The following article is a guest post.
Switching from a purely manual operation to using an automated labeling system is a major decision for any manufacturer.
After all, any major piece of machinery is a huge investment. And that’s on top of worrying about the technical details, from considerations such as the types of components installed in your assembly line, to issues of proper maintenance.
While that can dissuade some manufacturers from going for automation, especially for a relatively simple task like labeling, those certainly don’t outweigh the benefits. Here are some of them:
1. Faster turnaround time.
Let’s say your average employee can apply one label per half a minute.
Now, that would sound fast to the average Joe, but if you add that up, you’re only going to end up with around 960 cans labelled per day in an 8-hour work shift.
And you can’t just tell your employees to work faster, as there’s a limit to how fast they can go; they need time to manually align and attach each label.
You can say goodbye to those worries when you use a machine. As long as the right settings and configuration are in place for your automated labeling system, you can have cans labeled in seconds.
2. Fewer errors.
Unlike humans, a machine doesn’t get tired—it’ll just need a bit of preventive maintenance every now and then. That’s why it’s the perfect choice for repetitive tasks like creating and attaching labels to products.
A human may get distracted or may get tired of slapping on the same thing every day, which may lead to complacency and errors. (Or: why is that label attached upside-down on the jar? Why is it askew or wrinkled?) A machine, once programmed, will do the same task repeatedly without missing a step.
Machines can use motion control systems with precision linear stages to ensure accuracy and speed of label application.
3. Less wastage.
Of course, with fewer errors made, there’s also less raw materials wasted. Throwing out torn, misaligned, or damaged labels will be a thing of the past.
Machines can be also programmed to use raw materials more efficiently. It’s hard to tell a human employee to use a certain amount in milliliters of liquid adhesive; a machine can apply only the exact amount.
4. More cost-effective.
Admittedly, setting up an automated labeling system can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But that’s an investment that you can quickly recover. As the earlier points illustrate, a machine allows your facility to attach more labels—and complete more tasks—in a shorter span of time.
Let’s say you got a big contract to supply a supermarket chain with your products. Instead of hiring more people to stick more labels manually, you only need to adjust a few settings to churn out more labeled jars or cans. Or if your current machine cannot accommodate the number of labels you need to attach, you can upgrade it.
These options are way easier than hiring more people, vetting them, and training them to do the job manually.
As you can see, these five benefits truly justify the cost of setting up an automated labeling system. Hence, if you truly want your business to scale up, this is the way to go.