A Packaging System Primer - Labeling Equipment

A Packaging System Primer - Labeling Machines

While a unique container or bottle can help to set your product apart from others, it is the label or labels that will introduce your product to your customers.  Labels allows packagers to create an identity for their product through logos, taglines and other information.  Labeling equipment allows application of the labels in a number of different fashions to support just about any production rate.


Manual and semi-automatic label applicators can be ideal machines for low to medium production facilities.  With a manual labeling machine, the operator generally places the bottle into the labeling area, then uses a hand crank to apply the label.  While these labelers may add some speed over applying labels by hand, the main advantage is a consistently placed, wrinkle-free application.  Semi-automatic labeling machines take away the hand crank, allowing the operator to simply place the container for label application.  These labelers will normally either use a sensor to begin application when the bottle is properly placed or will be activated with a footswitch by the operator.  Semi-automatic label applicators also add speed over manual label applicators, but again the major advantage is consistent, wrinkle free labeling.


Automatic labeling machines can be used as stand alone labeling stations, but are manufactured to work as a component of an automated packaging system.  Different labeling machines can be used to apply labels in different formats, as discussed below.  Automatic labeling machines can add significant speed to the labeling process, requiring an operator only for set up and the changing of label rolls.  Normally, as bottles move down the belt conveyor system, a bottle separator will be used to place a small gap between each container, assuring that the consistent, wrinkle-free application continues even at the increased speed.


Labeling machines can apply labels to an array of container types and sizes in a variety of different formats.  One of the most common label types in the wrap label.  Wrap labelers, quite simply, wrap a label around a bottle.  Bottled water and other drink type products take advantage of the ease of wrap labels, which work well with round containers.  However, labeling machines are able to accomplish much more than simply wrapping a label around a bottle.  Top and bottom labelers and front and back labelers can apply two different labels to the same container as it moves through a labeling machine.  Keep in mind that depending on the configuration of these type of labeling machines, the labels themselves may need to come in a specific setup from the label manufacturer.  These two label systems allow packagers to create a front label for marketing and product presentation while placing nutritional and other information on a back label.  Labelers may also be manufactured to apply three panel labels to square or rectangular containers, corner labels and other custom formats for unique packaging projects.

If you have an idea for a unique labeling project, or just questions regarding the best labeling format for your product, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions toll-free today at 1-888-393-3693.