Print and Apply Labeling Systems: Cost and Capabilities

print and apply labeling systems cost capabilitiesWhen comparing print and apply labeling systems, two important facets to consider are cost and capabilities. These two mission-critical parameters will ascertain if the unit under consideration will fulfill your distinct business objectives while remaining within your targeted budget.  Print and apply labeling systems are ideal for those environments where labels must be printed on pallets or shipping cases as well as primary packaging applications like those within the baking and snack industries. But, all are not created equal.

Comparing Capabilities of Print and Apply Labeling Systems
There are a number of basic capabilities found with these systems, including:

  • Direct or thermal label printing speeds range from six inches per second to sixteen inches per second in print quality that is measured in 203, 305, or 609dpi.
  • Depending on the print engine’s make and model, the maximum label widths range from four to six and a half inches.
  • Different models employ different types of technology based on the function and design of the print and apply labeling system.
  • While some have capabilities for hand labeling, other models are best served in different labeling environments.
  • It’s imperative to consider if particular functions and features are needed, like a sealed ink cartridge for no mess maintenance, hand controls if you need hand labeling capability, or what type of packaging the label will be applied to.

Cost Conscious
Budget is, of course, a critical consideration when vetting print and apply labeling systems. Here are some basics around the price points of such systems:

  • For Re-Pack Incorporated models that include the Series 6, which integrates with all major OEM print engine brands and print labels on demand or in batch mode, and the APT Apply, which uses a desktop thermal transfer printer, the starting price is about $8,000 but can cost as much as $25,000. The price is dependent upon label applicator heads and other features, such as stands, sensors or vision systems.
  • Hand labeling equipment also varies in price and must be considered based on its features, functionality, and overall reputation.
  • Along with the costs, check for warranties, parts replacement, and other lifetime costs related to supplies, technical support, maintenance costs and the cost of any potential downtime.

In Review
The main points in this blog post are:

  • It is important to consider all types of capabilities, including printing speed, print quality, maximum label length, hand or automatic labeling, type of ink cartridge, type of controls and what type of packaging the system is compatible with before making your purchase.
  • Prices can range from $8,000 up to $25,000, depending on the features and functionality.
  • Don’t forget other costs besides just the price tag on the system because you also must consider the costs associated with supplies, replacement parts, technical support, maintenance, and downtime.

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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