by Oliver WEIHING
Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Markem-Imaje helps organic dairy reference improve on ESG with printing solutions and CoLOS®

Our marking and coding solutions and CoLOS ® software have helped the German organic FMCG reference Töpfer to reduce the environmental impact of its packaging operations and to gain traceability and verification capacity for the first time.

Töpfer is a 112-year-old family-run business which has only ever made organic products, becoming Germany’s leading producer of organic baby food as well as milk-based natural cosmetics. The most important factor for the producer for its printing and packaging operations was to lessen their environmental impact.

The company had already collaborated with Markem-Imaje for several years but wanted to use only recyclable materials in its packaging and to cut waste, highly important for a producer renowned for the organic nature of its products. A technology that is able to print outstanding quality codes on new recyclable substrates while preventing ink from migrating through them was a must for Töpfer as well as the possibility to gain traceability- a growing concern for its consumers. 

As an only-organic producer of longstanding tradition, Töpfer wanted to use only recyclable materials and to lower its waste and consumables output introducing the use of recyclable tubes in cosmetics, for example, in order to omit an additional level of packaging for the product. Using the Markem-Imaje 9450 CIJ printer, the producer can now print directly onto recyclable plastic cosmetics containers.

For its signature product, organic baby formula, which is packed into foil bags, Töpfer opted to use our SmartDate®X40 and SmartDate® X60 thermal transfer overprinters (TTO) to print directly onto the substrate, providing perfect code legibility on foil and eliminating the previous need for pre-printed labels. The containers are then coded using the 9450 CIJ printer which enables Töpfer’s customers to have customized and compliant coding on the primary carton to satisfy their particular demands.

CoLOS ® for verification and traceability

The quality and legibility of the coding is now verified using the camera verification, a feature available with the Markem-Imaje Pallet Track & Trace module of the CoLOS ® Packaging Intelligence software. 

The packages are then packed into corrugate cases and marked using the 5800 drop-on-demand inkjet printer which uses patented Touch Dry® hot melt inks directly onto the cardboard, achieving GS1 compliant levels of marking. This change has resulted in considerable savings of paper waste. The final stage of packaging operations employs our dedicated pallet printing solution, the 2200 Pallet, a Print and Apply technology.

Töpfer has also started using CoLOS ® software that integrates with its production machinery to send brand, item number, batch number to the marking technology. It can also provide proof of traceability and authentication directly on the product, an advantage for the company in protecting its brand.  Using CoLOS ®, the producer’s printer messages can be changed automatically, allowing the storage of less preprinted corrugate case inventory and the ability to print only when required, meaning the potential for further reduced waste.

Next, Töpfer plans to replace the CIJ systems’ inks with MEK-free, less environmentally harmful inks, avoiding the use of the contaminant Methyl Ethyl Ketone. The ink also generates up to 50% fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), than other brands.

Watch the case study video on the organic producer Töpfer featuring our marking and CoLOS ® solutions.

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