Kinnerton Confectionery has invested in automation to ensure compliance with retailers’ codes of practice. The OAL ( system has prevented label and packaging errors that can result in substantial fines and help identify areas for improvement during production.

Founded in 1978, Kinnerton Confectionery was the first confectioner in the U.K. to offer chocolate treats depicting children’s favorite characters. They now produce a wide variety of confectionery treats from Easter eggs to Advent calendars for a number of major retailers. Kinnerton recognized that in a competitive market, to maintain their excellent relationships with the retailers, the site needed to secure their factory by proactively investing in automation.

For compliance with retailer codes of practice, and to support operational efficiency and productivity, Kinnerton was looking at label verification and date code control systems. A breach of the codes of practice can result in onerous fines and loss in reputation.

What they wanted to do

  • Compliance with retailer’s codes of practice relating to label and date code verification.
  • Implement an automated system.
  • Drive improvements on the shop floor with paperless quality checks and OEE performance.

 What were the success criteria

  • Compliance with retailer’s codes of practice.
  • Easy to use reliable, robust autocoding system.
  • Removal of paperwork from the shop floor.

 What they accomplished

  • Proven system for ensuring correct packaging.
  • Simple compliance with retailers codes of practice.
  • Actionable shop floor data to implement improvements.

Working with OAL, Kinnerton ensured the correct packaging and labeling are applied to the company's products by using a single automated system to control packaging lines and integrate existing packaging devices. Kinnerton takes great pride in its 'nut safe’ promise, therefore, this level of security is necessary to secure their brand and their promise.

“OAL’s autocoding system had already been tested and proved very successful so the decision to purchase was easy. OAL’s ability to offer 24/7 support and for the single system to offer paperless quality checks, OEE and traceability at a later date were key drivers in our purchasing decision,” says Mike Gee, Head of Engineering about why Kinnerton Confectionery chose the OAL autocoding system.

The system Kinnerton had installed works by scanning a 2D barcode printed on every product to check and verify the date code and packaging is correct. If a mismatch error occurs, the line stops and the problem is investigated.

Payback has been shortened through the use of OAL’s Factory Performance software module that provides the team production information on improvement areas. When a line stop occurs operators must record a reason code on the touchscreen terminal. The recorded data is both highly accurate and can be used in real-time so actions can be taken if any issues occur. The automatic system replaces existing manual production logs, providing more accurate and reliable data, helping Kinnerton identify areas for improvement.

By investing in automation, Kinnerton Confectionery has secured compliance with retailer codes of practice for label and date code verification whilst producing actionable data to improve production performance.