Case study: Giroux's Poultry is labelling a lot of cases with End-Of-Lane
Giroux's Poultry is an egg producer in Upstate New York in the USA, not more than 20 minutes south of the Canadian border. Craig and Willy Giroux are third generation egg farmers and currently running the operation. But they don't rely on eggs only; the Giroux family also owns a large apple orchard. Giroux started with the Ovotrack solution back in 2018 on the two egg grading plants they operate. Dutch technology was not really new to the Giroux family, both the Moba Omnia grader as the Sanovo OptiGrader were built in The Netherlands and even in the apple processing plant the grading technology originates from The Netherlands.
At this moment, Giroux is using Ovotrack for labelling cases at End-of-lane only. On the Sanovo OptiGrader in the so called 'Front plant', 8 button boxes and label printers are installed on 16 packing lanes. The Hitachi carton printers that are used for printing pre-packs with the Julian Date and lot code are connected to Ovotrack so that a change in lot code happens on the same time, both on the carton as well as on the case label. In the 'Back plant' a Moba Omnia grading machine with 22 lanes is running. On this machine Ovotrack changes from one product to another automatically when the change is made in the Moba Omnia MMI software.
"With the Ovotrack solution we only print the labels that we need, when we need them and where we need them"
George Caswell, Egg Operations Manager, explains why they decided to go for Ovotrack: "we are printing a lot of case labels, close to 50.000 a week on average. We used to do that in a corner of the building and then either bring the labels to each packing lane or pre-label cases before packing. Not anymore, with the Ovotrack solution we only print the labels that we need, when we need them and where we need them. That's a big time saver for us. Furthermore we are no longer overprinting labels and there are basically no mistakes with case labels any more. The communication with the grading machines is obviously a big bonus on top of that; labels change automatically based on whichever product we are running on the grader.''
As part of the solution for Giroux, Ovotrack connected the End-of-Lane software to the Hitachi carton printers using CIJ-connect software to enable the communication with the printers. George Caswell continues: "the connection with the Hitachi printers is another feature we like about our Ovotrack solution. We really want to have the same information on our egg cartons and our case labels. By connecting the Hitachi's to our Ovotrack software we have created one single point of entry, automated the change over to another case label layout and carton print on the same time and therefore eliminated the risk of having two differences between case and carton."
A next step that Giroux is considering with Ovotrack is adding scan portals on the case conveyor and the implementation of Ovotrack Dispatch with a connection to the Aeros ERP system. That would give Giroux full inventory management for their finished goods and automate the traceability from the grading machine to the final customers.