Collaboration brings cost & material savings on traceability tags

Collaboration brings cost & material savings on traceability tags

‘Working alongside our customer at two sites to improve traceability labelling has brought benefits to everyone. Piroto’s improved understanding of the operation has led to traceability process enhancements, as well as significant cost and material savings for our customer.’

Metal Detectable Labels and Traceability tag solutions


Our customer is a leading UK food producer offering a range of products from sausages and cold meats to gourmet pastries.

One of their key aims is to operate a sustainable food manufacturing business. To this end, in 2019 they launched a group-wide sustainability strategy with stringent targets to reduce their carbon footprint.

Their sustainability strategy informs every business decision they make and involves scrutinizing all purchases; even down to the humble traceability tag.


One of our customers key aims was to ensure that their traceability labelling system contributed towards sustainability targets. In particular, they wanted to explore the possibility of reducing the use of labelling raw materials in line with group goals.

Clearly, it was important that food and ingredients traceability was not compromised in the process of redesigning their traceability tag; quality and cost needed to be balanced.


The Piroto team have a high level of expertise in food traceability labelling, including a tried and tested process designed to generate business improvements. This involves examining the size, application, and material of labels and tags to identify possible savings in raw material, performance improvements and more environmentally friendly processes.

The first step was to gain a full understanding of the tag application by exploring the manufacturing process at both sites. In normal times this would include an accompanied walk around the factory floor but could be satisfied with a conference call or video call.

At one site this discussion threw up a secondary issue involving the existing traceability process. It transpired that traceability was being compromised during the cooking process. The existing traceability tags were not ovenable and therefore had to bypass the cooking phase since the tags became illegible at high temperature.


By exploring the three critical elements of the traceability tag we were able to deliver savings and improvements in each:

Size: The existing tag needed to accommodate a large barcode and be flexible enough to fit around container handles of various thicknesses. Despite the detailed specification, we still felt savings could be made. By reducing the width of the tag we were able to cut the overall tag size by 25%. This directly equated to a 25% saving in raw material cost.

Application: Discovering that trace tags would need to withstand high temperature during the cooking process guided our choice of heat resistant tag material.

Material: We selected a thermal transfer tag material that was fully metal detectable, as well as being ovenable.

As significant changes to the traceability tag and the over-printing mechanism were being proposed, it was important to trial the tag rigorously before making the switch.

Once the technical specification of the tag was approved by both sites, we were able to offer further savings by agreeing to a manufacturing schedule. That allows us to manufacture, and store, larger volumes of tags; with stock being ready for the customer to call off as needed.


By taking a proactive approach to business improvement and working towards the customers green goals, both sites were able to reap the rewards. Specifically:

  • An overall cost reduction on traceability tags of more than 25%
  • A saving on raw materials of more than 25%, meaning a more environmentally friendly use of materials
  • Better traceability within the factory thus reducing the risk of audit failures, line stoppages and product recall
  • Faster stock availability and improved ordering efficiency to ensure tags never run out
  • A better understanding from all stakeholders on how collaborative projects can be undertaken; improving relationships, and bringing benefits to both sides.

If you’d like to talk to us about how we could undertake a business improvement plan for your facility, please get in touch.