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Thursday, May 26, 2022

4 Simple and Effective Label Application Steps

It goes without saying that having a well-designed, appealing, and practical label is critical for any manufacturer. However, the label application process is equally critical. This is because improperly placed labels will end up looking hideous no matter how attractive they look. Fortunately, applying labels is not really that complicated for the most part—in fact, it’s pretty easy.

And keep in mind that even the slightest misstep might devalue your product and harm your sales. This article will walk you through our straightforward 4-step label application method. It’s based on years of print business expertise and, to be honest, it’s really failsafe. But first, let’s compare and contrast the two processes.

Labeling by Hand vs. Labeling by Machine

There are two main label application methods; manual and automatic. Each choice has its set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s crucial to understand both before settling on the best one for you. To guide you through, here is a summary of the key items to consider:

Costs

Based on the context of your project, the cost of either option may vary. Since no machinery is required for hand application, you will be able to save money. However, this method has one main disadvantage: it is too time-consuming. Machine labeling may end up being less expensive if you are applying hundreds or even thousands of labels since it is quicker and will help you save on labor costs.

Hand-labelling also entails a more significant risk of label application errors. This might wind up costing more since you may have to print new labels and replace damaged product containers.

Machine Applicators

The price and size of label machine applicators vary based on their use. When you look around at what’s available, you’ll see that there’s a lot to choose from. There are also tons of brands to pick from, each with its unique set of features.

So, what features should you look for in a labeling machine?

Labeling speed will most probably be your first concern. The highest speed at which a machine can operate is 100 units per minute. Bigger production lines will undoubtedly benefit from increased efficiency with the right machine.

A labeling machine is not always a requirement for smaller businesses or those with only a few products to label. However, your supplier may take advantage of the knowledge that you are unable to use labeling equipment at this stage and charge you more.

Outsourcing or labeling manually could save you costs. There is also another alternative in the form of a hand-held label applicator, which works well for specific products. When researching your choices, you’re likely to come across the following types of labeling equipment:

●     Hand-Held Label Applicators:

These are ideal for boxes or square items. They are simple to operate, can produce labels of varied standards, and are portable.

●     Manual Label Applicators:

A manual label applicator is stationary, unlike the portable handheld applicator. However, it is also operated manually. It is best suited to smaller businesses that aren’t ready to commit to an automated machine just yet. It’s also a fantastic alternative for people who require something more precise and effective than a portable machine but don’t want to spend a fortune.

●     Semi-Automatic Label Applicators:

These devices require some input, but not as much as a completely automatic applicator.

●     In-Line Automatic Labeler:

When things get more serious, you’ll require an in-line automatic labeling machine. They’re fast and will label your product quickly and accurately. These machines can be pretty expensive. However, they are well worth the investment for some businesses.

●     Rotary Labeler:

Rotary labeling is the Porsche of labeling devices. It is a top-tier product for uniform labeling. Again, they are not inexpensive, but they are required for high-quality and high-speed labeling.

All things considered, investing in a labeling machine is not worth the cost unless you plan on producing thousands of products. Hand labeling is a perfectly fine choice unless you are forced to invest in label machine applicators.

Whatever you decide, here are some helpful hints to guarantee you get the work done correctly:

Choose a Clean, Dry, Flat Surface to Work On

A clean, dry surface on your products is ideal for affixing your labels. Also, the smoother the surface, the better. This is due to the fact that a smooth surface guarantees that the label adheres effectively without any fissures, bumps, lumps, or defects. If the surface is dirty or wet, adhering the labels will prove difficult. This is why it is crucial to clean the surface before starting the application process.

This applies to labels of any material, whether paper or plastic, because dirt obstructs the adhesive’s adherence to the container. We, therefore, recommend using an Isopropyl alcohol wipe to remove oil, dust, and grease from a surface. It evaporates quickly and leaves no residue. But before using it, confirm that the product can be cleaned with the substance.

Remember that dampness is far worse than dust and particles. Any sort of moisture, including water, will prevent your label from adhering. It can also keep the glue from being as effective as it should be.

If moisture is unavoidable, consider choosing a more powerful adhesive on your labels.

Allow Your Labels to Reach Room Temperature

Did you realize that temperature is important when it comes to labeling? Extreme heat or cold might create label adherence issues. This is especially true if the glue was not intended for that use.

So, wherever feasible, allow your labels to come to room temperature. Otherwise, try investing in a high-temperature or extreme-cold adhesive.

Remove the Backing Liner and Carefully Place the Label

This is a critical phase, and doing it properly is key. However, the more accurate this step is, the more productive your operations will be.

Here’s how it works:

  • To start, make sure the product’s surface to which you are placing the label is clean and dry.
  • Check that the label is at room temperature before carefully peeling it off its holder. Ensure that you do not disturb the sticky side of it at all. Touching the adhesive part of the label will reduce its adhesion to the item.
  • Securely and evenly push the label into place, applying more pressure if the label is very thin.

If you’re going to put the label on a bottle or any other non-flat surface, you’ll need to take some extra measures and do things a bit differently.

Here’s how it works:

  • To begin, set the product on a level surface. When using a bottle, make sure the top is pointing away from you.
  • Once you’ve got a good grasp on the container, slowly pull the label away from the backing liner. Hold the label firmly on both ends and line it with the desired location on the bottle.
  • When you’re satisfied with the placement, push the label’s center down. Again, from the center outwards to the left, and then from the center outwards to the right. Flatten it out, and the label should be securely attached.

If you are using clear labels, they work best when applied by a machine as it applies more smoothly. Applying them by hand can be tricky since air tends to become caught between the label and the substance, resulting in unsightly bubbles.

Leave the Labels Out for 72 Hours to Cure

Effective label application requires accuracy, but for the best results, you need to be patient. It is necessary that after applying the label to the container, you let it for 72 hours to cure. This should take place in a temperature-neutral setting. The procedure allows the adhesives to adhere to the container’s surface adequately.

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