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Know Your Limits: What is an Automatic Labeler's Load Capability?

May 13, 2021 8:15:00 AM / by Micah Collins

In factories across the world, billions of products are being labeled before they go to customers. From warning labels on medical packaging to nutrition labels on food labeling, or Unique Device Identification codes on pharmaceutical drug packaging, labels are used for aesthetics but also to convey vital information to the customer. In any industry, customers look to labels to be applied in a neat and orderly fashion otherwise the product could come across as unprofessional or untrustworthy. 

Labeling by hand can be slow, imprecise, and has high overhead costs in workers’ benefits and salaries. An automated labeling process not only increases productivity, as machines can do it faster, it also gives much more consistent results. When investing in an automatic label applicator, one of the most important qualities to identify is the Labeler’s load capability.

Image: Hands holding a jar with nutrition label

What is load capability?

Load Capability refers to how large a roll of labels that an automatic label applicator can handle in terms of weight and size. The load capability of a labeler can sometimes be overlooked during research but it is one of the more important qualities of a labeler. Load capability affects label placement accuracy. If your labeler is overworked, it will be harder for it to start and stop for accurate label application. Overworking also reduces the lifespan of the labeler’s motor and other machine parts. But investing in a labeler with the maximum load capacity regardless of your application is expensive. Labelers with higher load capacities are more complex to use, install, and larger in size to compensate for the energy and strength needed for heavier loads.

Factors that Affect an Automatic Labeler’s Load Capability

Motor Functions

Like any machine, the motor or motors of an automatic label applicator directly affects how much a labeler can take on. With a more powerful motor, a labeler can handle a larger load and the motor is less likely to burn out from overreaching its capacity. More motors can also increase an automatic labeler’s load capability as the motors divide the power to avoid burnout. Having more motors can help distribute the burden of all the different functions of a labeler. Each motor can be focused on a singular function and therefore a singular motor won’t exhaust itself running all the needed functions on its own.

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Structure of a Labeler

It is also important to note what the structure of the labeler can handle as it will affect the labeler’s load capability. The labeler’s drive mechanics must have strong belts and pulleys to be constantly pulling and feeding heavy rolls of labels. The machine and its electrical components must be able to tolerate a high electrical current. With a heavier load on an electric motor, the electric current increases. When the electrical current increases beyond rated tolerances the excessive heat can damage the labeler’s electrical components or even the motor itself. The frame of the labeler must also be able to handle the weight of the roll without sagging or bending. Constant pressure on the frame from overweight rolls causes permanent damage to the structure. Pushing a machine’s load capacity can not only be detrimental to the machine but can also be dangerous.

Leading Labelers and Labeling Solutions

From Print and Apply to Wipe-On Applicators, Multifeeder Technology has many options available with varying load capabilities to fit your automated labeling process. Whether purchased off-the-shelf to add to an existing system or installed in a Multifeeder integrated system, our industrial labeler machines add production value, speed, and increase company margins with their low cost of ownership.

Impresso labeler

HSM Labeler

High-Speed Modular (HSM) Labeler’s three motors are the key to its ability to handle incredibly large loads while still maintaining speed and accuracy. Each motor controls a specific function: Unwind, Drive, and Rewind. With motors for each function, the Unwind motor can focus on unwinding the roll of labels in response to the Drive function. The drive motor only has to accurately pull the liner and place the label. Then the Rewind motor takes up the waste liner so there’s no slack. 

In other labeling systems, one motor would typically handle all three functions. But this labeler would not function at its full potential if it only used one motor; it would burn out quickly due to the larger rolls of labels. With our design of the HSM Labeler’s three motors, the electrical load is divided over three electrical drives in the motors and creating less electrical load per drive. This allows for the labeler to take on a larger load and lengthens the lifespan of all the motors. Having a 3-axis (3 motors) system also allows you to more refinement with the tension of the unwind web and the rewind web. Furthermore, creating the ability to set the tension individually of the unwind and rewind webs on the Multifeeder HSM. For very delicate and precise applications a vacuum box allows for minimal unwind tension. The HSM 103 labeler has the ability to use cross-wound labels or ultra-high-capacity roll labels. These types of label rolls are criss-cross wound allowing capacities in access of 100,000 labels on a single roll.

Impresso Labeler

The Impresso Labeler is one of Multifeeder’s newest labeling innovations. This compact feeder has a powerful 1000 watt servo motor and durable stainless steel shafts that expertly handles large loads in comparison to its size. With a small footprint and ease of mobility, the label applicator can fit into the tightest of production areas or easily be integrated into a system. This cost-effective labeler can be effortlessly integrated into many pieces of equipment including, extended content labeling, direct mail tabbing, gap-less magnet applications, and gift card applications.

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To learn more about Multifeeder’s wide range of labeling products and automation solutions, visit our Labeler’s Page or contact us to talk to one of our experts to determine which automatic label applicator has the right load capabilities for your application.

Tags: Labelers, Labeling

Micah Collins

Written by Micah Collins

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