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McDonalds has a major initiative to conserve forests – Conserving Forests (

Graphic Packaging (GPI) supplies drink cups, lids, and other fast-food materials to McDonald’s and a variety of other fast-food restaurants. They were required to accurately label 4 sides of every pallet with matching pallet labels. These labels also needed to work with GPI’s warehouse management system for internal tracking.

Based on nearly 25 years of automation and pallet labeling intelligence experience, Apis Wise was selected to provide this solution. The goal was to fully automate pallet labeling with minimal operator intervention and ensure the correct pallet labels were applied to all four sides of every pallet at Graphic Packaging.

One of the challenges was that the mixed systems we needed to integrate included older wrappers which did not have ethernet PLCs but newer wrappers did. GPI also required logic to automatically handle partial pallets at the end of run to print manual labels to a tabletop printer.

The following are the results of our integration:

  • Apis Wise installed our pallet labeling intelligence system on 6 wrappers in 2 plants.
  • Case GS1 barcodes are scanned at the wrapper infeed to identify the product.
  • When the pallet is in position, the wrapper signals Apis Wise and the first pallet label is applied and scanned to verify.
  • Apis Wise signals the turntable to rotate and repeats this cycle until all 4 sides are labeled.
  • Exception logic deals with partial pallets, unscannable case barcodes, and pallet labels which won’t scan.
  • Logging and reporting provide thorough reports and very detailed troubleshooting when and if something goes wrong to reduce downtime.
  • The system has been operating reliably 24/7 in the two GPI plants for 8 years.