The equipment used to produce and attach labels is as varied as the applications it employs. To begin, labeling equipment must first produce the labels, which takes place within a label printing machine. Label printers are generally high-quality, fast-working thermal transfer printers.
Tape, fabric, plastic and metal may all be used as label material, therefore requiring label printers to be available in a plethora of styles. Specialized label printers exist for a variety of applications such as laboratories and hospital wristbands, which require varied information with each use. Comparatively, printer-applicators both print and apply labels for nearly any packaged good.
Labels may identify the product and brand or they may have added information such as nutritional facts, product warnings, or bar codes. Among the industries that utilize labeling equipment are shipping and handling, textile manufacturing, food and beverage, automotive, electronic, agricultural and medical. Because labeling is one of the easiest and cheapest methods to prepare goods for a consumer context, label makers are everywhere.
Label applicators, which can also be known as label dispensers, are used to apply labels to a product. They come in air-blow and tamp-blow varieties that blow labels onto products quickly and accurately. Wipe-on applicators, which wipe labels onto products, are also available for applying labels to unusually shaped objects.
A specific example is a bottle labeler, which is specially designed to label the spherically shaped glass, metal and ceramic objects. Other adhesive attaching techniques are used for bottles as well though, including pressure sensitive and heat shrink. Labeling systems are integrated systems that provide label printing and application through the use of integrated conveyor belts and computerized controls.
For other applications, specialized labeling equipment also exists. Examples include rotary labeling systems for bottles and special printers and applicators for RFID and security tags. Regardless of the technique or material, there is a piece of labeling equipment right for any application. When choosing a printer, applicator or labeling system, the buyer should consider the material of the label as well as what it will be attached to, the size of the label as well as the amount being produced, label inks as well as mechanical specifics like productivity and accuracy rates and adjustability.