Upgrading to fully automatic labeling equipment can increase consistency and output.
Increasing productivity increases profits. That statement probably didn’t cause you to slap your forehead and shout, “Eureka! The missing piece of advice that will finally turn everything around.”
That said, you might be surprised at how many businesses leave “let’s increase productivity” as a nebulous statement with no specific goal and no specific action, like a declaration that this is the year you’ll “lose weight” without joining a gym or changing diets.
But this isn’t you. You’ve identified and measured exactly where you need to trim fat and build muscle because you’ve measured your output, lasered in on problem areas, and identified clear objectives, just as you should. And you’ve arrived at the conclusion many businesses have as demand drives your production higher: you need to change from manual or semi-automatic labeling to a fully automated jar labeling machine. Why, though? In a word, it’s people.
Whenever you read about increasing productivity and improving quality control, almost every article mentions human workers because they're not as accurate, fast, or consistent as machines.
This isn’t to say that your employees aren’t valuable or working their hardest. It’s just a fact that while humans are great at seeing when a label hasn’t been applied well, whether that means it’s crooked, peeling, bubbling, or torn, we’re just not as good at actually putting those labels on precisely in the first place.
Your valued employees can be better utilized elsewhere. Even as you move to an automatic labeler, it will still need someone to oversee its operation. It’s just that the more hands you remove from the labeling process, the more labels will be applied to the level the customer expects.
What Makes Automatic Labeling Better?
Automatic labeling is just that, automatic. In an automatic labeling machine for bottles and jars, containers are fed from one end, labeled, and then fed to the next machine automatically — no carrying bottles or jars from one machine to the next or dropping labels or sleeves by hand. As a result, there’s no longer any room for human error, and production flow problems are eliminated.
And despite the higher initial cost of an automatic labeler, your ultimate expenditures will decrease, and the labeler will pay for itself quickly. You’ll have less waste due to the mishandling of containers and labels. There will be no downtime for breaks, vacations, or illnesses, and your overall speed will be two or even three times as fast. An in-line fully automatic labeler is meant to slot in place and never leave.
Manual labeling, as you’ve probably experienced, is a painstaking, arthritis-inducing process. There are instructions online for getting good results from your hand labeling. But fair warning — you will probably get a twinge of tendonitis just reading them. Getting a pressure-sensitive label straight and bubble/tear-free is hard enough, much less doing it hundreds of times in a work shift.
Stepping up to a semi-automatic labeler is a huge upgrade, but it still requires employees to load and unload jars and bottles from the machine. In the case of a shrink sleeve labeler, they might have to place the shrink sleeves over the containers by hand, too. The human error factor is significantly reduced compared to hand labeling. However, it’s still possible for employees to drop containers, get distracted and miss a step, or just operate more slowly than the machines before and after the labeling station, causing a backup of production.
Not All Automatic Labeling Machines Are Created Equal
Not all jar and bottle labelers are made to the same high standards we follow. When you’re looking to increase productivity, you want to make sure your automatic labeler will work as well in ten years as it does the first ten days. There are a few key things we do to ensure that will happen.
- Durability: Our labeling machines are all made from 304 stainless steel and aircraft-grade aluminum. The materials are tough, wear-resistant, rust-resistant, and easy to clean.
- Expandability: All of our machines are modular, which means parts are easily and quickly interchangeable, making repairs and maintenance simple. It also means you can upgrade them with simple add ons.
- Usability: Operation and training are easy thanks to color touch screens on the vast majority of our machines. Controls are well laid out and robust to give years of trouble-free use.
- Serviceability: Our tech support can be reached 24/7, and if we can’t diagnose your issue over the phone or web call, then we’ll come out and fix it in person. We offer preventive maintenance schedules, as well as continued training and education to get the most out of your machines.
Which Automatic Labeler is Right For Your Line?
Deciding to upgrade your existing equipment is a much easier job than selecting the actual equipment to which you’ll upgrade. To narrow down the search and help you make the right choice, we’ve put all of our wrap-around labeling equipment together for easy viewing. They are the ideal jar and bottle labelers.
Or you can check out this handy comparison chart to compare our six wrap-around labelers and three shrink sleeve labelers to find the best fit for your jars and bottles and your packaging line.
If you have questions about finding the right automatic labeler for your jars and bottles, schedule a free consultation. It’s our goal to help manufacturers like you transform your production line.