Where and how are the different labelling options used?

Matthews Australasia Pty Ltd

Thursday, 30 November, 2017


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Which labelling technology is best suited for which applications? This Q&A quickly navigates you through the options:

Q. LPA, LA, in-line labelling, weigh and weigh-price labelling — what are they?

A. Label Printer Applicators (LPAs), or ‘print and apply’ solutions, print information onto pressure-sensitive labels and then automatically apply those labels onto a product. Label Applicators (LAs) apply pre-printed labels, while an inline labelling system is integrated into the production line for products where materials-handling is needed (bottling lines, cans, jars etc.) to help the LA accurately address labels onto products. Weigh labellers and weigh-price labellers print and apply human-readable information, such as weight and price, onto primary or secondary products.

Q. What should I use to apply variable human-readable and barcode information to cartons, pallets and primary products?

A. LPAs are perfect. They can handle high volumes of labels with variable barcodes, product information and graphics, labelling a variety of substrates, including plastics, metal and timber. Stand-alone printers suit low-volume applications. LPAs can also be used to print and apply RFID Smart Labels.

Q. I want to apply promotional labels onto pre-labelled retail packs, what’s best?

A. Inline LAs are a precise, cost-effective and efficient way to apply these — preferable to manual ‘slap-and-ship’. They are often used to apply pre-printed barcode labels onto cartons, and ingredient lists, nutritional panels and general information onto primary products.

Q. What’s the best way to apply front and back pre-printed labels?

A. This is where an inline labelling system, integrated into the production line, helps the LA accurately apply labels, including on round, oval and conical bottles. Other common applications are full-wrap overlaps on cylinders or tubes, or a front-back-and-wrap combination. In-line systems are often used to apply human-readable and GTIN barcode information to primary products, e.g. wine bottles, aerosol cans, embossed bottles (with labels oriented relative to embossing), plastic bottles, syringes and vials. Semi-automatic in-line labellers are portable and great for slower production lines, low volumes or short runs.

Q. Can we use a weigh labeller for non-food items?

A. Definitely. Whether it’s meat, fruit, vegetables, bakery goods or non-food products, a weigh labeller or a weigh price labeller will ensure packages are correctly and automatically forwarded, aligned, weighed and labelled — even those of varying height and alignment. Labelling can be on the top, back or side, with speeds to suit the production line.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Africa Studio

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