Today's distribution and manufacturing systems need to reduce labor content as much as possible. Integration of an automatic label printer / label applicator into the production and packaging processes helps ensure that products and orders are correctly identified with a minimum of labor.
Direct Product Labeling
Some label printers use ink jet, laser or another technology to directly mark items. These printers often require that the surface of the items to be marked must always be located within a specific distance from the printing device to ensure a good quality label. In addition, the substrate to be marked must be compatible with the ink or other marking technology. By printing the labels directly onto the items, the cost of label stock can be avoided, however, these types of labelers usually have a higher initial cost and the labeling usually can't be removed.
Pre-printed vs. Print On-Demand Labels
If a physical label needs to be applied to a product and the information on the label is generic (i.e. model #, electrical specifications.) or sequential (i.e. 1,2,3, etc.), it's often less expensive to have the labels pre-printed and then just use a label applicator to apply the labels. If the labels need to contain unique information (such as non-sequential serial numbers, order #, customer information, etc.), you'll need an on-demand label printer / applicator.
On-demand label printer / applicators (click HERE for video) can print unique labels and then apply them to containers or products. In order to print the correct label information, an identifying bar code or RF tag on the part or container to be labeled is read and the corresponding unique information is then downloaded to the printer. The printer creates the label which is then automatically fed to the label applicator. The applicator transfers the label to the item at the appropriate time.
Typical Wipe-On Style Label Applicator
Applicators for adhesive-backed labels can be designed to accommodate wide variations in the distance from the printer to the item to be labeled. The type of applicator needed is determined by the type of label to be applied and where it's to be applied on the product or container. If all the items passing by the label applicator are about the same size, the applicator may be able to simply “wipe” the label onto the item. If the items to be labeled vary significantly in size, an applicator that “tamps”, “blows” or blows and tamps the label onto the item may be required.
We Have the Experience to Help
Integrated Systems Design has years of experience integrating label printers and applicators into material handling systems.
We can help you:
- spec out the proper printer
- spec the label type and label size
- select the printer / applicator
- and interface it with the system controls
Typical Tamp-On Style Printer / Labeler
If you're considering a material handling system, doesn't it make sense to have us provide and integrate the labeling equipment in order to ensure compatibility, reliability and consistency?