Marsha Frydrychowski of the Resource Label Group reveals how the right label applicator has the power to lower costs, increase output and improve brand perception, and how choosing the correct one for your business isn’t always straightforward. Here are some things you should consider when choosing a label applicator.
November 8, 2016
by Marsha Frydrychowski, Research Label Group
Finding a label applicator that works for your business:
Establishing an efficient labeling system can streamline operations, lower costs over the long run and lead to a more consistent product. When chosen correctly, a versatile label applicator is an investment that will lead to a healthier bottom line.
But it’s not always easy to find the right applicator for your operations. Some businesses will require highly application-specific equipment, but for many, the right piece of equipment for applying pressure-sensitive labels can serve as an all-around productivity enhancer, greatly simplifying the process of bringing new products to market while maintaining consistency for your brand.
Label applicators: What they are and how they bring value to your operations:
Label applicators are machines for automatically applying pressure-sensitive labels to products. Rolls of labels, which have either been pre-printed or are printed by the applicator directly, are loaded onto the label applicators before being applied to product containers, bottles, packages or drums.
The popularity and heavy presence of label applicators in packaging operations stems from their ability to be customized to a manufacturer’s operations, while still remaining flexible enough to be configured to many different types of products and handling systems.
When compared to sleeve, cut-and-stack or mold labels, automated label applicators have the potential to drastically increase productivity and lower operating costs. A well-built, thoughtfully implemented label applicator that’s easy to operate, fast and accurate will easily recoup its cost over time, providing return on investment by reducing the need for manual labor while still increasing the rate of output. But it’s important to choose the right system in order to realize all of these benefits.
Types of label applicators:
Integrated, automated label applicators
These label applicators are directly integrated into your manufacturing operations, another step on the conveyor in your existing product handling system. These turnkey applicators can be set up in-line, where they’re automatically placed on a conveyor for labeling, or off-line, where they are manually added.
Semi-automated label applicators
Semi-automated label applicators function via an operator who places a product into a fixture or jig assembly and then applies the label with a foot pedal or a sensor located within the machine. These label applicators often feature a tabletop design for added portability and ease-of-use, but are not usually integrated into a, existing product handling system.
Stand-alone label applicators
Stand-alone label applicators utilize a modular design for maximum versatility. They can be integrated into existing, third-party product handling systems and may include a portable head mount. They may also be installed directly onto a conveyor or another machine.
Choosing the right label applicator:
Now that your familiar with some of your options when it comes to label applicators, it’s important to know which factors from your own label design should be most prominent when evaluating which one is the right choice for your operations. Of course, and labeling solution must first-and-foremost be cost-effective. That means the equipment must perform at the necessary application speed, reduce labor costs and earn back its value over time.
But beyond those concerns, there are certain technical requirements that must be considered when selecting a label applicator. Some of those concerns include:
Marsha Frydrychowski has more than 15 years of experience working with consumer packaged goods companies in marketing, packaging and branding. She leads marketing efforts for Resource Label Group, a leading full-service label manufacturer with locations throughout the U.S. and in Canada.