You need an automatic labeling machine as part of your branding strategy.
It’s on the labels that you will indicate ingredients, name, quantity, quality and other information about the products.
Also, labels are part of quality compliance – without it, your products will not be allowed in the market.
Well, in this guide, I want to take you through various elements regarding the automatic labeling machine.
And by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll appreciate how effective this machine works in labeling the various products.
So let’s get started straight away.
Automatic Labelling Machine Basics
The truth of the matter is that from one time or the other, you’ve been wondering what type of machine labels different products.
So this is the thing, an automatic labeling machine refers to a type of equipment that is set to place labels on various products.
In simple terms, you can describe a labeling machine as an instrument which dispenses, applies or prints and applies labels to different products or packages.
The types of labels are quite different, but ideally, this machine ensures that it effectively puts the same according to the settings.
But the bottom line is that the design of this equipment is to make sure that it applies labels to the products, items or packages using different methods.
This machine is quite fundamental in the overall manufacturing process because it makes it possible for you to complete the process.
And talking of its necessity, we want to now look at some of the reasons you would need to have this machine in your factory or manufacturing plant.
Benefits of Automatic Labelling Machine
Listen; for you to complete the manufacturing process effectively, you need to have a labeling equipment.
What I can tell you here is that if your goal as a business is to appeal to your target market, there is no doubt that you need to invest in this machine.
You see, you need your products to feature high-quality logos, text, or even graphics if at all you want to create an excellent market for the same.
And that’s where labeling equipment becomes handy.
So in this section, I want us to look at some of the vital and beneficial reasons that would make investing in this type of machine value addition.
And some of these reasons include the following;
· Flexibility and efficiency in labeling requirements
Now, this is the thing; whenever you want to undertake a labeling process on your products, one essential thing you require is efficiency.
The other fundamental aspect that this machine brings is flexibility.
You see, if you are a relatively large scale producer, it means that from time to time you’ll be labeling different products.
Using this type of machine, therefore, gives you the flexibility to alter or adjust the relevant setting to affect the particular labeling product.
· To increase production line speed
First of all, you need to understand that nowadays production speed is a key element which even affects the market.
What I am trying to say here is that the faster your products get into the market, the higher the chances of increasing sales and generating more revenue.
So using an automatic labeling machine, without doubt, will make it possible for you to increase the production line speed.
· Reduces labor needs and increases throughput
The fact that you and I cannot run away from is that labor is costly.
You see, when you have many people working for you, the chances are high that your turnover will be fairly low.
Workers will require salaries, bonuses, breaks, vacation days as well as other compensation.
This, however, is not the case when it comes to automatic labelers.
So you’ll notice that you save quite a substantive amount of money and at the same time increase the effectiveness of the production process.
· Safety improvement labeling
Machines can be dangerous and risky if you fail to handle or operate appropriately.
So with an automatic labeler, your safety measures are certain given that most of its parameters are quite simple and easy to interact with.
This unit features all the possible safety equipment that puts your safety and that of the products that you’re labeling.
· Reduced errors
Apparently, investing in an automatic labeling machine makes it possible for you to reduce the number of errors significantly.
Remember this is tech-oriented equipment which comes or rather features several parameters including verification options.
This machine also features scanners and imagers which help verify the legibility of the barcodes and texts.
So fundamentally, these are some of the key reasons why it would be ideal to invest in this machine and use it in your production plant.
As you can see, these reasons are quite sensible, and they go a long way in making sure that you get value for your money.
In the next chapter of this guide, I want us to look at some of the major types of automatic labeling machines you’re likely to find in the market.
Types of Automatic Labeling Machines
Well, before you even think of buying this type of equipment, it is always important to understand that several of them are in the market.
What I want you to understand in this case is that when looking for one, it is important to understand your specific needs first.
This way, it becomes easy for you to select the right one that will, of course, offer the best results.
In this section, therefore, I want us to look at some of these types of automatic labeling machines which you’re likely to come across.
Obviously, this will make it easy for you to make the right purchasing decision and ensure that you get what suit your needs.
Some of these types of automatic labelers include the following;
i. Horizontal wrap labelers
This is the type of labeler that automatic labeler which is typically used for labeling containers or items which are somewhat unstable and round.
It is equipment built to apply pressure sensitive label automatically onto relatively round containers which cannot convey upright on the conveyor.
You place the items on a horizontal roller which in turn runs them through what is known as a wrap station.
This type of automatic labeler is ideal for you if you are a contract packager or manufacturer that serves markets surrounding the biotech, pharmaceutical, personal care, and cosmetics.
ii. Vertical wrap labelers
It is also another type of automatic labeler that is common in the market.
It is usually used for a variety of products and items including those which are slightly tapered, stable square and rectangular shapes.
This machine dispenses pressure-sensitive labels with extreme accuracy.
It comes with some of the best features such as stepper motor drive for label and auto speed adjustments.
Additionally, this machine also provides for partial and full labels making it among the most popular options around.
iii. Front and back labelers
It is also among the widely used types of automatic labeling machines across a wide range of industries.
You use this equipment to place labels on one or two sides, or in some instances, including some modification.
The design of this labeler is apparently to help to accommodate various flat-sided or oval containers.
What’s more, is that you may as well choose to add an optional third or fourth applicator as a way of providing zero downtime labeling.
It is nonetheless vital to understand that bottles in this case also need to be stable enough as a way of preventing tripping when transporting products to conveyors.
iv. Top labelers
It is arguably the most-versatile type of automatic labeling machine that you can ever have around.
You can use it to label a wide range of products of various applications including electronics, pharmacological as well as edibles among others.
This machine is simple to operate and works by placing the panel or spot on the top of the product which passes.
And by the end of the process, you’ll have a fine and high-quality label on the particular item or product that you’re labeling.
v. Top and bottom labelers
It is also another common and popular type of automatic labeling machine which you need to know about.
In many instances, it is always used for labeling items or products or containers which need both top and bottom label.
For instance, you may require to place a UPC label on the bottom and at the same time place a product label on top of the container.
One good thing with this unit is that it provides configurations which you may choose to use for a wide range of containers such as cases, cartons, and bottles.
vi. Custom labeling applicator
So this is a type of applicator which you customize as the end user to match the specific configurations which you require.
You see, there are instances where the company machine may not necessarily fit your needs.
So all you need to do is merely adjust the various settings and other forms of configurations to make it possible for it to be compatible.
There are some instances, however, that it’s the company that makes these necessary adjustments as a way of creating compatibility.
vii. Print and apply labelers
This is a type of automatic labeling machine that provides high quality labeling needs for your products.
It is ideal for bar codes, high-resolution texts, pallets, images on cases as well as shrink wraps among others.
Most of the models of this type of labeler also feature superior technology which helps in accurate placement of labels on the package even at high speeds.
A print and apply labeler can satisfy all labeling needs in regards to productivity as well as production line speed.
viii. Automatic labeling machines based on applications
It is also vital to understand that quite several labeling machines also come based on their specific applications.
Of course, this is essential since it makes it rather easy for you to determine the particular type to select depending on your application needs.
So let’s look at some of these types based on the applications and see the variance that each of the offers;
· Automatic can use a labeling machine
Just as the name suggests, this is a type of automatic labeler used for placing labels on surfaces of cans.
The kind of labels may vary as well as the locations of the labels on the container.
It is always advisable that when looking for one, you need to go for one that utilizes the latest technologies to attain high speeds and labeling accuracy.
This type of machine is vital if you’re manufacturing products that are packaged on cans such as soft drinks and other beverages.
Now as you can see in this section, these automatic labeling machines tend to be quite a number.
Therefore, it becomes prudent to ensure that you look into them keenly to select the best one which fits your needs appropriately.
· Automatic labeling machine for bottles
It is also another common type of labeler that you’re highly likely to come across.
This machine is suitable for labeling bottles of different products relatively fats and effectively.
The good thing with having this machine is that you choose to have customized labels on your bottles which makes them unique.
They come in different sizes and capacities with some designed for commercial production of thousands of bottles per day.
On the other hand, others are designed for small scale production, but all tend to work in more or less the same principle.
· Automatic carton labeling machine
This one is at sometimes referred to as automatic labeling machine for boxes.
Merely as the name suggests, you use it for applications surrounding cartons and boxes labeling.
It is helpful in placing labels on the various sections of the carton as well as the specifications of the particular product in the box.
This unit is common in a wide range of industries including electronics, pharmaceuticals, health, and cosmetics among others.
It features a suitable speed, of course depending on the model you’re considering, but in general, most of them are quite easy to operate.
· Automatic barcode labeling machine
Well, this one refers to the labeling machine that you use for printing various types of barcodes for various elements.
Some of these elements include shipping labels, equipment tagging, product labeling and parts tracking among many more.
The essence of placing barcodes on different items is to help you to see product details, stock in hand, and sales completion if integrated.
Of course, the choice is also dependent on your budget among many other factors, which we want to discuss in the next section of this guide.
For that reason, if you’re looking for an ideal machine that can perform this task diligently, the automatic barcode labeler is the ultimate choice.
· Automatic vial labeling machine
This is the type of labeling machine specifically designed to label vials mostly in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
A unique element regarding vial labeling is that it requires relatively high speed and high performance labeling systems.
And that’s the reason why it is always important to ensure that you keenly select the vial labeling machines appropriately.
The other good thing with this machine is that it integrates serialization, coding, monitoring and rejection systems into labeling aspect.
· Automatic ampoule labeling machine
First of all, you need to know that an ampoule refers to a relatively small sealed vial used in most instances for preserving a sample.
So we have machines which often are used to apply labels on ampoules automatically.
The efficiency of this machine is also dependent on the specific model that you prefer as well as the capacity among other details.
As you can see, we have quite a several types of automatic labeling machines to choose from.
It can at times be tricky to determine the particular one which you need.
And that’s the reason I chose to break it down for you to know the specific type that suits your needs.
What’s important nonetheless is that when selecting, always ensure that you look into the application for your task.
This guide, of course, will always come in handy whenever you want to determine the type of automatic labeler on the basis of application.
So in the next section, I want us to look into another equally fundamental aspect of automatic labelers, which is its parts and components.
This will make it easy for you to have a deeper understanding of what it takes for this machine to perform effectively.
Parts of Automatic Labelling Machine
You see, whenever you’re dealing with machines, it is always necessary to ensure that you have the basic idea of its parts and components.
This is more critical especially when you’re the one operating it or monitoring its operation.
The reason here is mainly because, at some point in time, you’ll need to fix a few of these parts to enhance efficiency.
So in this section, I want us to look at the key parts of an automatic labeling machine which you’re likely to interact with most of the time.
This refers to the base frame of the machine which forms the structural framework which somehow resembles a block.
It plays a critical role in the overall functioning of this unit since it provides support for all the other components and parts.
Most of the chassis of this equipment is made of stainless steel material to provide the necessary stability.
It is the part of the machine where the labels are placed before conveyed into the machine for subsequent labeling.
Most of the trays are located on the upper side of the machine apparently for easy access and feeding of the labels.
It is also made of stainless steel material which is important because it makes it resistant to a wide range of elements like chemicals and unfavorable climate.
This refers to the part which moves the materials from the tray to the machine and later on to the product.
It moves the material in a rotating motion which makes it easy for it to come in contact with the surface of the item.
A conveyor is important, and it comes with different settings to allow you to figure out the specifications that you need to attain during labeling.
· Touch screen display
It is the interface that you use to control all the various parameters and functions of the machine.
This display makes it easy for you to monitor the progress and other modules revolving around the labeling machine.
It is also crucial since it makes it easy to determine all the functions and other settings of the machine as a way of achieving efficiency.
This is an electric component which helps in running the machine by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy.
The size and the capacity of the motor typically vary from one model to another.
But it is always advisable to look into this component when purchasing an auto-labeler because it determines performance in a substantive way.
Another important point is to know that different auto-labelers come with a wide range of motors for various functions.
· Labeling head
This a whole unit which features various components.
It is in other instances known as labeling applicator, and its main function is to place the labels on the surface of the item or container.
Some of the parts which make up the labeling head include the following;
· Drive roller
This is apparently the workhorse of the labeling head of any auto-labeler.
It works by pulling the web backing hence starting and stopping with every labeling sequence.
Most of the drive rollers are relatively similar in all the auto-labelers.
The only difference perhaps might arise from the manner it is driven and stopped.
· Label sensor
This component helps in detecting the gaps that exist between labels as a way of controlling the system to initiate a label stop sequence.
It features an electro-mechanical switch in some models and a capacitive sensor which you need to adjust when changing label stock.
· Peel plate
The essence of this part is to separate the label from the backing paper.
It works in a manner that the web breaks sharply over the peel plate as the label continues in a straight line.
· Dancer’s arm
The role of this component is to help in allowing smooth labels to start.
It also keeps web tension as well as acting as a brake for stopping the web unwind roll from overfeeding.
Well, since this machine is automatic, you would expect it to have as many controls as possible.
The truth is that you need to understand the various controls of this machine and the effect they have on any function.
The controls of this machine come in the form of switches, and in some instances, some are operated from the touchscreen.
So you need to know which button plays what function and the easiest way of attaining this is by reading the user manual.
So these are the few but key components of an automatic labeler.
Of course, such a machine has many parts that we cannot necessarily discuss here to exhaustion.
Nevertheless, you shall become more familiar with them as you continue interacting with the equipment routinely.
Automatic Labelling Machine Working Principle
Probably, you’re wondering how an automatic labeling machine works.
Well, it is simple and straight forward.
In fact, after installing and configuring the machines, here is all you need:
i. Choose appropriate settings for the machine via the HMI touchscreen control panel
ii. Put your labels in place
iii. Ensure material or containers you want to label are in the right section
iv. Start the labeling process
v. Monitor the process via the HMI control panel
vi. Assess items/products after labeling
Having said that, let me take you through the detailed automatic labeling machine working principle.
So, what does it involve?
Container/products/items feeding stage
Automatic labeling machines use a different mechanism to feed material into the labeling stations.
Some machines use a vibration mechanism to feed items onto the conveyor belt, which move them to the labeling station.
In most cases, labels come when they already preprinted with the right information.
In fact, some come when they have already been cut to the right sizes.
This will depend on the design of the machine.
Normally, the label and items feeding systems are synchronized together.
It is to ensure the feed rate of the items and labels reach the labeling station at the same time.
Here, the in-feed systems ensure correct spacing of the container you want to label.
It will also allow for proper application of the label.
So, what happens here?
- System wheel drags tags in an alternating movement. At the same time, the label is extracted to the reel, causing pressure for the next labeling.
- The machine dispenses labels, allowing for their application on the container system. Of course, this is due to an automatic synchronization between the label and container feeding system.
- Machine applies the labels at a predetermined position on the items.
Note: There are machines that print the labels on the containers. Of course, they will print all information including the batch number.
At the same time, the machine has sensors that detect whether the label has been applied properly or not.
Ejecting items after labeling
Automatic labeling machine will eject labeled items.
Also, at this stage, you can inspect the final products to ensure they meet the right quality standards or not.
In a nutshell, automatic labeling machine has a simple and straightforward working principle and process.
Remember, there could be variations when it comes to different stages of the working principle of automatic labeling machine.
Don’t worry, your manufacturer will provide you with the user manual.
In fact, they will offer training after installing the machine.
With all that in mind, let’s proceed to yet another critical stage of this guide.
Do you want to buy an automatic labeling machine?
Well, here is everything you need to know.
Features to Consider When Buying Automatic Labelling Machine
Well, as I did mention earlier in this guide, finding the best and most suitable automatic machine that fits your needs can be difficult.
Incidentally, the many features that you need to consider when buying this machine are what makes it this challenging.
In this section, I want us to look at some of the key features to look into whenever you’re shopping for this equipment.
The essence, of course, is to make it somewhat easy and convenient for you to get the best pick which will help you accordingly.
· Design and construction
The moment you’ll begin your search for this equipment, whether online or offline, you’ll notice that they come in various designs.
What happens is that every manufacturer wants to be unique as a way of attracting the clientele in purchasing their units.
In as much as the working principle might be more or less similar, you have to know that design and construction plays a critical role.
You see, some designs might just be to appeal to the eye whereas others might help enhance the efficiency of the machine.
In general, it is advisable to measure your needs and determine the right design which suits the same.
This will help ensure that you attain the best results nonetheless.
· Power consumption
It is also another fundamental aspect which you have to factor in whenever you’re selecting an ideal auto-labeler.
The thing is, most modern auto-labeling machines integrate a technology which helps substantively to save power.
But still, you have to be keen because this technology in most cases only work for a limited capacity.
So to be on the safe side, ensure that you check all the power ratings of the machine before purchasing it.
This way, you’ll be able to know one which suits your needs accordingly.
Also, do not forget that power consumption of a machine can also compromise on the quality of labeling or overall efficiency.
Therefore, you need to be careful when looking into this particular factor.
· Productivity and technology
Well, in this case, it simply means that you need to check the effectiveness of the machine in line with the integrated technology.
You see, nowadays, especially for automatic equipment, it would be somehow difficult to compromise the technology aspect.
And in most instances, the technology of the machine is what necessarily dictates the level of productivity of the machine.
So it is vital to go for a unit that features all the essential technical requirements for proper functioning and better results.
· Size and shape
It is more or less similar or related to design and construction.
However, you also need to realize that the size of the machine is vital when it comes to determining the purpose of the machine.
If you’re going for commercial production or large scale labeling, then perhaps you’ll need a relatively big auto-labeler.
But for small scale production, you’d need a somewhat smaller type as long as it is effective.
Also, you need to choose the shape and size of the machine depending on the size of the workspace that you have.
The most important thing is to ensure that the size of the machine you select never compromises the quality or effectiveness of your labeling.
· Label spool
This refers to a round object where the labels are wound to apply to the respective surfaces.
Label spool is an important element in the automatic labeling machine especially when it comes to size.
By this, I mean that you have to be skeptical with the size of the label spool that the machine comes with.
If possible, also ensure that you go for one which has a spool that is quite easy to load with the labels for the interest of time.
Well, when dealing with an automatic labeling machine, you have to be mindful of the fact that rejection of some labels is imminent.
However, this rejection needs to be based on particular elements which tend to compromise the quality of the labeling.
In most cases, this aspect is always determined by the settings of the machine which has a way of rejecting bad quality labels.
So when shopping for one, ensure that you carry out a test to figure out how it’s rate and mode of rejection occurs.
This refers to the duration that the machine takes to be out of action or unavailable for use.
You see, this machine normally works continuously.
So there is a possibility that at some point, it will somehow slow down.
Well, that is pretty understandable.
However, the concern, in this case, should be how frequent it slows down.
Of course, a machine with frequent and extended downtime is unnecessary for this process, especially for commercial production.
Therefore, you must ensure that you carefully look into this to determine the best one since it affects the quality and efficiency of labeling products.
· Label placing systems
With the advancing technology, different auto-labelers models come with a wide range of label placing systems.
So as a user, it’s upon you to decide the particular system you’d prefer to use on your products based on the labels.
In most instances, you would find that a particular machine can apply up to more than three systems.
Therefore, all you need in such instances is merely to adjust the settings accordingly.
Label placing system for that matter is a crucial element that you should never fail to consider when shopping for this type of machine.
· Compatibility with other machines
Well, like I did mention earlier on, an automatic labeling machine has to be integrated with several features to make it effective.
You’ll find that they utilize some sort of software as a way of guaranteeing efficiency.
So it is this software that you need to make sure is compatible with other equipment that you’ll be using in the labeling process.
The compatibility of this software, as well as other aspects of the operation, is critical in the overall performance of the auto-labeler.
Nonetheless, the instrument itself also needs to be compatible with other equipment that you’ll possibly connect with it to complete the process.
· Change parts
This is the other fundamental factor that you must consider when buying an automatic labeling machine.
You have to be aware of the fact that at some point in time there are parts which will wear out hence need for replacement.
And that’s the reason why it’s important that you go for a model which has most of its change parts readily available.
Additionally, these parts should also be easy to fix which becomes significant especially when you’re in the middle of an operation.
So that you don’t have to stop the labeling process for long to fix the parts accordingly or have to seek assistance from a technician.
Of all the factors that you must never overlook when selecting an auto-labeler is its ease of operation when using it.
You see, you can have a high-grade automatic labeling machine, but if it’s challenging to operate, then it’s just useless.
What I’m trying to say here is that for every purchase decision that you want to make, always ensure that the machine is user-friendly.
This way, it becomes easy for you to label all the products as necessary thus making it stress-free and consequently increasing efficiency.
Applications of Automatic Labeling Machine
Well in this section, we’ll be a little bit faster;
All through this article, it is quite obvious that the applications of this machine are quite several.
That notwithstanding, let me take you through some of these key applications at least for purposes of general knowledge.
· Pharmaceutical production
It is one of the most popular industries that use this type of machine extensively.
Most of the pharmaceutical products are labeled and by the way it a legal requirement.
That’s why different types of auto-labelers are widely used here to ensure that they provide information regarding the product.
As you can see from this article, pharmaceutical industry utilizes various items, containers, barcodes, vials and ampoules among others.
And since all of them have to be labeled, it becomes reasonable to use this machine.
You can find them in various commercial pharmacological companies as well as other small scale producers of the same.
· Cosmetic and beauty industry
This industry also utilizes this machine extensively especially in labeling the various beauty and cosmetic products.
It is also a requirement that these products are labeled as a way of guiding and safeguarding consumers in different ways.
They help in providing information regarding a particular product.
The manufacturers of stationeries also use this machine in labeling a wide range of their products.
The reason here is that they need to distinguish their products and items by making them unique hence increasing their appeal to the target audience.
· Light industries
Light industries that manufacture different types of products such as soaps and ointments among others tend to use this machine widely.
It enabled such manufacturers to creatively place or apply their specific labels on the items to make them ready for consumers.
· Chemical industries
As a legal requirement, all chemical products need to be labeled to make it possible for users to identify what they need and how they use it.
So most of these factories tend to ensure that they invest in high quality automatic labeling machines for such purposes.
· Food and beverages
If you go to food joints or supermarkets, you’ll notice that all foods and beverages have labels.
This way, it makes it easy for consumers to know what they’re precisely purchasing.
Also, it allows them to know the contents of the food or beverage that they’re buying.
And it’s for that reason that application of this machine is more prevalent in this industry.
Well, throughout this guide, it is quite apparent that the need and use of automatic labeling machine in the manufacturing industry is integral.
It is also clear that the types and applications of these machines also vary depending on various factors.
However, of importance is to ensure that you learn the basics revolving this equipment to make your work easy all through.
Luckily, today’s guide captures quite a number of elements that you ought to know regarding auto-labelers.
For that reason, it would be my interest to now hear from you.
What do you think about this machine? Which one would you need?
Or what challenges are you currently facing with the one you have?
Let me know, share your experience and I will be glad to offer the necessary support.