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Pandemic production uplift supported

30 March 2022

CODING AND labelling specialist, Clearmark Solutions, has helped Ecolab maintain a 60% uplift in the production of their water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions during an unprecedented increase in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Providing next-day, on-the-ground support and a rigorous training programme, Clearmark ensured that Ecolab could continue to meet the strict print quality requirements of the pharmaceutical industry despite a significant increase in output. As a result, Ecolab has since purchased a next-generation ICE Zodiac Hawk coder with integrated print checking from Clearmark for another of its lines.

As a global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services, Ecolab helps to make the world cleaner, safer and healthier, protecting people and vital resources. With over 95 years’ experience, it operates from two manufacturing sites in the UK and the US. When the global pandemic struck in March 2020, the company quickly experienced a sharp rise in demand for its hygiene-focused products. Within a short timeframe, Ecolab’s manufacturing process at its production site in Wales was transformed from a 2-3 shift outfit to a 24/7 operation. The company needed to ensure its existing coding solutions could support and sustain this increased production capacity, to maintain quality and prevent downtime during a critical time for the business.

After discovering a print quality challenge with one of its 12-year-old ICE Zodiac coders, Ecolab’s site engineering manager contacted the Clearmark technical support team, who responded immediately to keep the critical operation moving. A field service engineer was dispatched to site the next day and provided a short-term workaround, which initially enabled production to continue without any major disruption. Just 24 hours later, a long-term solution was implemented, with Clearmark also delivering comprehensive training to Ecolab’s in-house operators to maximise performance across all coding lines, preventing downtime and disruptions going forward.

Thanks to Clearmark’s rapid support and training provision, Ecolab was able to maintain a 60% uplift in production throughout the pandemic while meeting the strict print quality requirements of the pharmaceutical sector. Avoiding disruption due to poor-quality prints, the company helped to prevent costly downtime, as Ecolab’s Engineering Manager Jamie Hughes explains: “The Clearmark support team went out of their way to get us back up and running. We were very impressed with the service level provided; something that is both refreshing and rarely seen. A lot of suppliers talk the talk about good customer service but Clearmark actually delivers on that promise, going above and beyond.”

As a result of Clearmark’s consistent approach to customer service and the robust performance of their existing ICE Zodiac thermal transfer printers, Ecolab has recently purchased a next-generation ICE Zodiac Hawk with integrated print checking from Clearmark for another of its lines, cementing the partnership between the two firms.