legs
- 99.9+% conversion
- Client able to fulfill product commitments to key national account
- Client recoup >$14MM in revenue
In 6 weeks from first conversation, Insight applied a 2” round label at 500-550 pieces per minute, in 12-cup bursts. To achieve ~0 defects and avoid using temporary labor (to single out missed cups and add stickers manually) Insight designed and engineered a camera solution to verify all cups passing under a final 3rd labeler and, if missing, dispense a label onto that cup.
A 99.9+% hit rate with the integrated system was achieved. Volume produced was roughly 5,000 cases/day, or 240,000 labels/day, and 21.6 million labels for a 3 month run.