Updated: Mar 6
Manual labelling of products is a common procedure for simple applications and small production volumes. The labels are either supplied pre-printed or printed on site with a label printer before being applied to the product or packaging by hand. But as volumes grow and labelling requirements increase, you should consider an automated labelling process. Here are the top 5 reasons why!
1. Automatic labelling offers higher clock rates
Have you ever tried to peel off a label and stick it on as accurately as possible? Then you know: A human cannot label as quickly and accurately as a machine.
A high-speed label applicator that only applies pre-printed labels even manages cycle rates of up to 120,000 labels per hour!
2. Automatic labelling machines apply labels cleanly and precisely to your products
In manual labelling, the labels are never applied in exactly the same position. Or even worse, it can also happen that the labels stick crookedly. This is visually unattractive, and the customer or end consumer may not accept the product. Furthermore, if the labels are not applied cleanly – throwing bubbles or wrinkles and not adhering properly – the information may not be readable. In addition, the label may peel off later.
Unlike humans, a labelling system labels with a tolerance accuracy of +/- 0.3 mm. But that’s not all: The labels adhere to the product over the entire surface, without wrinkles or air bubbles.
3. Automatic labelling reduces errors and complaints
Nobody is perfect: Unfortunately, mistakes happen wherever people work. How quickly is a label applied to the wrong product? A label printer and applicator print the labels with the appropriate content and always applies them to the right product. This prevents mislabelling and the associated unnecessary returns.
4. With automatic labelling, you are equipped for future requirements
There is nothing better than being successful and seeing an increase in demand for your products. However, in addition to more product orders, this usually means more product variety, often associated with more types of packaging and increasing customer specifications. As a result, more and more individual products have to be produced in a shorter time.
This also affects the labelling area. You’ll either have to pull staff from other tasks or reallocate tasks or hire more staff to keep up here.
With a modern, high-performance labelling system, you are ready for new requirements in the future. A labelling system can be easily adapted to the new cycle rates. It can also label reliably in multi-shift operation.
5. Automatic labelling saves your staff time
Employees are a valuable asset. When you switch from manual to automatic labelling, your employees can perform other important tasks in the company.
Should I use a label dispenser or a label printer and applicator?
Companies that want to label their products automatically rather than manually have a choice between a label dispenser and a label printer and applicator.
Label dispensers apply pre-printed labels (e.g., decorative labels, primary labels) to products. From wine bottles to pet food, jam jars to shampoo bottles or cleaners – every product needs such a label.
The Alpha Compact HSM is a compact label dispenser. It can label products as a stand-alone solution or integrated into a packaging line. The system applies the labels using the so-called wipe-on process. The label dispenser wipes off the label on the passing product. A pressure roller additionally fixes it in place.
A semi-automatic labelling system provides an introduction to automatic labelling. The operator inserts the product manually and triggers the labelling process at the push of a button.
If variable data is to be printed on the label immediately before the labelling process, label printer and applicators are used. The Legi-Air series labelling systems print information 1:1 onto the label. They then apply the label to the packaging using an applicator. Different applicators are available for different applications: there are linear, rotary or corner applicators.
Typical applications for label printer and applicators are logistics labels and shipping labels. In the food sector, companies use these systems to label their products with information on content and nutritional values, for example. In the chemical industry, it can be warning labels. Or in many other industries, barcode labels with information about the product and batch data.