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Hurst's POD labeling system meets needs of fruit packaging industry

Hurst International, a leader in fruit labeling technology, has developed a patented print-on-demand labeling system called Versaprint designed to meet the needs of the fruit packaging industry.HurstPOD

The direct thermal printing technology enables packers to label up to 63 different graphics at speeds up to 15 fruits per second with the highest effective application rate in the industry.

"We have the Hurst print-on-demand system and it's effective, reliable and easy to operate," Jake Nixon, vice president of distribution, engineering and process improvement at Mission Produce, said in a press release. "The high application rates of over 95 percent make cleanup easy, which reduces my production costs. Hurst's fast, dependable professional service and customer support propel them as the technology leaders in the industry."

The POD system is efficient and easy to use, and is considered the industry standard in produce labeling, according to the company. In fact, Hurst International is the only company to design and build its POD system entirely in-house, never outsourcing to third-party suppliers. All Hurst labeling systems are created and manufactured by the engineers and designers employed by the company.

Ari Lichtenberg, president and chief executive officer, utilizes his robotics engineering degree from Tufts University to develop the advanced technology that is implemented in every system. No system is shipped to a packinghouse before it is rigorously tested for superior quality.

"Hurst installed the first Print on Demand system in 2008," explains Lichtenberg. "That system is still in operation today, which is a testament to its efficiency and quality of design. Systems developed by other labeling companies are still prototypes and are installed by a third party. Only Hurst has the knowledge and expertise because our engineers designed the system. That's why, along with our multiple patents, Hurst has 66 print-on-demand systems in operation for several key leaders in the citrus, apple, pear, stone fruit, avocado, pomegranate and kiwi industries. We pride ourselves on our innovation and the service we bring to our customers."

Hurst's years of experience has produced the most advanced POD labeling system resulting in lower production and inventory costs for the packer. Packers order and manage only one common label stock, which eliminates wasted inventory. And by operating only one labeling system vs. the conventional three or more systems, packers can instantly label any 300 dpi graphics at the touch of a button. The system's high-speed application increases throughput and reduces packaging labor cost.

"Hurst's POD labeling system simplifies my inventory management," Nixon added. "I use only the labels I need so there isn't any waste. The labeling system's advanced printing capabilities help me with internal control and will allow for the upcoming, item-level traceability requirements. It will be easy to comply with the government mandates."

The print-on-demand Versaprint system will be even more important to the industry as the produce industry faces strict labeling requirements from the federal government. The flexible system can already print lot numbers and grower codes for item-level traceability. Some customers use this feature for internal control and management, however Lichtenberg pointed out that packers will soon be required to add this information due to government and retail regulations. When this happens, Hurst's systems are in position to meet these requirements.