Bellis Fruit Bars

INDUSTRY FOOD & GROCERY
PRODUCT LINX CJ400

Background

Since Bellis Fruit Bars was established in 1952, it has become Australia’s top producer of school fruit bars and dried fruit-based products. The company sells goods in supermarkets and greengrocery stores Australia wide under its own brand, and contract manufactures private labels sold domestically. It exports to New Zealand, Singapore, the European Union and United Kingdom.

Bellis has grown substantially in Australia over the past few years, partly by launching new products.

 

Situation

Developing new products in the meal- replacement and calorie-controlled snack markets is a strong growth area for Bellis.

The company had launched a 30-gram, low-calorie snack, and while it could use the same packaging as its 60g bars, the existing coders struggled to print on the smaller film. Additionally, one of the coders on its three lines was unreliable, failing to always print clearly.

 

Process Needs

Due to space restrictions on the line, the coder needed to be mounted on a horizontal form-fill machine on one of Bellis’s lines.

The coder needed to print clearly and accurately with fast-drying ink on both smaller and larger bar packaging, operating at up to 200 bars a minute. Bellis also wanted simple housekeeping and programming — including not needing to change date information daily.

 

Business Needs

Bellis wanted a coder with low running costs and easy maintenance. Again because of the restricted space, they needed a compact coder.

Solution

After comparing technologies and suppliers, Bellis chose a CJ400 from Matthews. The small, compact coder fits neatly on the line.

Working in conjunction with Bellis’s engineer, Matthews mounted the Linx CJ400 on a horizontal form-fill machine. It codes a best- before date onto flat wrappers, which are then filled and sealed

The CJ400 has been set-up to automatically synchronise message width with the wrapping machine’s speed. So even during film acceleration and deceleration, message length is constant. The coder receives a signal from the wrapping machine to initiate printing at the correct time, resulting in every fruit-bar ending up with the best-before date printed at the same position, same width and same high clarity.

Outcome

The initial outlay for the Linx CJ400 was similar to other coders Bellis looked at, however the lower running costs and easier maintenance have proved beneficial.

The CJ400 prints much more clearly and has sharper resolution, making it far easier for consumers to read.

Bellis’s operators find the Linx CJ400 very easy to use.

At commissioning, Matthews pre-programmed Bellis’s most common codes, so mostly operators only have to select an option from the start menu. Setting up custom codes is also easy.

By being able to produce a smaller bar size using the same wrapper, the Linx CJ400 has allowed Bellis to continue expanding into lucrative markets.

“The Matthews’ machine was more compact than the other options that we looked at, and we needed something small to fit on our lines. While the initial outlay was similar, the running costs were lower and the maintenance was easier as well.”

— Raaj Arjunan, Production Manager, Bellis Fruit Bars

BELLIS FRUIT BARS

APPLICATION:BEST BEFORE DATES
PRODUCTS:LINX CJ400

BACKGROUND

Since Bellis Fruit Bars was established in 1952, it has become Australia’s top producer of school fruit bars and dried fruit-based products. The company sells goods in supermarkets and greengrocery stores Australia wide under its own brand, and contract manufactures private labels sold domestically. It exports to New Zealand, Singapore, the European Union and United Kingdom.

Bellis has grown substantially in Australia over the past few years, partly by launching new products.

SITUATION

Developing new products in the mealreplacement and calorie-controlled snack markets is a strong growth area for Bellis.

The company had launched a 30-gram, low-calorie snack, and while it could use the same packaging as its 60g bars, the existing coders struggled to print on the smaller film. Additionally, one of the coders on its three lines was unreliable, failing to always print clearly.

PROCESS NEEDS

Due to space restrictions on the line, the coder needed to be mounted on a horizontal form-fill machine on one of Bellis’s lines.

The coder needed to print clearly and accurately with fast-drying ink on both smaller and larger bar packaging, operating at up to 200 bars a minute. Bellis also wanted simple housekeeping and programming — including not needing to change date information daily.

BUSINESS NEEDS

Bellis wanted a coder with low running costs and easy maintenance.

Again because of the restricted space, they needed a compact coder.

SOLUTION

After comparing technologies and suppliers, Bellis chose a CJ400 from Matthews. The small, compact coder fits neatly on the line.

Working in conjunction with Bellis’s engineer, Matthews mounted the Linx CJ400 on a horizontal form-fill machine. It codes a bestbefore date onto flat wrappers, which are then filled and sealed.

The small character continuous inkjet has been set-up to automatically synchronise message width with the wrapping machine’s speed. So even during film acceleration and deceleration, message length is constant. The coder receives a signal from the wrapping machine to initiate printing at the correct time, resulting in every fruit-bar ending up with the best-before date printed at the same position, same width and same high clarity.

OUTCOME

The initial outlay for the continuous inkjet printer was similar to other coders Bellis looked at, however the lower running costs and easier maintenance have proved beneficial.

The CJ400 prints much more clearly and has sharper resolution, making it far easier for consumers to read.

Bellis’s operators find the Linx CJ400 very easy to use.

At commissioning, Matthews pre-programmed Bellis’s most common codes, so mostly operators only have to select an option from the start menu. Setting up custom codes is also easy.

By being able to produce a smaller bar size using the same wrapper, the Linx CJ400 has allowed Bellis to continue expanding into lucrative markets.

“The Matthews’ machine was more compact than the other options that we looked at, and we needed something small to fit on our lines. While the initial outlay was similar, the running costs were lower and the maintenance was easier as well.”

— Raaj Arjunan, Production Manager, Bellis Fruit Bars