The low-cost and environmentally

friendlymarking of fruit and vegetables with

NATURAL BRANDING BY EcoMark

The procedure

With Natural Branding, only the topmost cell layer of the skin is depigmented, and only the outermost layer of the peel is removed, so that the product is not affected or damaged. There are no restrictions at all for foodstuffs, including organic products. Absolutely no chemical additives, packaging materials or stickers are used in the procedure. This is the simplest way of responding to increasing packaging costs.

The machinery

The machines in the NB series have been developed based on a modular principle. The entry machine is fitted with a conveyor belt so that objects can be marked “on the fly” without stopping. The products can therefore be displayed individually or set out in containers or crates. The camera automatically recognises the position and alignment of the products. The information is transmitted to the laser in just a few milliseconds, and each product is marked according to pre-set criteria. All machines can automatically balance height differences of 44 mm (+/- 22 mm).

Depending on the space conditions or product range, the machine can be adapted to special requirements. Not only do we optimise the laser process but we also consider the processes in front of and behind the machine. With individually coordinated feed and discharge systems, we optimise the entire process and reduce the greatest cost driver, i.e. staff costs, to a minimum. We therefore offer the best solution for our customers. If the requirements change over the course of time, the machine can have further modules added subsequently.

Productivity

Different laser strengths are available, and the machine can be fitted with a laser output of 30 W or up to 120 W, depending on requirements. Consistent further development has enabled us to fit our machines with a fast 3D camera. Process times of 0.1 seconds per product are therefore possible, and up to 50,000 items can be lasered per second.

The software

The development objectives for EcoMark software set user-friendliness as the top priority. Ultimately, the customer should be independent on an everyday basis, and able to cater for every product and marking. Nowhere else can a new branding design be implemented more quickly. Trained employees can set up the machine for all new products and logos, and the machine operator has only to press the start button. It is possible to reorganise production in just seconds. Another product can be called up in just a few clicks with the user-friendly software.

The intelligent EcoMark software makes the machine flexible to use and optimises the productivity of the laser. Production characteristics for fruit and vegetables change, e.g. due to ripeness, moisture content and age. Thanks to the EcoMark software, it is possible to respond to this simply and quickly. An analysis of the production figures can be carried out via the integrated statistics module. Post-calculation is therefore easy to do. User rights can be freely defined, so the “standard” user can only call up pre-set programs. The setter has access to all laser settings to define new products.

Since modern Windows software is used, there is the option for an EcoMark employee to access the machine, make settings and carry out training. All product settings are stored in a database and can be saved easily on the network or on a USB stick. Important product data therefore never go missing.

 

The advantages compared to stickers

Marking with laser costs from 0.3 cent for a kiwi, including handling. This corresponds roughly with the procurement costs for a sticker, but the costs of attaching the sticker as well as administration costs also have to be added here. With a kiwi there is also the risk that the sticker does not adhere to the skin. Special, super-adhesive stickers are not permitted for every product. Also, the sticker usually consists of plastic, which later causes problems in the composting system.

The advantages compared to plastic packaging

The economic advantage is the clearest. Packaging weighs an average of around 20 g. A sticker is also required for marking. The packaging costs are therefore sometimes even higher then the product costs. Furthermore, there is also the problem of over-portioning if the packaging unit is sold according to weight. Losses of up to 5% may be the result. Also, a complete packaging unit has to be disposed of as soon as a single item in the package is spoilt. This means twice the loss, with 100% forfeiture of sales and additional disposal costs. The CO2footprint is lowered considerably by avoiding packaging, as each tonne of plastic saved reduces the consumption of crude oil and protects the environment.

Specially marked promotions

Flexible and fast means economical. With Natural Branding, marketing promotions bring a good return for numerous events, whether it is a cutting pattern on pumpkins for Halloween, decorating oranges with Santa Claus in December, or an Easter bunny in April. Each customer requirement can be met individually and quickly without the notorious lead times and additional costs. New logos and texts can be imported simply in just a few seconds.

Suitable products

The range of products for Natural Branding is growing. Up to now, the following products have been suitable for marking: Ginger, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, avocados, coconuts, pumpkins (Hokkaido and Butternut), apples, peppers, kiwis, limes, courgettes, pomegranates, garlic, mangoes, lemons, oranges, celeries and kohlrabi. 

Solutions for you

Customisation and adaptation to existing production lines is of course always possible. Major time savings can therefore be made with few resources. We will be pleased to advise you.

Technical data for the EcoMark NB
TypNB 3002NB 6002NB 12002
External dimensions (L x B x H)
3,800 x 1,000 x 2,000 mm3,800 x 1,000 x 2,000 mm3,800 x 1,000 x 2,000 mm
Weight
Approximately 900 kg
Approximately

900 kg

Approximately

 950 kg

Maximum object dimensions

(L x B x H)

600 x 400 x 300 mm600 x 400 x 300 mm600 x 400 x 300 mm
Electrical power input
2.0 kW2.1 kW2.3 kW
Laser output
30 W60 W120 W
Focus range
44 mm (+/- 22 mm)44 mm (+/- 22 mm)44 mm (+/- 22 mm)
Extraction with filter system
OptionalOptionalOptional
3D cameraOptionalOptionalOptional
Feed and discharge
OptionalOptionalOptional
Statistics module
JaJaJa

 

CAN IT BE TESTED?

ECOMARK NATURAL BRANDING IS CONVINCING

Would you like to witness the qualities of EcoMark with your own eyes? No problem at all. We will be pleased to test the results and cycle times with your products and your logo.

CLEVER SOFTWARE

Many make it complicated – we prefer to make it simple for you. And we rely completely on user-friendly software. This is easy to use and enables production changes with just a few clicks. Parameters are set for this, which can be called up in a few seconds. Small corrections to new batches are carried out in the blink of an eye.

FLEXIBLE FOR MARKETING

Marketing promotions boost sales – and thanks to our machines, they can be communicated directly on the products. The same applies to promotional logos or other messages that you would like to bring to customers. We will be pleased to support you. Just ask us. We are sure to have the right solution.

LOWER CO2 EMISSIONS

Many customers ask us how much CO2 can be saved using our technology. The answer to this is very simple. Ultimately, many parameters play a part here. But we can tell you this much: one of our biggest customers made a post-calculation. With the branding of ginger alone, they were able to save 68,000 kg of packaging material in a year. This corresponds to around 310 tonnes of CO². Or 2.5 million kilometres driven in an average car.

EcoMark GmbH