With a wide range of available print and apply labeling systems, you need to think carefully and weigh all of your options in order to select the model that is just right for your business. If you are not completely familiar with all of the capabilities of print and apply labeling systems, below we’ve provided a brief explanation to facilitate a fundamental understanding. Also below are key recommendations on a few available models relative to which works best for specific print and labeling needs.
The Basics of Print and Apply Labeling Systems These systems use both label applicator and thermal transfer printer technology. The labels come from a feed roll and pass through the printer portion of the equipment. From there, a computer-generated image is transferred onto the label. The next stop in the process is a peel plate where the label is peeled off the liner and onto the labeling head through the use of a vacuum. The label is then transferred onto the target material, which could be a pallet, case, or product. Various types of processes could be used for this transfer, including blow-on, tamp/blow, tamp apply, swing tamp, or multi panel tamp. There are also special labeling heads for long, narrow labels that need to be transferred to a target material. These types of systems are mostly used for labeling shipping cases and pallets as well as for the primary packaging environment. The system only works with pressure-sensitive labels that are on rolls.
Available Models and What They Do Best Here are some of the available print and apply labeling system models and related capabilities so you can readily discern which will work for your specific industry, volume of printing, type of target material and budget:
- Re-Pack Incorporated has two models. The Series 6 integrates with all major OEM print engine brands, including Sato, Datamax, Zebra and more. This labeler can print labels on demand or in batch mode. The APT Apply fills the gap between table-top printers and print engine-based printers/applicators and uses a desktop thermal transfer printer, again available from all major OEM manufacturers.
- EPI Labelers offers an automatic label dispenser for inkjet printers if you utilize hand labeling. It is particularly cost-effective for short runs often found in the baking and snack industries. This can help with printing codes, expiration dates, lot numbers and other critical data on packaging, such as cartons, clamshells, and boxes.
Here are the main points from this blog post:
- Print and Apply Labeling systems work best for labeling pallets and shipping cases but also can be used for the primary packaging environment.
- They use a combination of label applicator and thermal transfer printer technology.
- The system only works with pressure-sensitive labels on rolls.
- There are various models available that work with OEM print engine brands that also print in batch or on-demand modes, those that work with a desktop thermal transfer printer, and those that offer automatic label dispensing for hand labeling applications.