Packaging Scotland

Coding & Marking

Premium spirits producer doubles up on laser coders

AN Inner Hebrides premium whisky and gin producer is reportedly experiencing “high-quality codes” and “significantly reduced downtime” after splashing out on two Linx CSL30 laser coders.

Bruichladdich Distillery Co. Ltd, based on the Isle of Islay, installed its first CSL30 on its gin production line last year. Following the results, Linx Printing Technologies said the firm has now installed the same machine on its malt whisky line.

The codes produced are said to be enabling the company’s Botanist Islay Dry Gin bottles to meet the demands of their export markets for high-quality codes.

Installed in the bottle labeller, the CSL30 codes two lines, 5mm in height, onto the bottom of the glass gin bottles. Linx explained that the codes comprise a line number and a batch code, including a unique bottle number and the bottle’s production date and time.

The line currently runs at 2,100 bottles per hour, nine hours per day, producing a whopping 1.2 million bottles per year.

Linx added that the laser coder can apply codes from a wide range of distances, ensuring “easy integration” into production lines. In Bruichladdich’s case, the gin bottles stand on a base plate that means the laser head has to sit further away.

On the whisky line, the Linx CSL30 is said to be producing codes that are “highly legible”.

This capability of laser coding to produce a visible code on every colour and shade of bottle is particularly important to Bruichladdich, many of whose whisky bottles are black.

Due to the premium nature of Bruichladdich’s products, the firm requires “impeccable” codes that do not detract from the branding.

Linx said that an additional benefit of using laser coders is the lack of consumables, which removes the need for printhead cleaning and maintenance.

Jonathan Carmichael, bottling hall manager at Bruichladdich  said, “We installed our first Linx CSL30 during a period which saw a 47% growth in our Botanist sales in the previous year.

“In order to adapt and keep up with this unprecedented demand, we took the opportunity to re-configure our line in another warehouse, adding some new machinery – and the Linx CSL30 was an extremely important addition to our line.

“As a producer of premium spirits, it’s vitally important that the codes on our bottles are clear and sharp and in keeping with the brand’s expectations.

“Another key factor in the decision to install a laser coder was the low maintenance required, meaning less downtime in production. For these reasons we’ve not hesitated to install a CSL30 on our whisky line as well.”

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