Nordic Sugar, a prominent producer of sugar-based products for the Northern European market, faces a busy autumn season, particularly when the harvest surpasses expectations. Annually, three million tonnes of sugar beet are cultivated in southern Sweden and transported to the country’s sole sugar beet processing plant. However, before the sugar-based products can reach European stores, they must undergo proper labelling to comply with regulations and accommodate the necessity for track and trace. In order to meet these requirements, Nordic Sugar requires reliable labelling equipment capable of maintaining pace with rapid production speeds while prioritising safety, usability, and label readability. As a solution, they opted for the installation of the Domino M-Series M230i-S4 for labelling on the front of all syrup trays at the factory in Arlöv, Sweden.
From the Cultivation of Beets to the Production of Sugar
Annually, in mid-September, sugar beet farmers in southern Sweden commence the harvest of their crops. Throughout the autumn, harvesters gather 18,500 tonnes of sugar beet daily, transporting them to the processing plant in Örtofta. The beets undergo washing and slicing before being transformed into raw juice. Following filtration and evaporation, all sugar beets are converted into sugar powder. Nordic Sugar produces approximately 3 million tonnes of sugar each year. Around 80% of this sugar is supplied to food producers in northern Europe for further processing, while the remaining 20% is utilized in the production of consumer goods such as sugar cubes and jam sugar, sold under the Dansukker brand in stores across Europe. Another key product from Nordic Sugar is syrup, frequently used in baking, especially during the holidays.
“It is crucial that all machinery in the production line is dependable and able to match the production pace to minimize unplanned and expensive downtime. With the M230i-S4, we have assurance that the labelling of all our products is carried out in accordance with our specifications.” – Benny Ahlberg, Support Engineer for Automation and Software at Nordic Sugar
At the production site in Arlöv, where all syrup is produced, warm syrup in different flavours is poured into plastic tubs or bottles. The packaged syrup is then transferred into display trays of eight or 14 items, this makes it easy for retailers to refills their shelves. The trays are shrink-wrapped, before being labelled to ensure that they adhere to food safety regulations and track and trace requirements. To take care of Nordic Sugar’s labelling requirements, in June 2019, the new M230i-S4 was successfully installed. It has been very well received by all production operatives. The chosen configuration allows the M230i-S4 to label trays containing both high bottles and low tubs, while still getting very close to the conveyor. The M230i-S4 produces a distinct label containing details such as:
- Product details
- Manufacturing date
- Expiry date
- Lot number
- EAN number
- Article number
The incorporation of the M-Series TouchPanel has simplified the process for operators to choose the appropriate label. The outcome is a reduction in production interruptions attributed to human errors.