Farmers’ Rice Cooperative (FRC), a grower-owned rice cooperative located in Sacramento, produces an average of 750,000 packs of rice per month in 26 different variations, 51 different packaging options and 43 different size options. Therefore, the potential to make mistakes with regard to date coding, labeling and packaging is high.

Many different variants mean there are many various date formats and labeling requirements. Add to this a legal obligation to add special markings and/or foreign language markings to products, FRC was faced with a challenge to mitigate risks of coding and labeling errors by streamlining processes and removing human intervention as much as possible.

When the company set out to find a supplier to assist them in automating their coding and labeling processes, they were looking for a solution that would comply with their operational goals and suit their needs. They specifically didn’t want to be bound to one brand of hardware, and they needed to find a partner that would be willing to work on unique customizations as well as a solution that would integrate into their existing ERP.  AutoCoding Systems’ coding and packaging verification solution ticked all the boxes.  

“We found AutoCoding Systems’ product to be exactly what we were looking for,” says Brad Lint at FRC. “It met all our operational requirements and gave us flexibility on our hardware choices. Ultimately, however, our final decision was based on the people—their knowledge, service and willingness to understand our issues and work with us to solve these issues made AutoCoding Systems our preferred supplier.”  

Other competitive solutions were considered but they were proprietary solutions, working with a single brand of printer and didn’t offer FRC the flexibility they needed.

Since implementing the solution, FRC reports significant improvement with coding accuracy.  Previously, supervisors or maintenance staff were required to set up the printing equipment, but now line operators are self-sufficient. They have been trained to use the system, which automatically sets up and controls the printers, leaving supervisors and maintenance staff to continue with other tasks. Because AutoCoding is integrated into their ERP System, QA personnel can confirm the accuracy of the markings during the compliance inspection process.

“The AutoCoding team was very knowledgeable and attentive to our requirements.  We have been so impressed with both the service and software, we intend to roll the solution out across our other lines,” Lint says.

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