High Speed Non-contact Labeling for Cases and Trays

Using a jet of air to apply a label to a product is not new – the technique has been around for forty or more years. At ID Technology, we’ve sold a lot of labeling equipment that uses various types of air application to get the label correctly placed on the product.

For label cases and trays, we usually use one of our mechanical applicators – especially since many applications need a label to be applied to more than one face of the packaging.

No-touch applicator labeling trays

Labeling trays at high speeds

In the case of shrink-wrapped trays, it is common to have to apply a GS1 barcode label to opposite faces of the product and a customer recent asked that we supply them with an applicator module that had no moving parts. The application needed to operate at high speeds – over 70 trays per minute and 160 feet per minute conveyor speed. In addition, to improve the line’s OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) zero-downtime labeling was needed.

The solution was to use a pair of our Model 255 label printer applicator, using native zero-downtime stitching and our latest “no-touch” applicator module – designed by our talented team at EPI Labelers.

The 255 system is a development of the best-selling Model 252 and incorporates Rockwell controls and PackML compliant communications.

Check out this video of the installed system in action:

Since the OEM print engines we use come in six inch wide versions, this applicator style is great for many of these GS1 applications – in the video, the label is about 5.75 inches wide. By using the labeler in nose-up orientation, the length of label feed is minimized, allowing the print speed to be as low as possible, which enhances print quality and prolongs printer life. If barcode quality is important – and it should be – printing in this orientation (picket fence) is always going to produce better verification scores than the alternative.

The fact that nose-up provides about twice as many labels on a roll reduces downtime for label roll changes and enhances OEE.

Is this system the best to use? For some applications, it might be, but every application is different. That’s why we make so many types of applicator module, allowing us to build the best printer applicator for every job. Actually, for some jobs, the best solution might not be a label at all, it might be a laser system or perhaps a high-resolution inkjet.

In any event, your local ID Technology representative will work with you to help determine the best solution.

Contact ID Technology today to get started! Call us at 888-438-3242 Option#3 or you can contact David Holliday at dholliday@idtechnology.com. We’ll get you in touch with one of our ID Technology specialists right in your area.


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