Finding the right labeling machine may feel overwhelming, but understanding the differences will help you make an informed decision.
More than $150 billion is spent annually on package design, so ensuring that the labeling machine you choose works efficiently and consistently is no small consideration. In fact, a recent brand packaging study found that 90% of brand owners recognize that package design is crucial to their brand’s success.
That’s why it’s important to carefully consider all of your labeling machine options and find the right solution for your package design and overall operation.
Consideration #1: What package design type(s) are you labeling?
From pouches to clamshell containers to round containers, there are several types of package design options to make your product attractive to customers as well as protect the contents. Choosing the right style depends on your product and industry. (For example, top and bottom labeling machines are perfect for the clamshell package design that’s popular in the food industry.)
Primary package design types include:
- Pouches and bags
- Plastic containers
- Cans and tubes
- Cartons and boxes
- Glass containers
- Shrink wrap
Consideration #2: What type of labeling machine will work best for your operation?
The smartest labeling solution is modular by design so it can be customized to fit almost any application. Investing in cost-effective equipment will have a huge impact on your bottom line.
There are five primary types.
1. Wrap Around Labeling Machines are perfect for round containers such as cans, bottles, and tubes. Available models include:
- ELF-50 Tabletop Wrap Around Labeling Machine – efficient and portable for small production runs
- PL-501 Wrap Around Labeling Machine – designed to apply pressure-sensitive labels to round containers
- PL-501-NL Inline Horizontal Wrap-Around Labeling Machine – use one machine to label both the body and neck (ideal for the food and beverage industry)
- PL-521 Horizontal Wrap Around Labeling Machine – perfect for slim, non-freestanding cylindrical containers such as pens, test tubes, syringes and lipsticks
- PRO-515 Inline Labeling Machine – versatile and robust; can be used for inline or semi-automatic applications
- PRO-625 Inline Labeling Machine – fully-automatic with speed, simplicity, and easy customization for a wide range of labeling needs
2. Top Labeling Machines are user-friendly and can correctly and securely apply product labels to the tops of your package design. Available models include:
- ELF-20 Tabletop Top Labeling Machine – efficient and portable for small production runs
- PL-211 Top Labeling Machine – best for trays, boxes, chipboard, bags, and bottle caps
- PL-211D Clamshell & Top Labeling Machine – features top apply design, clamshell capabilities, and more
- PRO-215 Top Labeling Machine – an inline machine, capable of two-sided apply; flexible for a diverse range of containers regardless of shape or size
3. Top & Bottom Labeling Machines have dual-head design to simplify top and bottom jobs by labeling your product in a single pass. Available models include:
- PL-221 Top & Bottom Labeling Machine – can be effortlessly adjusted for various labeling applications; dual-head design allows for labeling products in a single pass
- PL-221D Clamshell, Top & Bottom Labeling Machine – dual-head design for simplified, single-pass labeling, plus clamshell capabilities
- PRO-215 Top Labeling Machine – an inline machine with a two-sided apply design; flexible for a diverse range of containers, regardless of shape or size
- PRO-225 Top & Bottom Labeling Machine – label a diverse range of containers regardless of shape or size – including two-sided apply, clamshell capabilities, and more
4. Front & Back Labeling Machines accurately and quickly apply product labels to the fronts and backs of containers. Available models include:
- PL-622 Fully Automatic Front & Back Labeling Machine – flexible to accommodate one or two-sided application
- PRO-625 Fully Automatic Front & Back Labeling Machine – label a diverse range of containers including tapered or shaped products
5. Shrink Sleeve Labeling Machines are designed for full body sleeve labels, as well as neck and cap banding, and tamper-evident applications. Well-suited for a wide variety of industries and applications — especially ideal for beverages, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Available models vary by speed and size:
- SL-10 Shrink Sleeve Labeling Machine – 100 BPM; range of container diameter: 1.18”-3.54”; range of container height: 1.38”-13.78”
- SL-77 Shrink Sleeve Labeling Machine – 200 BPM; range of container diameter: .87”-4.92”; range of container height: 1.38-13.78”
- SL-301 Shrink Sleeve Labeling Machine – 400 BPM; range of container diameter: .87”-4.92”; maximum container height: 13.8”
Labeling Machine Comparison ChartTo compare features of available labeling machines, take a look at this handy at-a-glance comparison chart. It will help you see what each model does and what label sizes and speeds are available. Click here to see the full chart.
|Model||Maximum Label Size||Maximum Container Width||Maximum Container Height||Conveyor Width||Maximum Conveyor Speed||Maximum Dispensing Speed|
Tamper Proof Labeling Machine
|3.15” x 11.8”||N/A||N/A||N/A||131.2’/min||131.2’/min|
|6” x 11.8”||8.5”||7.5”||6.25"||131.2’/min||131.2’/min|
Table Top-Top Labeler
|4.75" x 11.8"||6"||4.75"||6"||52.5'/min||52.5'/min|
|4.75” x 11.8”||6.3”||12"||6.3"||11 yards/min||17.5 yards/min|
|6” x 11.8”||8.5”||7.5”||6.25"||131.2’/min||131.2’/min|
Top and Bottom
|6” x 11.8”||6.5”||6”||6.25"||131.2’/min||131.2’/min|
Clamshell, Top and Bottom
|6” x 11.8”||12"||9"||6.5-9.5"||131.2’/min||131.2’/min|
|6” x 11.8”||4”||N/A||3.25"||72.2’/min||131.2’/min|
Horizontal Wrap-Around, Neck and Body Labeler
|6” x 11.8”||4”||6"||4"||72.2'/min||131.2’/min|
Horizontal Wrap Around
|6” x 3”||1”||6”||4"||72.2’/min||131.2’/min|
Front and Back
|6” x 11.8”||4”||0.25" - 13"||3.25"||98.4’/min||98.4’/min|
Top & Bottom Labeler
|6.7” x 11.8”||8”||8"||6.3"||131.2'/min||131.2'/min|
|6.7” x 11.8”||8”||Flat 8”||29.5" - 31.5"||131.2’/min||131.2'/min|
Vertical Wrap Around Labeler
|7” x 12”||7.25”||N/A||6"||72.2'/min||131.2'/min|
Front and Back
|7” x 12”||7.5”||13”||6"||131.2’/min||131.2’/min|
Consideration #3: How do you find a trusted business partner?
Once you’ve determined what type of package design type is best for your product and want to learn more about your available labeling machine options, finding a trustworthy, knowledgeable partner can make the selection process much easier.
With Pack Leader USA, you’ll get the features you need with competitive pricing as well as exceptional training and service. Our equipment is modular by design, which means we can customize componentry to fit almost any application.
Take a look at our labeling machines to get acquainted with your options and let us know how we can help. If you aren’t sure which labeling machine is right for your operation, Pack Leader USA offers free consultations to get you pointed in the right direction.