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Dec 3, 2013

Weigh Price Labeling & More

The case ready business continues to grow.

There have been times that the industry was going to go to exact weights, to case weights and even exact portion size packaging, but weigh price labeling is still alive and well. In fact, it continues to grow.

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It is important that you totally understand what is available when looking into going to auto weigh price labeling.

If you do not fully understand the options available you could possibly miss the key component that will turn the application into a huge cost savings for your plant.

When you decide to go to automatic weigh price labeling, be sure you are working with a supplier that will spend the time to totally understand your application.

It is your supplier’s job to fully meet your current needs and spend the time to explain what options are available to you to enhance the application.

Our new equipment is designed to enable you to add additional pieces to the equipment at a later date; we call this a ladder design.

This feature enables you to add another labeler at a later date or perhaps add metal detection later, this feature alone enables the equipment to grow with time.

Some of the new improvements in Weigh Price Labeling:

  • Washdown design reduces expensive component replacement occurences
  • New labelers available that have improved label application
  • Speed of these units continues to improve, (VBS’ unit can do industry standard speeds and capacities)
  • Exact weight case totals with the new equipment, with a small printer you can get a case label with the total weight of the packages in that specific case
  • Sortation of same size packages into different compartments for easy case packing
  • A totally integrated unit with metal detection, ink jet technology and vision systems added to the weigh price labeling unit and/or added at a later date

These are some of the features available for you today, make sure you work with a supplier that can help you totally understand.

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Download our Weigh Price Labeling Brochure.

See our Weigh Price Labeling Product Page.

Oct 14, 2013

Lowering Case Ready Costs With Weigh Price Labelers

As more and more companies look for solutions to lower their production costs, the industry has been in a state of constant change to meet the demand.

Let’s look at some of the ways that you can possibly lower your production cost and increase production at the same time.

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We feel that the first hurdle to overcome is the old saying and mentality that “this is the way we have always done it!”

With case ready equipment changing each and every day, you now have the capability to integrate many parts and procedures of the line into a single system. Many lines have been constructed one piece at a time and have been added on to many times and therefore could be very inefficient.

Let’s take a step back for a moment to observe your operation.

  • How many different tasks are being performed on the line?
  • How many times is the product being handled?
  • How are the trays being delivered to the line?
  • What is your shrink factor?
  • What is your giveaway?
  • What specific tasks are requiring the most man hours?
  • How is case labeling being done?
  • Where is each component of the line being done?

Once you have made the list, you now have something you can work with.

As mentioned before, case ready equipment has really advanced in just the last few years. Speeds are much higher, systems can now be totally integrated to meet the needs of today’s cut lines. Product handling has changed with the new types of belting and sortation equipment that is available. Labeling has advanced drastically; today you can not afford to have an employee labeling packages.

Automatic weigh price labelers are faster and can now have metal detection, vision, code dating, and be able to run chaotic product with the use of pre-identification labels. In-motion weighing and sortation add quality and efficiency to lines.

Contact a supplier that is willing to look at your list, one that has the ability to look outside the box. We have the ability and capability to help you design a line that will meet all of your current case ready needs and help you look into the future.

Change will continue, find a supplier that will meet the changes needed to lower your production costs!

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Download our PDF Brochure

See our Washdown Weigh Price Labeling System Product Page

Aug 2, 2013

Weigh Price Labeling: From Butchers to Supermarkets

The idea of weigh price labeling is a concept that goes back to “Ma & Pa” butcher shops, but it has evolved and is now used by larger meat suppliers.

Weigh price labeling is simply the process of labeling products by their actual weight rather than a common retail price for all similar packages.

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Weigh price labeling was done in butcher shops because similar cuts of meat don’t always weigh consistently.

This helped the butcher give a fair price for varying sized cuts.

It is easy enough for most butchers to weigh on a regular scale and then write a ticket with the volumes that they handle.

However, many places (i.e. supermarkets, grocery stores) are selling fresh meat pre-cut in plastic wrapped packages and they have the supplier weigh the products before they are put out for sale.

Since the duty of weigh price labeling has shifted more and more towards suppliers, they need processes to be able to keep up with high demands.

In-motion weigh price labeling is a good way to do this!

With in-motion weigh price labeling, there are many options to consider.

If you have a dedicated line for one type of product, the system works quite simply.

 

The system weighs the meat, notes when it leaves the scale, and then times it so a printer uses an applicator to stick a label to the package at the correct time!

If you had a more chaotic flow of products, you could have a printer and applicator which could print off multiple different labels depending on the product.

The product could be identified by either an employee at a touchscreen or by a scanner reading pre-identification labels.

It is also worth mentioning that butchers are still around and could also benefit from an upgrade to their systems.

If you are a butcher still writing up tickets for every order, you could purchase a manual weigh price labeling system that puts out a ticket based on a selected preset after you have placed the product on the bench scale.

Weigh price labeling makes precise pricing and weighment far easier for any pay-by-weight operation, so give it a try.

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Download the WPL PDF

See our Heavy-Gauge SS Washdown Weigh Price Labeler page

May 16, 2013

Retail vs. Industrial Weigh Price Labeling / Computing Equipment

As a supplier of Manual Price Computing equipment or  as it is often called, Weigh Price Labeling (WPL) equipment, we often see people struggling with what type of equipment to purchase.

The intent of this article is not to say one is bad the other is good, it is to help you understand what each unit was designed for and what it can do for you.

Industrial Weigh Price Labeling System

Industrial Weigh Price Labeling System

While retail units are smaller and cost less, industrial units are larger and cost more, which one should you buy, that is the question?

The retail units are a compact unit that give you specific label with the product name, the weight, the price per pound and the total price printed on it.

The units normally have the scale built onto the base for easy moving.

These units are designed to meet the needs of a facility that changes product being weighed frequently, and they do a good job for that purpose.

These units can have different label formats stored in them and can hold a large number of Product Look Up (PLU) numbers. Hot keys can be assigned to a specific product which is also a nice feature.

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Download our PDF Brochure

The Retail units also have some limitations.

Normally, and there are exceptions to what is stated below, you have only one label size, a 2” X 3” label is the most common size.

  • The label rolls can be no larger than 4 inches
  • Print speed is 80mm (3.15 inches) per second
  • The choice of barcodes is limited
  • The display is small and harder to read
  • RS 232 is the only means of communication
  • If service is required, the unit needs to be sent in for repair leaving you without a unit unless you have a spare

All of this being said, these units do a good job for a specific purpose.

The industrial units were designed to perform all of the same functions as the retail unit’s, however they are a totally different unit.

These units are designed to be in industrial type conditions, being used continuously for extended periods of time.

The units are a little larger in size, the scale base is not always attached to the unit, minimizing the handling of product.

These units can also have different label formats and also store a large number of PLU’s as well as having the capability of using hot keys.

The Industrial units have some benefits the retail units do not have if you need them.

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Industrial Box/Case Labeling System

They can be ordered to use different width labels all the way to 6 inch’s and the capability to hold larger rolls of labels for extended runs of product. Print speeds up to 200mm (7.87 inches) per second are available, a larger choice of bar codes, with more communication interface options and larger keyboards and displays.

The Industrial unit are housed in a protective enclosure protecting them from the elements within the plant.

You also have more options available in the way of label formats, you have a number of different type fonts available as well as the capability to add an image to the label. The memory is larger in the Industrial units usually having 2 MB with the option to upgrade to 4 MB.

Service can be done in house on the Industrial units with a small amount of spare parts on hand. With the help of phone support you can identify which board needs replacing, replace it, and you are back up and running, some units offer a memory card connection on which you would save all of your unit setup information in case it has been altered or lost.

The cost of an industrial unit can be as much as 4-6 times more than a retail unit.

Sure, cost plays a roll in your decision, but, performance and reliability of the units, along with the fact that they were developed for two totally different purposes should help you make the decision as to which unit is for you!

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May 13, 2013

Benefits of Weigh Price Labeling for Packers, Retailers, & Consumers

Weigh Price Labeling is becoming more of a specialized process these days as you mostly find it in butcher shops and grocery stores, but it is fairly beneficial for everyone involved.

These are a few ways that weigh price labeling can be a positive process for each step of production and purchase.

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Packers

Excluding manual weigh price labeling in butcher shops, the packing plant is typically where the weigh price labeling occurs.

An automatic weigh price labeler is usually used to label packages of fresh meat heading to a display case in some store.

An in-motion scale takes a weight and an indicator sends that and any important product information to the labeler in a format that prints out the price based on weight. This label is then affixed to the package and it continues moving down the line.

The most beneficial part of this process for the packer is the fact that there is absolutely zero product giveaway.

When a retail store purchases the meat, they pay for it by weight as well. Even though there is probably a general weight range per product, it is not excessively important, so the packer doesn’t have to be too picky or reject packages for purely weight reasons.

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Retailers

The bonus for grocery stores and retail chains is that they don’t have to worry too much about handling.

They purchase by weight and then they can place those cuts of meat into a cooled display area.

It is fairly hassle-free; their only worry is keeping everything fresh.

Customers

Weigh price labeling is good for the customers because it puts more choice in their hands.

They can look at several different packages of the same meat and think to themselves “I don’t need that much,” or “I could go for a large portion,” and select the package based on weight.

The customers can also be rest assured that they are going to get exactly what they paid for. No more, no less.

Weigh price labeling may require its own hardware, but it really turns out to be a win-win situation for everyone involved. If this interests you at all, let us know.

We have plenty of experience with weigh price labeling and would love to help you out.

 


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See our Weigh Price Labeling Product page

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