It is impossible to find a product in a grocery store or supermarket that doesn’t have some kind of label on it.
Aside from it being a legal necessity, no one is going to purchase something without any information on it whatsoever (especially if they don’t even know what the product is)!
Most products you find are labeled on a fixed-weight basis.
You could pick up every package of the same product and they would all have the exact same net weight displayed.
On the other hand, if you go to the deli or the butcher, you will likely pay based off of the actual weight instead of a fixed rate.
When it comes to automatic labeling, the requirements for a labeler in either situation ends up being very different.
For standard fixed labels, the process of automatic labeling is quite simple.
There is little to no data transfer from outside equipment to the labeler in many cases. The only thing it truly requires is a sense of the product’s position on the conveyor. It can also receive things like pre-identification if it needs to print different labels for different products.
The biggest difference between that and a weigh price labeler, is the weigh price labeler is going to be linked to a conveyor scale of some sort, which is usually just a bit upstream from the labeler.
This conveyor scale feeds the weighment and price per weight unit that it takes straight to the labeler.
The labeler then takes that information, prints it on a label in real-time, and fixes it to the product via one of several different methods. The process is similar, but a weigh price labeler requires more data transfer.
Both labelers can use several different application methods and handle a variety of different label presets. In addition, they can both be set up to include multiple prints and applications at once to add labels in various positions (side, top, bottom, etc.) on one product.
Whether you label by fixed weight or weigh-price, automatic labeling is a good solution to speed up an otherwise laborious process!
You have decided that you need and are ready to look into purchasing an Automatic Weigh Price Labeler (WPL).
The time has come to improve efficiency and cut labor cost. We agree!
There are way too many deli-type manual units being used in the field today where industrial automatic units would drastically cut production cost.
The things you need to consider when purchasing an Automatic WPL are:
- Is the unit you are looking at an Industrial unit?
- What is your PPM count?
- How many labels do you need to apply?
- Where do the labels need to be applied on the package?
Now the big question, “What type of label applicator do you need?”
You need to take a good look at the method of label application needed to apply the label to your package.
Not all automatic weigh price labelers are alike.
Oh, they all weigh, price and have the ability to apply a label, but how the label is applied can be the key to success and/or failure of a system.
Let’s look further into the different methods of label application.
Over the last 12 years, we have run into about every type of container that needs a label put onto the package.
Lid sealed trays, over wrapped packages, clam shell packages, vacuum sealed packages, form filled packages, and the list goes on and on and on.
There are a number of methods in which you can apply a WPL label: Blow down, tamp down, rotary applicator, belt merge, wipe on and the clam-shell applicator.
All of these have their place, but each specific applicator has a specific application to fill. Do not accept the sales pitch that one type meets all of your needs: have your supplier prove it.
Have rolls of your labels available for your supplier along with enough product to actually do an evaluation. Has your package been damaged during the evaluation? Is the label correctly placed? Can they repeat continuous proper label placement? Can that supplier meet your exact current and even your future needs? These are the questions that must be evaluated.
The work you do while looking for an Automatic Weigh Price Labeler will pay you big dividends after you have made the purchase. There are suppliers that can meet your needs. Find the one that is willing to do the testing up-front and prove the method of application.
If a product can be sold by weight, measure, or count then the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lays out the details of ways the government will make sure all businesses are playing on a level playing field and that consumers are getting what they pay for.
Small variations from what a label claims and the actual amount the consumer gets are permitted.
Those variations are not the same from one type of product to another.
There are tables in the appendix of a handbook from NIST that list the “maximum allowable variations” for many commodities and types of products.
Be sure to know your specifications because customers and the government are watching!
Government inspections should be “routine” and “unannounced,” says the handbook.
You do not ever want your labeling equipment to come up short-changing the customer.
If you have an inspection where a production lot is found to be “not in compliance,” not only do you create an immediate problem for your company, but the handbook goes on to say that “past performance” of a company may call for “extra attention” in the future.
That sounds like a euphemism for many more inspections.
So when it comes to weigh price labeling, smart companies do not cut corners.
They know that a “light weight system” may save money initially, but the throughput, the longevity, and the needed accuracy will come up short.
That’s why when we spec out a weigh price labeling system for you, we make sure it is one that will help keep you in compliance, give you the features you need, and support it with service technicians that are second to none.
Whether you need a manual weigh price labeling station to label products one at a time or an automatic system that fits into your production line, we bring you the best.
In the ever changing world of weigh price labeling (WPL), the need for new labeling techniques continues to show up everyday.
There is a new labeling method available today; it is called the bottom belt labeler.
The bottom labeler’s of the past used either the blow, the piston or the merge labeler as the bottom labeler options.
The blow and the piston did allow you to print and apply, the merge was just an option for pre-printed labels, the new belt labeler is something totally different that the others.
The new belt labeler prints the label and advances it onto a belt that carries the label up to the conveyor.
The label then advances at the same speed as the package to a point in which the package and the label meet.
The package now labeled by direct contact.
The advantage of this labeler is that there is positive contact between the product and the label.
If you have product that has an uneven contour on the bottom, this label will adhere to it very well.
If your product is damp, this option, along with specific adhesives seems to drastically help with label placement on damp products.
When looking at different labeling applications, realize that there are many to choose from, the belt labeler is the newest and could be just what you need.
See how we accurately apply labels with our Weigh Price Labeler!