When it's time to step up your labeling game and add professional labeling system to your assembly line, there are a number of things to consider before making your purchase. The type of machine you choose will depend greatly on what you are trying to accomplish and how well your new machine will fit with the rest of your assembly setup.
There are three main types of labeling system on the market today: manual, semi-automatic, and fully-automatic.
A manual labeling system is a cost-effective option for those who are packaging small batches and aren't at risk of getting backed up when they sit down to apply the labels by hand.
Semi-automatic machines are the next step up, and can still be found at a reasonable price while increasing your labeling ability by as much as 500%. These machines usually require that you load the containers and labels first, and then press a pedal or switch to advance the machine through the process.
Lastly, a fully automatic labeling system is the final leap in labeling technology. These machines are more expensive, but they offer a significant increase in output with little oversight after the initial setup.
Depending on your current setup and the amount of space you have to work with, the type of labeling system you choose may be limited by your resources.
Fully automatic labeling machines can take up a significant amount of space and may require a pack-out table to prevent overflow. If you do not have room for all of these components or your current assembly line is not compatible to feed into a specific in-line machine, you may have to opt for a different type of system.
Among fully automatic machines there are both in-line and rotary choices, so you should be able to find a machine that will work well with your existing system.
Obviously purchasing a new labeling machine is going to be a big investment for your company. You will have to consider how much of a return you can expect to see on your investment once the labeling machine has been installed. The good news is that many labeling system manufacturers have new and used models available so you can shop around for a good price.
You will also need to keep in mind your companies' current abilities and avoid over-buying. There is no sense in purchasing the fastest, newest labeling machine on the market if the rest of your production process is not fast enough to keep up with it. Instead, focus on finding a labeling machine that will meet your current needs and leaves plenty of room for you to scale up progressively, but won't put a strain on your operation financially.
The best labeling system is the kind that helps you reach your goals while maintaining a high return on investment. If your new machine is compatible with your assembly line and is able to immediately help you ramp up your labeling operation to see returns, you will continue to see positive results. Shop around and compare prices before committing to a purchase, and avoid burdening yourself with a system that is too big or expensive for your needs.