JCS Fish has fully automated its packaging and labelling lines, and has also replaced its manually applied cardboard sleeves with linerless. Ravenwood’s linerless technology has been rolled out across its award winning Big Fish range.


The seafood specialist was manually thermoforming packs of salmon and trout and then hand applying cardboard sleeves to each pack. A third stage would then involve manual application of a self-adhesive secondary date label.

The process was both labour intensive and time consuming. Four people were working on the thermoformer packaging line and then a further three additional people were responsible for the sleeving and labelling. JCS recognised that this was impractical and decided to upgrade its lines to fully automate the process. Ultimately, the decision would speed up production, streamline operations and allow for workers to be redeployed throughout the business.

Furthermore, adopting a more sustainable method of labelling was also preferable as JCS was sending its label liner to landfill, contributing to its carbon footprint.


JCS decided to fully automate both its skin pack and labelling lines by opting for a Multivac R105 Thermoform skin pack machine and a Nobac 5000 linerless applicator for the labelling. Both machines came highly recommended as stand-alone technologies as well as working in synergy together for fault-free operation on packaging and labelling lines.

Linerless is highly sustainable. Due to the absence of the backing paper, there is no need to dispose of, incinerate or pay for expensive liner recycling programmes. Subsequently, JCS no longer needs to send label liner to landfill which has resulted in a marked reduction to its CO2 emissions.

The Linerless Label and Tray

JCS decided to opt for two different sized trays. A smaller tray for a single salmon fillet and a slightly larger tray for two fillets. Ravenwood’s keyline designer got to work on the label design templates. Two D-wrap linerless labels were then created.

Label Design

Once keylines were drawn up, the template and label design were outsourced to a JCS preferred design agency.

UK Linerless Printer

Coveris UK: www.coveris.com

Nobac 5000 Linerless Applicator

JCS opted for a standard Nobac 5000 applicator for applying linerless to its salmon and trout packs. A Falcon TTO Coder was also integrated for printing use-by dates to the linerless label. This alleviated the need for manually adding this information by way of a secondary self-adhesive label.

The Nobac 5000 is configured to work in standalone mode, but should JCS decide to move to catchweight labelling, there is the option to connect to a weigh-price labeller. This will future-proof the business.

Key Features:


Previously, the Big Fish production line was labour intensive and time consuming but since implementing the new Multivac R105 Thermoform skin pack machine and the Nobac linerless applicator, processes are now fully automated. Subsequently, this has resulted in less downtime, and increased production efficiency with packaging and labelling application speeds increasing significantly. Previously, with the manual cardboard sleeve application, speeds of just 12 packs per minute were being achieved.  However, since switching to Ravenwood’s linerless technology, JCS is seeing speeds of 50 to 60 ppm. The new R105 Thermoform skin pack machine has also increased skin pack production to 25 ppm and the Falcon Coder adds use-by dates automatically.

JCS Commercial Manager, Jack Coulbeck reports that the Nobac 5000 is user friendly, low maintenance and extremely efficient.

With increased packaging and labelling speeds, JCS is now better equipped to meet production deadlines and delivery timescales for satisfying the needs of its retailers. The award winning Big Fish range is available to purchase from Ocado and small independent farm shops.

Being a climate conscious organisation, Ravenwood’s linerless technology is a good fit for their product offerings. The JCS factory is BRC AA-Grade rated and they hold a top Green rating under the Investors in the Environment (IiE) scheme.


JCS Fish is an independent, family-owned business, based in Grimsby. They have a strong heritage and many years’ experience in responsibly sourcing fine fish and top quality seafood products from Scottish and Scandinavian suppliers. They employ around 50 people, supplying a comprehensive range of products to their foodservice, catering and wholesale customers.

For further information, contact Natalie Bell on +44 (0)1284 749144.

cardboard sleeves

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