Two Linx CSL30 laser coders from Linx Printing Technologies are delivering high quality codes and significantly reduced downtime for a premium whisky and gin producer.
Bruichladdich Distillery Co Ltd, based on the Isle of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, installed its first Linx CSL30 coder on its gin production line last year. Having been impressed with the results, it has now installed the same machine on its malt whisky line.
The quality and permanent codes produced by the Linx CSL30 are 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. 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 2100 bottles per hour, nine hours per day, producing 1.2 million bottles per year.
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, yet the quality of code remains high.
On the whisky line, the Linx CSL30 codes clear, etched 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.
Both Linx CSL30 coders are providing Bruichladdich with high quality codes that are discrete yet clear and always appear in the same position on the bottle every time. This is key due to the premium nature of Bruichladdich's products, which require impeccable codes that do not detract from the premium branding.
An additional benefit of using laser coders is the lack of consumables, which removes the need for printhead cleaning and maintenance. This reliability and consistency ensures minimal downtime and allows the busy drinks producer to always meet its deadlines.
‘We installed our first Linx CSL30 during a period which saw a 47% growth in our Botanist sales in the previous year,’ explained Jonathan Carmichael, bottling hall manager at Bruichladdich. ‘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 is 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.’
Originally founded in 1881, and reopened as a progressive distiller in 2001, Bruichladdich produces and sells high provenance whisky, distilled using much of the original Victorian machinery. In recent years it has expanded into gin under the brand name The Botanist.