How to Go About Choosing a Labeling Machine

choosing labeling machine

Finding a labeling machine to suit your specific needs won’t be a problem if you know what to look for when considering your options. The ongoing technology advancements have led to a wide range of very versatile labeling machine choices in today’s marketplace. For instance, today a new labeling machine may come with tamp, blow, tamp/blow combination, partial or full wrap or print and apply label applicators.

Key Considerations
To make sure you invest in the best labeling machine to suit your business needs, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What applications will I need the machine for? This will help you decide if you need a table top, semi-automatic, automatic, print and apply or full production model. Or, maybe you need a labeling machine that specializes in industrial labeling applications for oddly shaped components (i.e. children’s car seats), Or, maybe it is a bar-coding application you seek. You need to figure out if your primary applications are related to a niche process, such as Wire & Cable, Circuit Board & Component, or Laboratory.
  • Will you use blank or preprinted labels? Knowing if some labels can be preprinted with some data will also help narrow the selection of ancillary labeling equipment (hot stampers, thermal transfer coders) that you may want to consider. If you are sure you only need blank labels, then there are other machines that specialize in printing the required information (text, bar codes, logos, etc.) immediately prior to the labels application (print and apply systems).
  • Is it a brand known for a quality reputation and history?  This will help you if you want to ensure the machine is built to withstand the test of time and will deliver without worrying about repair costs and downtime.
  • Will I need some customization features?  For instance, maybe you need to add a lot of number or expiry date information to a pre-printed label or run shrink tube materials. Maybe you need a range of sizes, lengths or odd shaped label designs (i.e. banana cuts for tapered containers). .
  • What length of time will the label need to live? You want to make sure the label material is durable and will withstand harsh environmental applications if necessary.
  • What type of surface will the labels be put onto? You may want a machine that works with pressure-sensitive labels or requires a full wrap to properly adhere to the component in order to make mounting labels easy on a wide range of surfaces.
  • What are your expectations in terms of service and technical support? You want to make sure you are comfortable with what the company offers you so you have the peace of mind that they will be there when you have questions or seek assistance.

In Summary
Here is a recap of the main points for deciding which labeling machine is best for you:

  • When doing your research, know what you need and want based on your own business requirements, budget, expectations and industry requirements.
  • Ask yourself a list of critical questions and use the answers to guide your selection.

Your questions should focus on applications, reputation, customization, durability, surface type, label type, label size, service and technical support expectations.

About Jim Umbdenstock

Jim is a business executive with over two decades of experience in the packaging product identification field via printing, coding and labeling of primary or secondary packages through the pallet level.

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