Pinegro

Pinegro Products makes growing media, soil blends and conditioners, landscape barks and mulches, composted sawdust and woodchips. Established in 1979, it packages more than 500,000 cubic metres of organic materials every year for distribution across Australia.

To cope with increased production, and create a more professional look, the company needed to upgrade its coding equipment from the impression stamper it had been using for years.

The equipment needed to print a date and batch code, but also have the flexibility to print more information it the future, if a client or product required it. The equipment needed to be able to code clearly on different-sized plastic bags of fertiliser, and again, have the flexibility to be able to code larger and smaller product in the future as Pinegro increases its product range and output.

PINEGRO

INDUSTRY: GARDEN & HARDWARE
APPLICATION: DATE & BATCH CODE ONTO PRIMARY PRODUCT (PLASTIC BAGS)
PRODUCT: LINX CJ400

BACKGROUND

Pinegro Products makes growing media, soil blends and conditioners, landscape barks and mulches, composted sawdust and woodchips. Established in 1979, it packages more than 500,000 cubic metres of organic materials every year for distribution across Australia.

SITUATION

Pinegro, which has a major industrial presence in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, is upgrading production facilities at its Morwell plant. The $545,000 upgrade to a state-of-theart packaging facility, will allow Pinegro to considerably expand its product base, entering the Victorian and South Australian retail packaged-fertiliser market, and increase both its export and local market share, with access to major customers such as Bunning’s, Masters, Coles and Woolworths.

To cope with increased production, and create a more professional look, the company needed to upgrade its coding equipment from the impression stamper it had been using for years.

BUSINESS NEEDS

Pinegro wanted to upgrade coding equipment so that printed codes reflected its products’ image, and were acceptable into major retail distribution centres.

It also wanted a machine that was simple to set up and use, and would reduce operator “housekeeping”.

PROCESS NEEDS

The equipment needed to print a date and batch code, but also have the flexibility to print more information it the future, if a client or product required it.

The equipment needed to be able to code clearly on different-sized plastic bags of fertiliser, and again, have the flexibility to be able to code larger and smaller product in the future as Pinegro increases its product range and output.

Solution

After looking around to compare suppliers and technology, Pinegro chose Matthews Australasia for its turnkey and integration capabilities. Matthews recommended a Linx CJ400 small character continuous inkjet printer, using black, fast-dry ink. The coder sits on Pinegro’s incline conveyor, where units travel into the palletiser.

The company is currently coding 25-litre and 30-litre plastic bags, and will extend that to 6-litre and 50-litres bags as well in the near future. The CJ400 copes easily with Pinegro’s current production speed, and has the ability to handle much faster speeds as Pinegro increases output.

Outcome

The Linx CJ400 has had a positive impact on Pinegro’s operation.

It can print a far wider range of information than Pinegro’s previous coder, with a clear, professional finish that is expected by customer DCs.

The unit’s user friendliness and ease of operation have saved set-up in the morning.

It’s typical three-month minimal maintenance for print-head cleaning increases productivity, while its 6000-hour service interval (and the fact Pinegro floor staff can do it) have also saved time and cost.

Pinegro is also impressed with the CJ400’s speed and high print quality. Its capability to print at much faster speeds will allow for volume growth.

“We’re very happy with the CJ400 for its reliability, flexibility with information and user friendliness. And because it’s so easy to use, it’s not a highmaintenance piece of equipment, saving time in both set-up in the morning and in maintenance.”

— Leanne Dale, Production Manager, Pinegro Products