Labeling machines and the importance of reliability

The first step to successful labeling is to ensure that the equipment has been specifically matched to your application.

The container, including glass bottles, plastic bottles, vials, etc can vary greatly in-wall shapes, heights, widths. Looking at the scope of variance in your packaging will need to be evaluated by someone experienced in this area of packaging equipment.

PC: Great Engineering

Basic Principles of Labelling

The labelling process and basic principles involve:

  1. Feeding the label from the roll through the machine
  2. Pickup of the label can occur by suction cups, compressed air, horizontal buffer pads, rollers or a secondary adhesive.
  3. Application of the adhesive side of the label with either full coverage, vertical or horizontal pads, generally from rollers
  4. Pressing of the label by buffer pads (pressure), compressed air, belt or brushes when the bottle or container is moved into position, held firmly whilst the label is applied.
  5. Linear or Rotary: bottles or containers can move in a straight line (linear) or via rotary

There are many different types of labeling machines from entry-level to 50,000 bottles per hour and more. The scope of equipment available in the marketplace is overwhelming.

See the Foot pedal operation being used

Types of labelling machines

Usually, machines are available in Semi-Automatic and Fully Automated. Semi-Automatic Labelling machines are operated and each bottle is placed into the machine to be able to perform the labelling operation. The function of labelling can be by turn handle, button, or foot pedal.

Fully automated labeling machines usually sit on the end of the filling and capping operations and form part of the process which usually feeds the packaging through by conveyor to each area. Packaging can be fed into the machine by a depalletising machine and machine packed on exit or this operation can happen manually depending on the capability of the machinery.

Entry Level Semi-Automatic Labelling machinery – the Benchmate

The Australian-manufactured Benchmate is a great performer in this category. The manually operated label applicator is operated by turn handle.

Mid scale Semi-Automatic Labelling machine

One step up from the Benchmate is the Benchmark and also Australian Made. This versatile model can apply single, full wrap-around or front and back label.

Max Capacity Semi-Automatic Labelling Machine

The Benchmax is capable of dealing with the widest range of product sizes, has exceptional speed with high output for industrial use, usability and supports transparent, clear label application.

Fully Automated

See the full process of filling, capping and labelling operations with the Polaris Line

See the entire process of filling, capping & labelling

Common issues with Labelling

Over the years I have seen many issues and assisted producers with correcting their equipment as the setup and tension of the labels is imperative.

Some common issues in labelling can occur because;

  • Tearing occurs when the incorrect material has been used in the label making process. Sometimes if a machine is not calibrated properly labels may not apply to the bottle or container properly and are dragged causing the tearing of the label.
  • Peeling occurs in damp conditions or if the adhesive is incorrect or old.
  • Curling can occur when the adhesive has let go from the bottle and usually occurs in colder conditions e.g. when the product is refrigerated. Die strikes from the label manufacturing when cutting the label into the correct shape. Die strikes are more of an issue in automated lines.
  • Die Strikes can form in the label manufacturing process and is the responsibility of the label supplier to ensure their machinery is operating optimally.
  • Wrinkling and folds occur when there is an incorrect application of the label to the bottle or container. Irregularities in the container or bottle manufacturing can also cause issues on the sidewall of the packaging whereby the label cannot properly adhere to the sidewall. Correct label tension is also required. If the tensioner becomes worn or is faulty this can also cause wrinkling, folding, or ridges forming.
  • Bubbles occur usually with inconsistencies in the wall of the container or bottle by not having a consistent surface to adhere to.
  • Clear labels won’t apply usually because there is a sensor issue to detect the gap between the labels.

The setup of the labeling machine is important. Here you will see the BenchMax being setup:

Summary

PC Great Engineering

Speaking with a labeling expert can certainly assist in matching the correct equipment for your scope of packaging and budget.

Labeling is an important process that needs to be perfect every time to give your brand a perfect presentation and the quality of equipment is important.

Labeling is an expression of you brand awareness. After all, this is the point whereby the consumer sees your brand and all you have to offer.

See more about:

If you need assistance with labeling equipment, please contact The Olive Centre on 07 4696 9845 or email sales@theolivecentre.com.au? Please have information on-hand with the different bottles or containers available, label sizes and shapes.

About Great Engineering

Made in Australia, Great Engineering labellers have a range of the features that make them world class. The labeling machines, used for applying pressure sensitive labels, are more specifically, a new breed of machine providing “on demand labelling”. Ideal for cylindrical containers for the food and beverage industry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, wines, essential oils, edible oils, beer, contract packaging, health foods, jams and preserves, the labellers provide product identification and presentation for all products in round containers where market presence is important.

With a worldwide reputation for reliability and capability, the machines are exported to 55 countries and are acclaimed for their innovative design and quality.

About Polaris Automazioni

Polaris Automazioni has been working in the bottling industry since the 1960s, operating out of its manufacturing site at Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy. Over the years, it has specialised in the design and production of an automatic bottle filling machine for special bottles, which are a major success in markets all around the world.

The company can offer a wide range of machines with a high content of cutting-edge technology and superior manufacturing efficiency protected by industrial patents, capable of meeting the most diverse market demands.

Today, the people working at Polaris have the commercial and technical expertise needed to safeguard the continuity of the technical legacy left by its founder, giving new impulse for even more technical and commercial expansion, demanding a combination of know how and vision, matched by a focus on innovations in technology.

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