A leading vegetable producer prepares for growth by upgrading to a centralised marking and coding system. Resulting benefits include increased efficiency, improved traceability, fewer quality holds and rejects, and an overall better customer experience.


A large vegetable producer supplying major retailers had issues with its date printing equipment causing barcode readability issues on the cases of hydroponic butter lettuce grown in their facility. Poorly printed barcodes created the potential for the product to be held up in quality holds or rejected entirely by their customers. Traceability also became an issue with the outdated technology of their current marking system, which was unable to integrate with their data system. 

The coding and marking solution included MPERIA® L-Series Thermal Inkjet Printers (TIJ), all controlled from the easy-to-use MPERIA platform and controller. Integrating data from their business system with MPERIA provides additional assurance that products can be successfully traced in the event of a recall or related issue. Not only does this keep them from potentially incurring compliance fines, but it instills additional confidence in their customers reselling their products.

The Challenge

The company had genuine concerns about the performance of the printing equipment on the production line. Poor print quality led to rework, product scrap, and rejection of the butter lettuce cases by customers due to the information printed on their PTI (product traceability initiative) label being unreadable. 

In addition to needing better print quality of the marks, the company also required the ability to track and trace its products. Not only as a company that prided itself on quality but also to stay current with traceability requirements. Integrating their database with their marking technology was critical to making this happen.

The Solution

The print quality issues were solved by integrating data from its business system easy with the MPERIA platform and controller and MPERIA L-Series L-50 Thermal Inkjet Printers.

The MPERIA L-Series L50 printheads drastically improved barcode readability on the cartons of butter lettuce, with consistent, high-resolution marks. The installation of the L-Series L-50 printheads led to a significant decline in product rework and scrap. It increased satisfaction and confidence in the production team that their carton marks were living up to the same high quality that their company’s produce is known for. 

The MPERIA Platform and Standard Controller streamlined operations and reduced the risk of accidental human error by allowing print management, message creation, editing, and marking data flow from one central location. MPERIA also allowed for successfully tracing its products in the event of a recall or related issue, preventing them from potentially incurring compliance fines or losing customer confidence in the quality of its products.

Improved print quality.

Improved print quality was also achieved with the Matthews L-Series L50 printheads. The L50s provide the company with the ability to print crisp 2” marks and on its cartons of butter lettuce. With easily readable marks, they were able to confidently print their traceability barcodes and product information to help their customers in distribution and reduce scrap and rework.

Easy to use software. 

The all-in-one MPERIA platform and controller gives a single point of contact to control a production line. With MPERIA’s easy integration, data from a business system can automatically print on every case to reduce coding errors and increase overall efficiency. They can also add new printers and devices at any time without needing to purchase additional controllers, MPERIA allows them to quickly scale their operation while maintaining centralized control from one controller.

The Results

The company experienced immediate improvement in the quality of the barcodes printed on their cartons with the L-Series marking systems.

Less rework and scrap mean employees spend more time focused on the tasks adding value to the production process. And management has renewed confidence that the products shipped to their distributors for accounts like Walmart and Kroger would not be subject to quality holds or rejection.

Centralised management of marking data and integration into the business data system enabled efficiency gains on the production line and gave the company peace of mind in its traceability initiative. Plus all the employees appreciated the intuitive nature of using the MPERIA controller; they were up and running in no time and did not require technical training to become comfortable interacting with it, saving time and money. 

For further information call Xact on 0151 479 3020 or email info@xactpack.co.uk

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