You see them every day – food labels at the supermarket; barcodes on electronic devices; shipping labels on products prepared for shipping to a foreign land. Just how does a business ensure the accuracy of the placement of labels? How does one ensure that labels stay secure for the journey they are to undertake?
Automated label applicators, though not new to the market place, have become increasingly important for businesses striving for speed, precision and efficiency. As businesses expand, and products number in the thousands, menial tasks of labelling, previously undertaken by hand, must give way to robotics and equipment that do not just replicate the action of labelling, but do so with precision, time after time after time.
Automation then, is the way to go. For businesses on the verge of expansion, it is time to consider an automated label applicator for the many advantages it offers. Let us consider these:
1. Increased productivity
As with any repetitive task performed by hand, labelling by hand takes a longer time to complete with each repetition. Automation ensures consistency (same amount of time required for every repetition), and that consistency equals time savings and increased productivity. Increased productivity, coupled with decreased labour costs simply means increased profits.
The benefits of automated labelling are not just reserved for the big companies. Today, with various systems capable of producing a range of labels for multiple products, more and more companies are beginning to leverage the efficiencies that automatic labelling offers.
2. Minimised defects and waste
Let’s face it. It is frustrating when labels do not pass the necessary QC. Time is needed to return them back to the source and to re-label them. And defective labelling does not make for happy customers and vendors on the receiving end, resulting in decreased customer satisfaction.
Automatic labelling offers better readability and reliability of the applied label. In addition, labels can be printed on-demand, which ensures that the most updated information is on the label at the right time on the right product.
3. Minimal wear-and-tear to hardware, and minimised human uncertainty
A good automated label applicator will be able to withstand rugged environments for years. It also does not throw a tantrum and quit on you when it has a bad day! One must always take into account human factors when the task of labelling is undertaken by hand, and repetitive actions carried out by hand will always result in diminished performance, not to mention the accompanied potential for defects in the labelling process.
Where upgrades and servicing are necessary, a good label applicator can often be easily serviced with minimal downtime, and often without the need to be transported for off-site repairs. The benefits of time savings to the entire production chain cannot be underestimated.
4. Decreased labour costs
Staff will always need to be trained – period. Even the simplest of repetitive action requires training, plus the necessary supervision thereafter – resulting in a high investment in time and trainers. Yes, there is still training involved in operating the label applicator, but it takes far less time, and arguably less monitoring time thereafter – reducing not just overheads and time taken for training, but also overall labour costs.
5. Compliance with statutory requirements, plus flexibility to change when requirements change
Automation ensures quality, and compliance to a standard that has been set – a standard sometimes set in accordance to statutory requirements. When such requirements change, a good automated label applicator is flexible enough (and far quicker than humans) to tolerate those changes. This also negates the necessity of excessive supervision and monitoring when such changes take effect. In comparison, humans effecting those changes will require training, observing, demonstrating and then trying till standards are met. All these take up excessive time, and labels often get wasted in the process.
6. Audits are easier
Try asking a fellow worker how many labels he has applied in a day – enough said. Automated label applicators make auditing an easier process, and analysing of the production process is easier when machines do the “talking” instead.
The impact on businesses when one chooses an automated label applicator is tremendous.
Where labelling by hand might result in erratic delivery times, automation gets the job done on time every time, which always bodes well for a company’s reputation, branding, and sales.
- When workers are not inundated with the stress of overcoming diminishing returns for what is a menial and highly repetitive (not to mention occasionally boring) task, they are happier, and more productive as a result. Injury-related costs are minimised simply because of automation which can only mean costs savings at the very least for workplace injury insurance.
Datamax-O’Neil is a trusted global provider of stationary and portable label and receipt printing solution products that enable manufacturing and supply markets to capture the benefits of automated product identification and automated legal and financial transactions