Automatic pressure sensitive label application equipment is a boon to the packaging industry since it significantly helps reduce the costs associated with labeling. The increase in productivity can be substantial. It is not uncommon to produce an ROI measured in months. The advantage of automatic labeling equipment is its adaptability to different product sizes and shapes. Effective labeling simply needs you to determine the product material, label size and shape, the rate of application, and its location on the product. Then, choose one of the three primary techniques of automatic labeling: Merge, Tamp, or Blow on. Let’s learn more about each technique.
Merge’ or ‘Wipe on’ labeling is the most popular of the automatic labeling techniques available. The label is accelerated to make sure it meets the product at the precise time at which it passes by the applicators’ dispense edge. The label is then applied to the surface of the product with the use of a roller or a brush. The label’s speed and feed rate is controlled by the applicator, which needs to be mounted in the same direction at which the product travels. This ensures that the label is synchronously applied to the product. The conveyor of the product must maintain consistent speed, direction, and orientation. The difficulty with the merge technique is that the coordination of the label applicator and the product speeds must be precise. The merge applicator is simple to set up, and easy to maintain.
Here’s a great example of a merge applicator in motion on Youtube.
The tamp technique is particularly useful in applying smaller labels with an impressive accuracy. The label that is meant to be planted on the product is first dispensed onto a pad that is held by a venturi vacuum. The pad is then moved in the direction of the product with the help of a pneumatic tamp cylinder. The label is applied onto the product as the pneumatic solenoid provides a controlled and accurate blast of compressed air. The tamp technique is more difficult to set up but it maintains good control of small labels for placement on tricky products. The speed of tamp applicators is slower than merge.
Here’s a great example of a tamp applicator in motion on Youtube.
The blow on technique is an effective replacement to the popular merge technique, and it is particularly well suited for premium labels and coupons. The technique utilizes an electric fan to create a vacuum in a box with a plate built into the bottom. The label is peeled off the liner, directly under the vacuum plate where it is positioned less than a few inches above the product. The product advances along a conveyor, the label is applied using a blast of compressed air at the precise moment the product passes beneath the vacuum box suspending the label. Of the three techniques, this is the most sophisticated since it has adjustability for different label sizes and shapes by altering the motif of the air blast. The rate of application for blow on labels is as fast as the label is fed from the applicator. It suits the requirements for premium labeling of fragile products or food products since there is no contact between the product and the label applicator.
Here’s a great example of a blow applicator in motion on Youtube.
These automatic labeling methods have far outperformed the traditional techniques. For comprehensive labeling solutions, contact Jet Label – Western Canada’s largest label manufacturer, with locations in Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Vancouver, Prince George, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.