Many entrepreneurs or budding companies are approaching the retail or wholesale market with a product that has great potential to obtain good market share or even carve out a new market.
Other companies are expanding their range or expanding their production capacity.
All are faced with the same question; when is it time or when is it justified to spend money on a Label applicator. To answer this question there are four potential payback areas for automating your Label application.
1.0 Production Throughput
Compared to manual labeling or even semi-automatic labeling an in-line pressure sensitive label applicator will typically lift labeling speeds from below 15 pieces per minute to up to around 80 products per minute for most applications. Some round products that require orientation and then labeling may typically be automated at between 35 and 45 pieces per minute. This can eliminate a bottle neck in your facility and allow for fast turnaround of medium and large orders.
2.0 Product Presentation – Consistent, Accurate Label Placement
Overcoming the typical shortfalls of manual labeling like label creasing and inconsistent label placement will make a world of difference when presenting your product to the market. First impressions count and if you have a new product ready for the market you must be acutely aware of how quickly an initial impression is formed by people based on the first few seconds of simply looking at the presentation. Companies just starting out can still achieve automated labeling results by insuring their initial production runs are labelled with automated labeling systems at contract manufacturers or even hiring systems.
3.0 Automating your production – A Good First Step
A Labeller is often the first piece of in-line equipment purchased by a company beginning to manufacture in house. Good systems will be Modular and have a versatility to handle a great range of shapes without any change parts or very minimal change parts. In-Line labeling machines will typically have a conveyor of length 3.0 meters or less and can feed on to accumulating tables or near the end of a collection and packing table where operators remove, inspect and pack the finished goods.
4.0 Production Cost Savings – Installations can have payback periods of 6 months or less
One area of underestimating costs for those starting out in business is the time and cost of manually applying labels. Apart from the “costs” associated with the first three considerations listed above there are significant labour costs to be saved. In the west, the real cost to manually label a container or product can typically range anywhere between 3 cents to 20 cents per container. Manual labeling can rarely be maintained at a pace of more than 15 Labels per minute and more usually ends up being closer to 6 labels per minute (1 every 10 seconds).
In lower cost manufacturing regions like Asia this may only work out to be 2 cents or less per label. In higher cost manufacturing bases such as Australia, Europe, the USA or South Africa this labeling cost is more likely to climb closer to 5 cents per label per product. Do not forget some products have two labels or even three labels.
Some companies may be able to realise benefits in all four areas listed above immediately and others may be able to justify the purchase of a labeling system based on just one of the above criteria alone. When thinking about a labeling system it is important to consider all four significant reasons listed above and how they might apply to your situation.
Machine suppliers providing the Label-On™ modular system of labeling can quickly help you determine if you should move to a more detailed machine proposal and subsequently move through all things considered formal machine proposal.