Automation helps seafood producer combat recalls

Posted on 6 Jul 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Dawnfresh, one of the UK’s largest producers of fish and seafood, has automated its packaging lines to ensure the correct packaging and labelling is applied before products leave the factory.

seafood food fishmonger salmon fish - image courtesy of Pixabay.
Dawnfresh manages a number of farming sites, as well as specialised production facilities handling fresh (chilled), frozen, marinated, smoked and other value added lines – image courtesy of Pixabay.

By investing in automation, Glasgow-based Dawnfresh has secured retailer compliance for label and date code verification, while producing actionable data to continually improve production performance.

The business has implemented a modern software system in an effort to better manage and control its packaging lines, helping to prevent product recalls related to label and data code errors.

In additional, Dawnfresh has reportedly seen a 10% uplift in packaging line throughput.

In 2010, Dawnfresh installed an autocoding system (from another UK supplier) but the system wasn’t fit for purpose because of inadequate scanning and training.

The old autocoding system was putting the business at risk from product recalls and withdrawals that not only could jeopardise its brand reputation and customer relationships, but have high fines associated with them.

The failed system was also creating significant downtime because of unnecessary interruptions and stoppages to production.

Wayne Johnson, Head of OAL Connected, provides further insight into the use of automation for packaging line control: “Working with the retailers, we’re seeing tougher requirements for packaging line control as the cost of failure increases. This is driving the replacement of existing autocoding systems as they fail to meet the requirements typically because of a lack of support and training and or incorrect use of technologies.”

With the new installed system, supplied by OAL Connected, the packaging process is entirely automated. It works by scanning a 2D barcode printed on every product to check and verify the date code and packaging is correct. If a mismatch error occurs, the line stops and the problem can be investigated.

When a line stop occurs, operators must record a reason code on a touchscreen terminal. The recorded data is reportedly both highly accurate and can be used in real-time so engineers can act as potential slowdowns occur and help Dawnfresh identify areas for future improvement.

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