Throughput is obviously one of the most important things in modern industry. Supply has to meet demands, so it is important that choke points are efficiently taken care of. Labeling can be one of those areas because of speed limitations.
Because of printer limits and depending on label complexity, there will likely be a maximum throughput attainable with a given print & apply system. If that doesn’t necessarily meet the standard you have for throughput, there are ways to get around that.
One of the best solutions to this problem is using a combination of multiple labeling systems on the same production line. To see how this helps, let’s look at an example of a line with one labeler first.
Once you have the automatic labeling system set up, you run it and it seems to label your products with ease. Eventually, you see the need to increase your throughput and turn up your conveyor speed. You start noticing misplaced and missing labels on your packages. Why is this?
This is hypothetical because many labeling systems would stop or throw off an error to indicate that it can’t keep up, but the fact is that the printer doesn’t necessarily increase in speed to match up with the rest of the system. Once it reaches its maximum output for that label, it might seem like there is nothing you can do besides simplify the label design, but there are more options.
If you have multiple print and apply systems on one line, the solution is rather easy. When one machine can’t keep up, you can simply use the multiple labeling systems in an alternating fashion so that the print times can overlap. While one machine is printing out the next label, another one can be applying which can greatly increase throughput.
All the systems run through a single controller which will tell each system to print and apply at the appropriate time based on photo-eye triggering or encoding for proper timing.
The throughput can greatly benefit from this. Conversely, it also adds the ability to apply multiple labels to a single side of the box which is nearly impossible for a single labeler.
If you can’t get enough speed out of your current labeling setup, rest assured that there is probably a way that we could help you with your throughput problems.