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On everyone's lips -
Solvent-free marking for chocolate

Chocolat Frey is the market leader among Swiss chocolate manufacturers and with a market share of 37 percent is absolutely justified with its slogan "in aller Munde" (On everyone's lips). The company, which is part of the Migros Group, was founded in 1887 and for more than 125 years has been successfully combining tradition with innovation. With the updating of the coding and marking technology now on the agenda, they got an experienced partner on board with REA JET, which has been established as a specialist in industrial coding and marking technology for more than 30 years.

Pralines and chocolate bars are produced, packaged and palleted in the Confiserie department. High-resolution printing systems from the brand REA JET HR were recently integrated into two manufacturing lines.

REA JET:: Marking of flow wraps with REA JET HR.
Marking of flow wraps with REA JET HR.

The thermal ink jet printers mark colorful chocolate flow wrap packagings with the best-before date and a production code with product information, which facilitates the traceability of the goods.

REA JET:: Marking of flow wraps with REA JET HR.
Marking of flow wraps with REA JET HR.

The chocolate bars, which come in different sizes, are packed individually in the foils. In times of high demand, production takes place in three shifts around the clock. Approximately 31,500 chocolate bars of the brand Branche are produced, packed and marked every hour. With optimum resolution and an adjusted blackness, approx. 450,000 Branche bars are marked with one ink cartridge (35 ml).

REA JET:: Project manager Erhard Bollinger - High quality requirements in production for optimum product quality.
Project manager Erhard Bollinger - High quality requirements in production for optimum product quality.

Complex requirements

The high production speed is a challenge because the printing has to dry in record time and adhere well to the foil. Additionally, there is a sharp corner for rounding the packaging approx. one meter after the printing. REA JET Ink Multiple Black is used for this challenging task, which has been developed specifically for non-absorbent, smooth surfaces.

REA JET:: REA JET Multiple Black ink for optimum print legibility.
REA JET Multiple Black ink for optimum print legibility.

The excellent print quality with a resolution of up to 600 dpi in combination with high optical density, brilliant blackness, fantastic contrast and unique edge sharpness, they are predestined for product marking with any codes. The coding of goods allows the seamless representation of the entire production and logistics chain and promotes automation. The aim is increased efficiency, quality assurance and cost reductions in all areas.

Clean solution

In conjunction with the Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) Printer REA JET HR, the Multiple Black ink from REA JET allows the hygienic and environmentally friendly printing of packaging and is therefore perfectly suited for the food and pharmaceutical industries, among others. The goods are protected from smells and emissions in the form of solvents, which is something that above all benefits the taste of the chocolate. As solvents generally impact on the flavour, there is a general desire in the industry to replace all technologies that use solvents with environmentally friendly alternatives. The risk of fire and storage security costs are also considerably reduced. The wipe-resistant, high resolution REA JET printing is brilliantly legible and facilitates a comprehensive product declaration corresponding to the requirements of the new EU Food Information Directive. Thanks to maintenance-free HP technology, a new print head is available with each change of cartridge, there are no other normal additional costs for service and spares. These features make the REA JET HR a cleaner and safer alternative to many Continuous Ink Jet Systems (CIJ).

Chocolat Frey is also convinced of this, where service-intensive CIJ systems were previously being used. The drawbacks of this technology, which is liable to faults, include not inconsiderable system shutdowns and extensive procedures during production interruptions and for a restart after longer system shutdowns at the start of production, for example after the weekend. In addition, there is dirt of the production environment and the smells and a risk to health from evaporating solvent. Required parts subject to wear and tear, such as filters, and frequent services lead to high additional costs in Continuous Ink Jet systems. These costs are saved through the use of REA JET HR systems.

Modern solution

When it was time to invest in new printing technology, Chocolat Frey therefore used the opportunity to look for a modern and environmentally friendly solution. After a demonstration, they decided to install systems from REA on a trial basis. During this period, the operating staff was able to put the system through its paces and after a short time were arguing for it to be purchased.

REA JET:: The ease of use and high levels of reliability of the REA JET HR are valued in production.
The ease of use and high levels of reliability of the REA JET HR are valued in production.

The systems met all the requirements and also impressed with their convenient use. For example, they can be controlled by web browser (PC or tablet) or on site via the display. The user menu is a simple list that guides the user intuitively. Network integration and connection to ERP systems and databases is made possible and simple via modern interfaces. There is total design freedom when creating the text, graphics and drawings. Print orders can be entered quickly, changed, saved and recalled.

REA JET:: REA JET HR controller - Modern interfaces and easy operation.
REA JET HR controller - Modern interfaces and easy operation.

After the problem-free test phase, the solution from REA JET was completely integrated in less than eight hours. The compact design and numerous interfaces facilitate the seamless integration of components into the production line. Among other things, True Type fonts, XML file format, unicode and communication via the Ethernet ensure the easy, multi-system operation, configuration and networking corresponding to the requirements of Industry 4.0.

"The coding and marking systems from REA JET are running perfectly and reliably. In particular, the fact that solvents no longer evaporate in our production is a great gain for us," explains the project manager Erhard Bollinger.

REA JET:: Marking of flow wraps with REA JET HR.
Marking of flow wraps with REA JET HR.

High process safety

REA JET insists on sustainability and quality, develops and produces all its products itself, has been on the market for more than 30 years and now has a global position. Chocolat Frey also profits from the global service and sales network and values the competence and proximity of the Swiss branch of the coding and marking specialist in Hirschthal in Aargau. The full-service provider can supply hardware, software and consumables, and realise customer-specific solutions. As the current system has been in use for a longer period without maintenance, repairs or production stops, the use of other systems from REA is being planned.

About the company

REA JET develops and manufactures premium industrial coding and marking systems for contact-free industrial marking. The portfolio includes ink jet printers, laser and spray mark systems, labeling solutions, as well as inks and consumables. The practically orientated products are designed for use in all branches and have proven worldwide across all industries and business segments.

REA JET and REA VERIFIER (Code Verification Systems) are both divisions of REA Elektronik GmbH based in Muehltal, near Frankfurt am Main. REA Card, another REA division, develops and markets cashless payment systems. REA Elektronik was founded in 1982, is owner-operated and employees a staff of 300 (2014). All REA JET products are 100 percent made in Germany.

Company Contact:
REA Elektronik GmbH
Reto Heil
T: +49 (0)6154 / 638 0

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