For any manufacturing business, the key to success is getting finished products out of the factory doors, on time, on schedule and on budget! To make this a reality, entire industries exist to support manufacturers in their goal.
From software companies offering ERP and MRP systems to Operational Equipment Efficiency measurement and analysis, and consultants that will help you implement a Lean Manufacturing system or Six Sigma process improvement.
Or you could even fully embrace Industry 4.0 and seek to connect and automate every aspect of your manufacturing facility in a digital transformation exercise.
But when the product is manufactured and ready to be packed up and shipped out, one area that is overlooked more often than it should be is end-of-line packaging. As specialist manufacturers of barcode labelling systems, we look at the top 5 reasons to choose automated print and apply label applicators for your production line.
- Speed and scaling up your operations
- Improving your labelling accuracy
- Saving time on label application
- Increasing your compliance
- Futureproofing your operations
Speed and scaling up
A well-designed production line is built to run as fast as possible with the ability to speed up and slow down to suit the order book. Any bottleneck in that line is a problem and hand labelling has the potential to be a very serious bottleneck.
Automatic print and apply machines can run at very high speeds of over 80 labels per minute with variable data being printed in real-time, removing the chance of a blockage at the packaging stage.
Barcodes are the most widely accepted go-to method for passing on information about a product as it moves along the supply chain. This means your barcodes must be readable by scanners used in logistics, warehousing, retail and other situations. It also means your barcodes need to contain the correct information.
A barcode that can’t be scanned or contains the wrong information can have grave consequences for consumer safety (imagine a medical vial with the wrong contents or a batch of soup with an allergen mislabelled). Beyond safety concerns, barcoding errors often lead to product rejections which are costly to correct and damage your reputation as a trusted supplier. Automating your labelling process will mitigate these risks to a very significant extent.
Now more than ever, it’s hard to recruit good, reliable employees. It’s also true that employees are expensive and with labour costs typically making up a large proportion of business overheads, automating repetitive tasks offers a good opportunity for savings.
With an automated labelling operation, you can free up valuable staff time to work elsewhere on your production line and the return on investment with a print and apply machine can be very quick.
Depending on the industry you operate in, barcodes might need to contain specific information or be labelled using a particular material to cope with environmental conditions. Labels also need to be consistently positioned on outer packs to satisfy customer and regulatory requirements.
Automated print and apply machines are ideally suited to this task, having been designed to actively repeat the same movement over and over again. Equally, if a rapid change is required to a label because an automated machine can print variable data in real-time, changes can be made very easily with no waste of pre-printed labels.
Futureproof your operations
The final reason to choose automated print and apply label applicators is to help you futureproof your labelling operation with the minimum of fuss.
Print and apply machines are incredibly versatile and be configured for multiple pack sizes and variations, even if you don’t manufacture to those sizes currently.
If you currently run a manual printing operation, book a discovery call with one of our team to find out how an automatic print and apply solution can benefit your business.