Choosing Your Code Format
Do not be afraid if this is your first adventure into equipment for bottling your products. You probably already know you need to put some sort of code on your container, but you may not know the three most critical decisions: what, where and how. Different industries, companies, state agencies and countries require different codes.
WHAT information do you want to communicate to consumers of your products and the various people who will handle it through your production and delivery chain, such as:
- Exp (Date)
- Batch (Number)
- Best if used by: (Date)
- Lot #: (Number)
- Bottled on: (Date)
- Internal code: A code no one but your company can understand; typically for reference, routing, tracking)
- Country of origin: (Country)
WHERE do you want it placed? Or where will your consumers require it to be placed? Will it be on the side, shoulder or bottom of your container? Perhaps your customers require it on top of the cap. If you are packaging large quantities of generic product, and will private label them later as your orders come in, you may need a batch number printed on the container under the label. Many companies print the code directly onto the label (see Hot Stamp Coder).
HOW you code is very relevant to WHAT and WHERE you code, as well as other factors: line speed, environment, container, color, number of changeovers per day, etc. First, let’s examine the methods: