How to Avoid Machine Applied Label Problems

The details of how labeling will be applied are sometimes overlooked until the process has taken place. A label may have a wrinkle, not adhere to the surface, or simply fall off under certain conditions. This is true whether it is being placed on the product by hand or by an automated process and a few considerations can prevent these difficulties. One of the easiest ways to avoid application issues involves going over the fine details before ordering the actual prints. These include some of the following:

  • Application Environment
  • Application Method
  • Type of Adhesive
  • Surface Type & Area

Each of these factors plays a part in how well the label adheres to the item and the ease of application. Labels may be attached by hand, semi-automatically, or by full automation. For mass production, automation is the most common way to achieve this part of distribution.

Automation offers a fast, accurate way to apply a large quantity to surfaces such as bottles. However, improper sizes or the wrong application surfaces can cause issues during this process. For example, if the orientation does not match, then the label will not have a smooth transition onto the surface of the product or item. When using machinery, one of the biggest questions to consider is: “Is the label compatible with the machinery and application method?”.

4 Key Factors to Evaluate Before Buying

An incompatible label will result in more waste, reduced efficiency, and higher costs. Not to mention, the wrong material or sizing choices could be harmful to the equipment used for this process. When buying these items for machine application, the following 4 considerations will save both time and money:

  1. Surface Type – The application surface is one of the most important aspects because the materials must be a perfect match. For example, some labels are designed for glass surfaces while others work better on plastic.
  2. Environmental Conditions – Surrounding conditions like colder temperatures or extensive humidity will have an impact. Some materials are not able to perform in these conditions thus resulting in application or quality troubles.
  3. Container Labeling Area – The physical location and size of the area where they will be placed determines adherence, physical appearance, and more. If the label does not fit the area, issues during application will be inevitable.
  4. Label Size & Shape – The physical size and shape of the label are also imperative. One that is too large will potentially adhere unevenly or be tapered. A smaller one will not fill the area and result in a less visually appealing design.

To avoid sizing difficulties, the labeling area should be precisely measured and provided to the professional printer. It is equally important to tell your provider what type of machinery will be used to ensure the provided labels are not too tightly or loosely wound. Other considerations could be the materials themselves such as any used liners or adhesives. At Flexo-Graphics, we understand how important it is to get the right qualities for machine applied labels. With a few details, we will ensure you get quality labels and the right results for all your product needs.