Product Update: More than a Labeler
Labeling equipment can inspect labels, orient packages, and store label formats—all with minimal operator effort.
.When labeling pharmaceuticals and medical devices, packaging engineers need equipment that can handle the rigors of printing text, graphics, and codes quickly, accurately, and repeatedly. Today's machinery can print several inches of labeling per second, continuously.
Some companies are adding other functions to their machines. Many labelers incorporate vision inspection systems to ensure proper label placement. Systems range from those that activate an alarm when a label is missing to others that signal a mechanism to reject the mislabeled package. Whatever the feature, many labeling systems are eliminating the need for manual label inspection.
Other equipment features that help operators save time spent on inspection, setup, and changeover are automatic product-orienting mechanisms and onboard memory for storing label formats and data.
A compact pressure-sensitive labeler handles round glass or plastic containers. The UNI-300 uses a labeling head that runs at a fixed speed and can be used with either paper or Mylar labels. Housed in a stainless-steel cabinet, the unit uses an 8-in. stainless-steel conveyor and a photocell product detector. The system can be changed over quickly, and no tools are required to adjust conveyor guides. Options include a hot-stamp coder, label presence detector, and a bar code reader. NJM/CLI Packaging Systems International, Lebanon, NH.
Fully automated label printers/applicators can operate continuously in demanding industrial environments. Models in the PA/150 Zebra 170PAX series can print on areas up to 6.6 in. wide and can handle media from 2 to 7.2 in. wide. They are supplied with either a 203- or a 300-dpi resolution printhead. Systems with 203-dpi heads can print up to 12 in./sec, those with 300-dpi heads up to 8 in./sec. Models in the series can be specified for either tamp or blow applying and can apply labels on up to 100 products per minute. Diagraph Corp., Earth City, MO.
A system prints and applies labels to the top, bottom, back, front, or sides of cartons and cases or directly onto product surfaces. ValuePro produces clear labels with a 203-dpi resolution that can be scanned. Models with 300-dpi resolution capabilities are also available. The system can be integrated into lines by plugging a photographic eye into an external port, or it can be used off-line with a foot switch. Optional features include low label or ribbon warning mechanisms and a three-light warning beacon tower. Imtec, Inc., Bellows Falls, VT.
A high-resolution printer with an automatic label applicator produces bar codes, text, and graphics in either 203 or 300 dpi. The Label-Aire Model 2138 Series Z applies pressure-sensitive labels up to 7.2 in. wide at speeds up to 12 in./sec. The system uses the company's Print/Apply labeling software. Weber Marking Systems, Inc., Arlington Heights, IL.
A labeling system can produce front or back, wraparound, or top or bottom labels at speeds up to 300 ppm with an accuracy of ±0.5 mm. Recent improvements to the VersaLine include a heavy-duty cabinet base, a digital stepper motor drive, and encoder-based speed compensation. Programmable electronics feature onboard diagnostics and memory for
50 label presets. Quadrel Labeling Systems, Inc., Mentor, OH.
An indexing labeler applies labels on up to 120 products per minute with an accuracy of 1Å½64 in. To achieve such accuracy, an intermittent-motion product-handling system is used with a product-positioning system at the point of labeling. The labeling head uses a stepper motor drive for reliability. Options include a vision system that inspects products for labeling accuracy and rejects mislabeled products. Labeling Systems, Inc., Oakland, NJ.
A stand-alone printing station allows users to download label formats, graphics, and databases from a computer to its onboard PCMCIA card. The printer can also perform many software functions without a computer. Data can be input from the printer's front panel or an optional keyboard. Tharo Systems, Inc., Brunswick, OH.
Platen printers produce imprints, scannable bar codes, and graphics on Tyvek, laminates, film, foil, and paper. The printers incorporate a flexographic doctor blade ink system with anilox roll and ink fountains to supply fresh ink for each imprint. Print sizes range from 6 * 4 to 18 * 18 in. The printers use either water- or solvent-based ink in ready-to-use disposable containers and can be changed over and cleaned quickly. Adolph Gottscho, Inc., Union, NJ.
A pressure-sensitive labeler applies film or paper wraparound labels to small containers such as glass and plastic bottles, vials, and test tubes. Model 350S uses a tooled fixture to capture, stabilize, and side-reference the container to the applicator. It can be fed tray-by-tray or by hand and can run continuously or in an indexing mode. Accraply, Inc., Minneapolis, MN.
High-speed labelers orient the position of label application to graduated markings on the side of glass containers. The customized Model 8005 wrap-labelers have heads that incorporate sensors for detecting preprinted codes, label luminescence, and hot-stamp variable data printing. Another sensor detects the end of a roll of labels and stops the system at a point that accommodates splicing of a new roll. CCL Labeling Equipment, a div. of CCL Label, Inc., Monrovia, CA.
An on-line label splicing system has two 18-in.-diam label web reels. The Easisplice 470 has drives for thick and leaflet labels and offers quick slide adjustment of the label reservoir. Newman Machinery, Belle Mead, NJ.
A rotary vial labeler automatically inspects each processed vial to ensure proper label placement. The Autocol applies labels to vials ranging from 3 to 100 ml. The labeler uses rotary cam and vial-centering mechanisms to orient vials throughout labeling and inspection. It withstands continuous operation with minimal adjustment and has no belts or chains to replace. Krones, Inc., Franklin, WI.
A thermal transfer in-line imprinter is equipped with built-in electronic registration for print accuracy to 1Å½16 in. Controls within the AutoLabel Precision system allow it to print while the bagger is running, reaching printing rates up to 6 in. per second. Programmable through a remote control, a user-friendly interface allows operators to make program changes while the machine is running. Automated Packaging Systems, Inc., Streetsboro, OH.
LABELERS SOURCE LIST
- Accraply, Inc., Minneapolis, MN
- Automated Packaging Systems, Inc., Streetsboro, OH
- CCL Labeling Equipment, Monrovia, CA
- Diagraph Corp., Earth City, MO
- Adolph Gottscho, Inc., Union, NJ
- Imtec, Inc., Bellows Falls, VT
- Krones, Inc., Franklin, WI
- Labeling Systems, Inc., Oakland, NJ
- Newman Machinery, Belle Mead, NJ
- NJM/CLI Packaging Systems International, Lebanon, NH
- Quadrel Labeling Systems, Inc., Mentor, OH
- Tharo Systems, Inc., Brunswick, OH
- Weber Marking Systems, Arlington Heights, IL