Pacific Seeds

For over 50 years Pacific Seeds - Australia has been at the forefront of seed production in Australia, developing technology, improving management techniques and driving industry breakthroughs. Established in Central Queensland in 1962, Pacific Seeds is a leading agribusiness that partners with Australian and international growers to deliver the best possible outcomes for Australia's agricultural industry.

We are very satisfied with insiginia's solution. Not only are we saving time in our seed bag labelling, we are also seeing improvement in traceability. It provides confidence in our supply chain and peace of mind that insignia were the right choice in partnership.

Angus Rathie, Processing & Warehouse Manager, Pacific Seeds

The Challenge

Harnessing advanced technologies in traditional plant breeding, Pacific Seeds prides itself on a strong reliable reputation with growers, agronomists, and consultants across the globe. Recognising the importance of traceability of goods and label adherence, as well as an opportunity to improve productivity, Pacific Seeds turned to insignia for advice to improve product intelligence and manufacturing processes.

Much like a fingerprint, labels hold valuable product data such as key variable product information, product description, batch code and use by date. Dislodged or lost product labels have serious implications for compliance and end-to-end traceability.

Seed manufacturing and processing plants are dust-filled ecosystems by nature causing issues for packaging, labelling and traceability of product. Woven polypropylene seed bags’ textured, glossy surface can make label adhesion a challenge with dust particles also proving a barrier for effective label adhesion.

Pacific Seeds required a label that would not only adhere to the polypropylene bags but last the life of the product. Adding to the challenge, labels were manually added through a peel and stick process during production. This presented no immediate implication for the business, however efficiencies were identified through redesign of labelling application processes.

The Solution

Finding an automated labelling solution presented a few complexities of its own. Firstly, due to the type of label being recommended for the woven polypropylene bags, the system had to be able to cope with a highly aggressive adhesive that would securely adhere to the seed bags.

Secondly, the rounded profile of the bags meant that the system would need to ensure a good bond to the surface and cater for the uneven discrepancies.

Finally, the dusty environment had the potential to damage exposed electronic component and impact production uptime.

To overcome challenges, insignia recommended synthetic thermal transfer labels for print and application onto the polywoven bags. This style of label features an aggressive adhesive that successfully bonds to the bag’s surface, and thermal transfer technology results in a life-long print solution.

To improve the labelling process, insignia presented the Domino M230iT4 Automatic Label Applicator, as the most effective solution. The M230i Automatic Label Applicator comes standard with a fully enclosed cabinet, keeping machinery and critical components protected and working efficiently - ideal for Pacific Seeds’ dusty production environment.

Additionally, the non-stick componentry of the M230i’s label release peel mechanism caters for the highly aggressive adhesive of the label, and the 3-step process to tamp, press and then blow the label evenly once adhered guarantees a good label bond.

The Result

After implementing the solution presented by insignia, Pacific Seeds realised an immediate upturn in their labelling process. Automating the label application process resulted in a significant increase in their productivity by allowing a quicker turnaround in order picking and provided an opportunity to upskill employees previously engaged to apply the labels reallocated to more complex tasks.

Product traceability and product intelligence is paramount in delivering quality seed product to the agricultural industry. The new labels and application process ensured Pacific Seeds would have improved ‘whole of chain’ traceability as the risk of the labels dislodging was eliminated.

Through the business improvement partnership with insignia, Pacific Seeds have realised additional gains through increased productivity, increased visibility, transparency and traceability in their supply chain.