Leading skin care manufacturer Beiersdorf Group—headquartered in Hamburg, Germany—whose brands include NIVEA, Atrixo and Eucerin, has brought its re-packaging services in house, resulting in a host of operational and customer benefits following the installation of Domino’s M-Series Print and Apply label technology at its UK operations.
Beiersdorf UK invested in four M200 print and apply labelers for its new Retail Ready Packaging (RRP) lines as part of an extension of its warehouse and logistics facility. As a result, the company has increased automation and operational cost savings, improved its environmental credentials as well as gained greater flexibility in responding to customer demands.
Beiersdorf UK, which employs around 200 staff, handles the repackaging of its global brands into shelf-ready containers for the British retail market.
The decision to invest in the Domino technology was taken by Mick Clipston, Beiersdorf’s packaging technologist. He was drafted in to use his expertise and knowledge to project manage moving its RRP operations in house.
Mick Clipston explains, “Prior to this, we were outsourcing all our re-packaging. In terms of logistics and the associated costs alone, this just didn’t make any sense. It required us to transport our goods from the warehouse to our contract packers, then back to the warehouse again, before being shipped off to their final destination.”
Following the extension of its new warehousing facility at Holford in the Midlands, Beiersdorf grasped the opportunity to address its logistical challenges. By bringing its RRP in house, the company was able to introduce a solution that would not only bring cost savings and environmental credibility to its operation by reducing road traffic, it also delivered a greater element of automation and productivity. Today, the goods are repackaged, to the retailers’ specifications, into smaller quantities of cardboard shelf-ready trays, before being shrink-wrapped and labeled prior to shipping to the supermarkets.
Central to the success of Beiersdorf’s new in house RRP lines was the need to find a suitable print and apply labeler. Clipston was looking for a technology that could print both high resolution bar codes, text and graphics for supply chain compliance, and automatically apply the labels onto the outer cases of the repackaged shrink-wrapped packaging.
“We reviewed a number of different print and apply solutions before opting for the Domino’s M-Series,” continued Clipston. “The M200 models not only came in at the right price, but provided the production speeds we were looking for and could easily handle the different variable data requirements with excellent print clarity. We were also delighted with their ease of use, as our operators can simply change applications at the touch of a button, reducing downtime between jobs.”
The new M200 print and apply labelers are installed onto electronic height adjustable stands that receive the repackaged goods on a conveyor directly from the shrink wrap heat tunnel. Here the labelers print GS1 labels comprising date, product and batch identification data and bar codes that are scanned for improved traceability and supply chain management.
To further assist Beiersdorf, Paul Johnson, Domino’s area sales manager overseeing installation ensured that the M200 labelers were loaded with a series of pre-defined label templates with easily changeable variable data fields.
Adds Johnson, “Although the M200 is extremely flexible and intuitive for operators, we wanted to ensure Mick’s team had all the necessary tools on hand to make the transition from one job to another as quick and smooth as possible.”
In addition, the versatility of the technology—which incorporates both a tamp and blow functionality—enables a wide range of labels to be securely applied on to hard or flexible surfaces in either static or moving applications.
Domino’s M-Series print and apply label technology comes in a series of compact, modular designs as either standalone or integrated networked printers. Suitable for use in secondary, tertiary as well as directly on to products, it prints high resolution compliance text, bar codes and graphics on to labels and then applies the labels onto each package at high production speeds. Additional benefits include an optional electronic height adjustable stand for simple repositioning of the label onto the product, while the new inbuilt HMI (human-machine interface) touch panel offers simple operation with minimal training.
Since the introduction of its own RRP lines and the installation of Domino’s M-Series print and apply labelers, Clipston and his team have seen a number of benefits.
“Now that we’re handling our own re-packaging on the premises, we’ve been able to reduce our logistics and transportation requirements. Not only does this represent a significant cost saving to the business, it has also enabled us to reduce our environmental impact in the process. In addition, the new M200 print and apply labelers have introduced a greater degree of automation to the process by both printing and applying the labels onto the packages. This has meant less manual intervention and greater production efficiencies.”
Clipston is already looking at how the company’s latest investment will add further to the bottom line. “The UK retail sector is very different to that of our European counterparts and demand much higher levels of shelf-ready packages. We are also seeing an increasing requirement for special promotional and seasonal packaging with lead times getting tighter and tighter. By handling our own RRP internally, and with the flexibility of our M200 print and apply labelers, we are now in great shape to respond quickly to our customer’s growing demands.”
To view the Beiersdorf/Domino M-Series video, go to: