Silvan Orchard and Packhouse manager Teresa Lines installed Dix High Speed Automatic Fruit Labellers from EQM Industrial three seasons ago and couldn't be happier with their performance.
DIX High Speed Automatic Fruit Labellers in brief:
- A solidly constructed, mechanically simple and reliable labelling machine
- Can label up to 600 fruit per minute at 98 per cent attachment rate
- Latest finger tip application technology
- Individual rewind of label backing
- Lightweight construction and very quiet running
The Silvan Packhouse story
The packhouse, which packs apples and pears, has two banks of labellers mounted on their two — lane sizer one after the other, one for large fruit and one for smaller fruit.
"We've been going since the end of February (this season) and they've been running really well all the way through, with no problems," Lines said.
"They are brilliant. It's nice to put the labels up and go away and forget about it."
Such is the reliability of the product she didn't even test it before using it this season.
Looking at the waste reel on the labeller shows how well the equipment is performing.
"There are hardly any stickers on it — it means they're all on the fruit," she said.
The labellers are currently running just below maximum speed, at 420 stickers a minute (maximum speed is about 600 stickers a minute).
Another handy feature is being able to turn off one size and allow fruit to go through unlabelled, if desired.
These label applicators are inter-phased with sizer computer programme so we can easily select what we want labelled according to fruit size, Lines said.
Lines also buys her labels from EQM Industrial — they have a full selection of generic apple and pear labels available in stock and they are able to custom design and print branded labels in many shapes and sizes as well as supply generic labels.
"It's brilliant. I do a big label order at the beginning of December, which gives them time to order in what we need. It's just a matter of keeping an eye on it throughout the season," she said.
"They keep a good supply down there (at the store) and I can just pop in if I need a few rolls."
She tries to order slightly more than needed and simply carries the excess product through to the next season: "It works nicely."
The fact the labels are a poly material rather than the traditional paper means she is able to carry the left over stock through to the next season without the labels deteriorating while they are stored.
Another distinct advantage of poly over paper is that it is harder to break.
"You can put a lot more tension on it and it doesn't break as easily. You can't rip this stuff; you've got to cut it," Lines said.
The poly also allows the printer to produce thinner labels, which stick and conform to the fruit better.
"It certainly makes it a lot easier in a packhouse when you have no issues."