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Label verification SOP? Process? Spot Check?


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#1 itreatpets

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 06:56 PM

Good Day Folks!

 

I need your input on how to prevent labeling errors. This is where most of our complaints come from, the wrong label on the product, wrong label for specific customers, miss prints... anything that can go wrong has gone wrong. 

 

I would like to implement a procedure, too ensure we are using the right label for the right product. Spot checks. Sounds easy enough, but how often should this be checked what are the key points to check? who should be checking? 

 

This applies to, Box labels, Product labels, Best before labels, and lot# labels.

 

I am meeting with our Packaging dept supervisor later this week and want to be prepared, as I know I will get A LOT of push back. 

 

I have already started a Label Approval Process, where the GM, Packaging Supervisor and myself, have to approve each label before it used. 

 

FYI- We are SQF Lvl 2, we make pet treats and package multiple products every day on the same lines. All labels are applied by hand.

 

 

Any hints or tips would be great!


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#2 Scampi

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 07:54 PM

Production schedule that the supervisor has in a binder on the floor. Each label on a sheet of paper which is laminated. Use a dry erase marker and mark them 1, 2 ,3 etc for the day along with the production date.

Then delegate someone to verify that the 1st production run is over and write the time. Then that person is the one who puts the next label out for use, mark the time on the laminated sheet and repeat.

 

You should also be verify throughout the production day (spot checks only) that the label being used is correct for the product (size, allergens, country of destination requirements etc) on your operations record

 

I really don't think you need 3 people to verify the label for each changeover? Seems a little excessive to me


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#3 redfox

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:19 AM

Hello itreatpets,

 

There should be a checkpoint to check the label and print of your primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. Make an internal supplier-buyer in your plant. That every receiver/buyer/user must check if the packaging he received has correct label and on the issuer/supplier side must check that the packaging he issued/delivered has the correct label.

 

Everyone must be accountable.

 

regards,

redfox


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#4 itreatpets

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 11:26 AM

Production schedule that the supervisor has in a binder on the floor. Each label on a sheet of paper which is laminated. Use a dry erase marker and mark them 1, 2 ,3 etc for the day along with the production date.

Then delegate someone to verify that the 1st production run is over and write the time. Then that person is the one who puts the next label out for use, mark the time on the laminated sheet and repeat.

 

You should also be verify throughout the production day (spot checks only) that the label being used is correct for the product (size, allergens, country of destination requirements etc) on your operations record

 

I really don't think you need 3 people to verify the label for each changeover? Seems a little excessive to me

Thanks Scampi, I love your idea of the one person being responsible for the changeover. Sorry, I should have been more clear about this part, The 3 person approval process is for when we make a new label altogether, not for daily use.

 

Hello itreatpets,

 

There should be a checkpoint to check the label and print of your primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. Make an internal supplier-buyer in your plant. That every receiver/buyer/user must check if the packaging he received has correct label and on the issuer/supplier side must check that the packaging he issued/delivered has the correct label.

 

Everyone must be accountable.

 

regards,

redfox

 Agreed! Everyone must be accountable. I really like the idea of an internal supplier-buyer. Thank you for your input!


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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 03:03 PM

Hi ITP,

 

IMO, for routine Production, you basically need 4 semi-independent operations ++ –

 

(1) An embedded reference system for all packaging items.

(2) A detailed, cross-tabulated, internally accessible, Database for (1).

(3) Production Control - visual approval of packaging/coding at changovers

(4) QA verification by notification/sampling/cross-checking at changeovers.

(5) Experience / Communication

 

The last one is often the hardest IMO.

.

 

 
 


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 beadle

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 03:18 PM

Hi,

 

I would look at this in a different way also like Charles C..

 

How are the labels being mis labeled? Concentration/ Competency/ Too many labels being used in same area.

 

Your checks in place will solve certain issues but look at the process from printing to labeling to see what other hazards - 

 

Is there a certain person who carries out labels or is does everyone label there own? Are the staff accountable - do you police changeovers, are there lots of change overs?

 

Lots of questions which could also cause the issue - even if checks are carried out.

 

Regards

 

Chris


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Regards

 

Chris


#7 itreatpets

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 05:01 PM

Hi ITP,

 

IMO, for routine Production, you basically need 4 semi-independent operations ++ –

 

(1) An embedded reference system for all packaging items.

(2) A detailed, cross-tabulated, internally accessible, Database for (1).

(3) Production Control - visual approval of packaging/coding at changovers

(4) QA verification by notification/sampling/cross-checking at changeovers.

(5) Experience / Communication

 

The last one is often the hardest IMO.

.

 

 
 

Yes #5 is the hardest! 

1 & 2, my understanding is this would be a "bible" of all packaging & labels with all details of what's required on each item, who supplies the product etc? 

 

Hi,

 

I would look at this in a different way also like Charles C..

 

How are the labels being mis labeled? Concentration/ Competency/ Too many labels being used in same area.

 

Your checks in place will solve certain issues but look at the process from printing to labeling to see what other hazards - 

 

Is there a certain person who carries out labels or is does everyone label there own? Are the staff accountable - do you police changeovers, are there lots of change overs?

 

Lots of questions which could also cause the issue - even if checks are carried out.

 

Regards

 

Chris

I feel its competency and complacent employees...At the same time, we do use A LOT of different labels and it can be confusing. The system up until this point was, the person packing that item was the person printing the labels (Often leading to a build up of labels at each workstation) with no verification being done by anyone. Once I have figured out a system I will be going through a very intense round of training. In the meantime I have asked PKG dept to move excess labels to storage, to prevent a build up at workstations. Once every hour they are required to do spot check.

 

I wish I could be there to police changeovers, but unfortunately I am a one person team with 2 locations (Small company, small budget, praying I can hire someone to help me very soon). The PKG Supervisor is supposed to be my support at that location but she is about to retire and seems to have completely given up on most important duties.  

 

Questions I am asking is...add to the list if you can, please!

Who prints the labels?

When are they printed?

How and where are they being stored?

Are they reading the label once it is printed?

Is the organization of the label file(digital) easy to understand?

What steps are taken when switching brands and product?

How are we tracking what's being printed?

Do the employees see a way to make the process easier and less confusing? 

Who created the blueprint of the label? and how it was approved/confirmed?

 

Sidenote- I know I should probably know these answers, but I am fairly new to this company and still learning.


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:13 PM

Yes #5 is the hardest! 

1 & 2, my understanding is this would be a "bible" of all packaging & labels with all details of what's required on each item, who supplies the product etc? 

 

 

Yes. IMO this is the first critical step when you are faced with a multitude of products and a variety of languages where the weight/date can sometimes be the only intelligible items. Ideally it's a software challenge of course but $$ has a strong vote.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#9 IchBinGnade

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 02:28 AM

If I may, I would like to share some answers to your questions below:

 

Questions I am asking is...add to the list if you can, please!

Who prints the labels? - I believe the operator should be the one printing the labels, at the same time, should also be the one to check for printing defects like smears, misprints, color variation, etc. If he see any of the defects exceeding your allowed parameters, he should stop the machine and fix it or get the attention of maintenance to fix it.

When are they printed? There should be a production / packaging / printing planning, this depends on your volume requirement versus your capacity. Ideally, labels must be printed 3-5 days before scheduled packaging. Recommend to printed only 105% of volume requirement. The 5% should serve as buffer for damaged labels during packaging operations, do not overstock!

How and where are they being stored? - labels must be stored in corrugated boxes with presence of minimal moisture to prevent moisture absorption that would result to sticky labels.

Are they reading the label once it is printed? - Yes operators must check the printed labels, maybe every 30 minutes.

Is the organization of the label file(digital) easy to understand? - yes

What steps are taken when switching brands and product? - your labels must bear a reference code which corresponds to the product, market, brand, version

How are we tracking what's being printed? - your production / packaging / printing planning must be well coordinated to ensure that you are printing the correct labels for your planned packaging operations.

Do the employees see a way to make the process easier and less confusing? - you may ask your employees for any ideas / recommendations to improve or simplify the process. since they are the ones doing the job, they have the best recommendations based on their day to day experiences.

Who created the blueprint of the label? and how it was approved/confirmed? - you may have 2 teams: ditigal team for digital and blue prints, then press site team for actual printing of labels.

 

 

Hope this helps :spoton:


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#10 Wian

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:10 AM

I know the OP does manual labelling, but just want to add the problem we had last year.  

 

We bottle / label wine at a rate of ~5000 bottles an hour. For each production run there is a QC Pack with the approved specification and includes examples of the labels that must be applied and for each new reel (about 5000 labels on a reel), a physical sample is pasted in the QC pack and the label operator and Quality Controller signs next to it with the time.

 

The QC does hourly checks on the finished product to make sure the product complies, and we also have people on the line looking for labelling defects (scuffing, orientation, application height)

 

We thought that the above would be sufficient... until we got complaints from the market that there are bottles with the correct front label but the back label was for a different cultivar.  

 

What happened was that the company who does our label printing (ISO 9001 certified) accidentally spliced 500 incorrect labels in between the correct ones.  QC didn't pick it up as this was in between his hourly sampling (it takes ~6 min to label 500 bottles) and the label operator also didn't pick it up as the incorrect labels were somewhere in the middle of the reel and they only check the first labels of each reel.

 

We now implemented a camera in our labelling machine which takes pictures of each bottle (back and front) and automatically stops the line if there is a discrepancy.  We also gave our printers an ultimatum that they have to get audited on the BRC Packaging & Packaging Materials (they achieved B grade this year).   


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