Ensign Laboratories

Ensign Laboratories sought a more robust coding solution to ensure traceability beyond the standard shelf life of their products. insignia addressed their current and future requirements through laser technology, delivering unrivalled performance and value to Ensign, their customers, and the end consumer.

We’ve always had a good experience with insignia, and their Domino equipment is definitely an advanced, sophisticated technology, and of a very high quality.

Chris Edwardson, Assistant Production Manager, Ensign Laboratories

Family owned since 1955, Ensign Laboratories has been innovating liquid manufacturing and packaging for 65 years. Product development includes lotions, ointments, gels, flammable liquid and suspensions, and the innovative packaging to go with it.

Ensign are respected partners who work with companies to drive brand innovation and product development. With over 50 chemists working across the wide breadth of their business, Ensign holds a singular wealth of development experience in a wide range of liquid formulation and packaging options.

insignia provides labelling, coding, and data capture solutions for their clients, and is proud to be the sole Australian distributor for Domino, a global leader in marking, coding, and automated labelling technologies. insignia has been a solution partner to Ensign for many years with numerous coding, marking and labelling solutions as well as software spanning a multitude of applications in use today.

A market leader in ground-breaking materials and manufacturing technology, Ensign has held innovation at the core of their business since day one; client brand protection and a high standard of quality are central to their operating model. So, when a customer challenged them to improve the longevity of their traceability codes, Ensign rose to the task and contacted insignia to assist in closing the gap.

It was clear that Ensign’s customers needed traceability past the standard shelf life of the product and robust enough to withstand the range of chemicals used in the products Ensign manufactures including sunscreens, shampoos, and lotions. Traditional methods of coding fell short when exposed to these chemicals and continued handling from the end users.

The Solution

insignia analysed the wide range of products, materials and performance requirements presented by Ensign. Robust testing was conducted at Domino’s advanced laser testing facility in Germany where a common configuration of laser coder was identified as suitable across the entire range.

Laser technology provided a permanent print result that is embedded in the product at a quality that is easy to read no matter the exposure and handling the packaging is exposed to during its lifecycle.

This allowed insignia to present Ensign with a standard solution that could be rolled out across seven production lines.

Print inspection systems were used to ensure that every product has an accurate, readable and permanent code effectively automating the QA process in this area. Challenges with lighting and reading of laser codes on such a wide range of substrates was overcome by insignia with focused, systematic optimisation of the vision system to be able to be scaled across all products efficiently.

The solution means that not only has Ensign listened to its customers, but it now also has the relatively unique and advanced position of being able to provide its customers with permanent traceability codes that will not deteriorate through normal exposure to the contents of the product or erosive handling by the consumer.

Furthermore, insignia’s Domino D320i laser has increased OEE through maximised uptime, maintenance-free operation and the elimination of printing inks and ribbon. The Domino range of technology share a common user interface which equated to faster and more efficient training and transition from one system to the next.

Ensign and insignia enjoy a long-standing relationship which has evolved into a partnership approach. Insignia’s expertise, experience, world-leading brands of technology solutions and highly available support network has and will continue to bring the two businesses closer together as needs change and technologies evolve.

After this experience with insignia, its process and their Domino D-Series laser coding solution, Ensign plans to expand its fleet of laser coding systems and promote its use over alternative methods of traceability printing that their customers may still be employing.