Autocoding - Stop Label & Date Code Errors

Heinz chose Olympus Automation to deliver their Autocoding system because they were the only suppliers we reviewed to offer 100% read rates on products. The integrated quality checks on the Autocoding system and Olympus’ ability to offer 24 hour support have added significant value to the business.

~ Robin Sandman, Engineering Manager, Heinz

Autocoding ensures packaging information and date code is correct for all products leaving the factory

How Autocoding works

Autocoding software, links a master database of product profiles, online scanners and verifiers. Autocoding software uses this data and will stop the line if anything is wrong with the date code or labelling. When the problem has been resolved the line can only be re-started with the intervention of an authorised person.

Autocoding protects

Autocoding from Olympus Automation Protects

Why do you need Autocoding?

The exacting demands of the retail industry places a constant emphasis in ensuring that the correct packaging and coding is on every single item that leaves any food or beverage factory. Human error however can occur with manual intervention and set-up on packaging and coding lines. These mistakes can ultimately lead to costly product withdrawal or recall, which can be damaging to both you and your customers. Autocoding protects 723 lines globally from product recalls related to packaging and date code errors.

Autocoding in a Nutshell

•    Product arrives to shelf with correct date, label information with Autocoding assurance

•    Costly emergency scheduling, stock and planning contingencies are avoided with Autocoding

•    Retailer and consumer loyalty remains high

•    Vastly reduced risk of penalties or fines

•    Complete Traceability – double sign off and multi-level user controls meet all current regulations

Make sure that every product leaves your factory 100% correct

Case Studies (Click for PDF)

Bakkavor Caledonian Produce – 2D Version Control Prevents Allergen Problems

Blue Earth Foods – Flexible System Expanded with Success

Monitor Performance from 1 System

Autocoding was first deployed 13 years ago, since then our Autocoding systems have never had an EPW. 100 % confidence in your Autocoding system allows you to truly focus on improving production performance. The Olympus Automation next generation Performance OEE software can sit on top of our Autocoding system to provide real time factory performance. Read about the successful implementation of Autocoding and OEE performance at Adams Foods here.

The Elements of Autocoding

Packaging Control

One of the main causes of EPW’s is due to incorrect packaging being applied to products

Incorrect packaging occurs for a number of reasons:

•   Human error

•   Inadequate version control

•   Promotional activity not controlled

•   “Spliced” reels from the supplier

Supermarkets enforce heavy fines and there are serious allergen risks associated with incorrect packaging.


Autocoding eliminates this by full verification of all packaging 2D and 3D barcodes using open, established and robust scanning technology from world leading suppliers driven by extensive Olympus Automation expertise and experience.

Date Code Control

Incorrect coding can occur for a number of reasons:

•   Human error

•   Mistyped data entered into coders

•   Miscommunicated specification changes

•   Calendar changes (month, leap year etc.) Avoidance dates not being followed (e.g. 25th Dec)


Autocoding eliminates this risk by controlling and continuously monitoring all aspects of coding from date to case label printing and through set-up and continuous operation.

Technical Audits

Within the Olympus Automation Autocoding team we have a vast technical experience of food standards, employing an ex technical manager and an ex supermarket auditor to undertake technical audits of your systems.

A technical audit can involve the assessment of the following against standardised food industry requirements, such as the M&S code of practice:

  • HACCP Review / Training
  • Food Factory Inspection – Pre-external audits, including BRC, PIU, M&S, Product Launches, Food Safety Audits, 3rd Party Auditing
  • Risk Assessment
  • Quality Management Systems review – Paperwork Systems, ISO 9001, Metal Detection, Check weighing

Complete Traceability

In today’s fast paced environment and continual audit regime by retailers, audit bodies and government bodies (EHO/TSO) there can be no compromise when it comes to security. Double sign-off, multi-level user control and full traceability allow due diligence obligations to be met whilst conforming to legislation and regulatory compliance systems.

When speed of response to a potential issue can be the difference between a costly product recall or a manageable rework, access to product run information quickly is a must.

Why waste time on collecting information from archive storage (which could take hours) when your autocoding system could allow you to do this in seconds.

Accurate and reliable information of who did what and when can be the difference to maintaining the customers business or losing it.