The need for automatic (barcode) case labeling equipment continues to increase every day.
Companies want to reduce labor cost by replacing people using manual units with automatic units. The equipment that is available on the market today work’s, however, there are some things that can make the process a success or a failure.
Let’s start at the beginning of the process. You need to discuss the following topics with your supplier prior to purchasing system:
- How many pieces per minute?
- Dimensions of the largest and smallest box?
- Weight of the heaviest and lightest box?
- Size of the label?
- Location of the label?
- How will the system identify what is in the box?
- How are the boxes being indexed?
- Do you need a verification scanner?
Now let’s look at the system step by step:
Indexing the boxes correctly is the first key to a good system.
Getting the boxes properly spaced prior to weighing the box is an integral part of a system.
Perhaps a point that is just as important as indexing is aligning the box prior to weighing and labeling it.
Are you going to run chaotic (boxes with different product) boxes? If you are, you will need a pre-ident label on the box to tell the system what is in that specific box.
Weighing the box in-motion is the next part of the system. The boxes can not be pushed or pulled onto the scale as both will effect the correct weighment of the box.
Traveling onto the labeling conveyor, we now need to be sure the box is position to be labeled.
No mater where the label has to be placed, the box has to be in the correct position.
You may need a conveyor belt that moves all boxes to a certain side for labeling depending on the differences in your boxes.
You certainly need to provide a long enough labeling conveyor to give the controller the time it needs to process the weight and product information and for the Print and Apply to actually print and apply the label, two to three seconds of travel time is a good number to shoot for.
Now you have a box with a label on it, or don’t you? Do you want to scan an area for the barcode label? Do you want to make sure it is readable? If it is, do you want to put that box in inventory? What do you want to do with the box if anything above is missing? Do you need to divert the box? Where is the diverted box going to go and what will be done to it then?
We encourage you to spend some time thinking about if “Auto Case Barcode Labeling” is for you.
The system takes a number of pieces of equipment to do the job; each piece serves a specific purpose to the system and one bad piece will spoil the results of the whole system.
Once you have thought it through and have decided to proceed, find a supplier that takes all of the above information and creates a system that meets your needs!