Automation of your label printing process
Label printer applicators have been around for some time now and although the equipment hardware hasn’t generally changed the control systems and operational features have. Smarter network control, real-time reporting capabilities, automation of operation and smarter integration capabilities have made this technology applicable for a wider range of supply chain environments and business types.
The addition of a label printer applicator can greatly improve the performance of a production line with speed and detailed programming functionality. An automated printer applicator can print and apply labels far more accurately (within .1mm) and faster (up to 2 labels per second) than by completing this process by hand. Fitted sensors will identify and respond to variable sized products for greater flexibility.
The label applicator / printer applicator machine itself has a vast array of configuration options and no longer needs to be placed on a standalone frame in an upright position but can be mounted directly onto a conveyor, rotated on its side, held above a production line and even encased inside a sealed protective screen where the environment hinders the printing of labels such and dust or temperature extremes. Where space is at a premium, the label applicator unit can be custom installed to consume very little space and still operate at peak performance.
The average supply chain system commonly has 20-30 tasks being completed at any one time making the micro management of each process a logistical challenge and opens the door to disruptions occurring from relatively minor tasks being neglected or miss-managed. Automated printer applicator systems can be fitted with an endless array of alerts and notifications that will bring pending disruptions to the attention to the appropriate personal. These can include notification of tasks almost being completed which require the next task to be prepared, detection of label jams, label or ribbon stock running low, and reduction of print quality from blocked or worn print heads.
With the use of an IP network, the operation can be completed remotely by a central computer interface without loss of function allowing for multiple units to be monitored and controlled by a single operator. This network intelligence opens the door to sharing tasks that need to be performed. In cases of label stock running out in one label applicator / printer applicator unit, the software can be programmed to simply have a backup unit print and apply the required labels while the label media is being loaded on the first unit eliminating productivity disruption and resulting in zero downtime. The printing of variable data such as sequential numbering, time, date, batch and use by stamps can now also be easily managed.
Integrating the printer applicator into your WMS or ERP system delivers additional control and reporting previously unavailable. Intelligent software can provide real-time data on the quantity and number of products completed, the production speed efficiency, verification of orders completed if the unit is printing and applying labels onto pallets ready for delivery etc. This data can be a valuable addition to your warehouse management solution providing more insight to the daily operations.
Label application methods vary with each method designed to suit the product type that the label is being applied to. Using a contactless tamp blow method is primarily ideal for products that can be damaged from contact such as thin cardboard, film wrapped foodstuffs or delicate items. The wipe on method provides a high speed application (less than 1 second per label) or non variable labels and can also wipe a label around the corner of the packaging or when a single label is required to wrap around a product. Selecting the right label application method is critical to delivering a fast and reliable operation.
“The importance of deploying and fully utilising an automated label printer solution is often understated in its true value” comments Neil Crump, joint Managing Director of Peacock Bros. “the improvements to a typical supply chain operation are significant and the ROI savings extend long term”
Peacock Bros. have years of experience in custom modification and installation of quality label applicator / printer applicator solutions for companies across Australia and New Zealand and are the exclusive distributors for the Weber brand.
For more information regarding our label applicators or printer applicators call 1300 723 282 or email email@example.com or submit an online enquiry.