OK, you’ve made a decision that you need to label two adjacent side of your shipping cases and (obviously!) you’ve determined that a Label Printer Applicator from ID Technology is the solution you need.
You’ll find that there are a number of applicator types available to automatically apply the labels to the cases, lets take a look at some of them…
The first decision that needs to be made is whether to apply two separate labels or to wrap a single label around the corner so that it is visible on either side.
While ID Technology can provide applicators to work well in either situation, the corner wrap style of using just a single label is very often the simplest and most cost effective way to go.
Tamp & Secondary Wipe
This is a simple application method that consists of a tamp applicator with a secondary wipe station.
The tamp applicator places the label on the side of the case facing the labeler and a brush mounted on a pneumatic cylinder is activated to wipe the label around either the leading or trailing side.
This method is best with trailing side applications – there are some label length limitations encountered when wrapping the label around onto the leading side of the case.
High Speed Wipe and Secondary Wipe
This method uses ID Technology’s vacuum belt applicator in conjunction with a secondary wipe station. It is designed to apply the label to the side of the case facing the labeler, then wrap it around the training edge.
The label is presented onto the vacuum belt where it is always under perfect control. When the case moves past the applicator, it is brought into contact with the label and the roller on the edge of the applicator assembly ensures good adhesion.
Once clear of the applicator, the secondary wipe station (pneumatically activated) wipes the trailing part of the label around the case.
This application method can provide a higher output than standard because as soon as the label comes into contact with the case, the next print cycle can begin – eliminating wasted time in the cycle.
Note that the conveyor speed needs to be faster than the speed of the belt and that accurate product handing is needed to ensure the face of the carton is a constant distance from the applicator unit.
Pivoting Wipe and Secondary Wipe
The Pivoting Wipe Applicator performs a similar task to the high speed wipe, but uses a fan vacuum grid rather than the belts.
Like the high speed applicator, the pivoting applicator uses the roller to wipe the label along the side of the case facing the labeling and the remaining part of the label is applied to trailing face of the case as it move away.
As with the high speed belt wipe, it is important that the case is presented to the applicator in a consistent manner to be able to get good results.
The pivoting wipe does not give the speed advantages of the vacuum belt wipe, but can still be a viable option
Leading Edge Corner Wrap
This module uses a vacuum grid to position the label in the path of the case.
Once the leading face of the case makes content with the label, the grid assembly is pushed backwards – the roller mounted on the end of the grid wipes the label down on the leading face as it moves.
The roller then follows the case and wipes the label along the face of the case that is adjacent to the labeler.
Once clear of the case, the grid assembly springs back into position and the next label can be printed and presented to the products.
This method provides good control of the label, but note that the cases to be labeled must be heavy enough to be able to push the grid assembly and the conveyor should have high friction belting – an additional drive method for the cases, such as a driven top belt, can help too.
Experience has shown that conveyor speeds over 80 ft/min cause the vacuum grid assembly to spring back too quickly, so there is a conveyor speed limit with this system.
Swing Arm Tamp and Wipe
ID Technology’s Swing Arm Applicator is a simple way to apply a label to the leading (or trailing) face of a package.
Using this applicator it is possible to tamp the label to the leading face of the carton and use a brush or roller to wipe it along the side facing the labeler.
The swing applicator is useful if there are some products that just require a label to be applied to the leading face of the case.
When using the swing arm applicator, it is important that the cases are square on the conveyor and the timing is correct, so that the label is in proper contact with the product at the time of application.
Using Two Labels
As an alternative to wrapping a label around the corner of the case, it is also possible to apply a separate label to the adjacent faces of the case.
Here’s a quick video showing our swing Arm Dual Tamp applicator in action. It can be set to apply 2 labels or just one, as needed.
Need higher output than one labeler can provide? Use a pair of labelers with tamp applicators – just set up something to rotate the case by 90 degrees between the two machines.
Applying a label to two faces of a case seems simple, but as you can see, there are lots of possible ways to achieve this.
How to get started? The best way is to arrange to have a local ID Technology labeling expert visit your operation and work with you to come up with the perfect solution for YOUR application. Call me at 603-598-1553 x237 to get started.