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New multi layer labelling system at International Paint by Episys

International Paint, Leading supplier of marine and protective coatings, has implemented a multi-language, multi-layer label system from global information technology solutions and services company, Episys, in a bid to manage multiple languages, country regulations and health and safety requirements across Europe.

Challenge

International Paint is the market leader for high quality and innovative marine protective coatings for marine ships, tankers, naval vessels and yachts as well as oil rigs and gas platforms. The aviation division provides sealants and coatings for the general aviation and military markets. International Paints is known for its leading innovation and complete technical backup providing a full service to the marine customer.

The main issues and challenges facing International Paint were to effectively label packs in multiple languages to facilitate distribution of stock to regional distribution centres. There was also a need to meet European and EEC legislation.

Solution

International Paint have worked in partnership with Episys for a long time since they first installed a Windows 3.1 system and the two companies have continued to work together, gradually updating the system ever since.

International Paint moved to Episys Ultimate because they were looking for a new multi-layer labelling system which would give them the flexibility to continue to print labels in-house. The features of Ultimate which were of particular interest to International Paint were UTF8 Unicode compliance, the ability to spread the language over two labels and the ability to resize the text to fit neatly across both labels. They were also looking for a centrally based system which could be managed from the factory in Felling but was also available to all their other operations across Europe.

Initially International Paint were looking for a system to support the 28 language variants needed in Europe but with the potential to roll out world-wide and therefore support languages such as Chinese and Arabic. The language combinations used vary depending on the Health and Safety requirements of the product. International Paint currently have some products with 27 different languages on the label.

Ultimate gets the required label information from a labelling database which is itself fed from International Paint’s MFG pro ERP system and Quantum Health and Safety systems. Ultimate splits the text between two printers to print the label. The upper printer prints about 10 languages on one label with the remainder being printed on the base layer. The two labels are then merged and rolled up for application to packs on the production line. Pack sizes range from 500 millilitres to 1000 litres, though the majority are in 20 litre pails.

Benefits

All International Paint operators in warehouses and factories across Europe find Episys Ultimate easy to use and very reliable. They currently have 22 user licences, the majority of which are at the factory sites in Felling and Angered in Sweden, with others as far away as South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Ultimate provides Unicode UTF8 functionality as well as integration with International Paint existing business and health and safety databases. In addition the system based in Felling is web based and can be accessed from all of the company’s operations.

International Paint has received good support from Episys over the years including yearly visits to review requirements and very good feedback from the support desk.

The Future

International Paint latest project with Episys is a new trade pack module in Ultimate for the yacht division. This system is being built in Felling and in New Jersey. The trade pack labels are single layer, small bar-coded labels which are used by retailers to identify the contents of cartons.

The labels for the trade pack module can be printed in one of two ways. They can be printed on a standard thermal transfer label which is applied to the boxes. Alternatively International Paint can use a Torus 500 Inkjet printer to print directly onto the carton. The new module has been added to the standard Ultimate web interface and will be used in Europe and the United States.

In the future International Paint are planning to extend the Ultimate system into their central base for marine coatings in Houston in the United States.

Keith Horrigan, a business analyst working for International Paint in Felling said "International Paint and Episys have had a good working relationship for many years now and this will continue into the future."

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