Print and Apply Label Automation

Advanced Print and Apply Solutions

Print and Apply systems automate the process of printing labels and applying them to boxes and containers. The labeling solutions offered by Bastian Solutions range from semi-automatic label applicators to high speed label printer applicator systems.


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Types of Label Application

Top Label

Applies a label to the top of the carton

Side Label

Applies label to either the left or right side of the carton

Corner Label
Wrap Application

Applies one label to two adjacent sides of the carton

Label Application

Applies a label to either the front or the rear of the carton

Today's print-and-apply label systems are quicker, more reliable and less expensive than ever before. Rates as high as 100 cartons per minute are now attainable. Print-and-apply systems offer greater flexibility than in the past. Systems support both network communications with wired and wireless Ethernet, and processor speeds have increased to the point that real time status information is available for the machine and line. Information for labels can be downloaded directly to the system remotely.

Print and Apply Label Applicators are typically selected over the other technologies when the clarity of the printing must be of the highest quality. An example of this high quality label printing is where a 2D (two-dimensional) barcode is required or when a high density GS1-128 bar code must be printed. The dark print on a white background offers the highest contrast and consequently the more reliable scan of 2D and high density barcodes. Many times, printer applicators are selected because retailer customers charge back on barcode miss-reads and or fine vendors that do not meet a specific bar code quality. There are also some retailers that simply specify labels over other technologies.

Print and apply label applicators do not require as precise of material handling as industrial inkjet printers and laser printing solutions, which can lower the initial capital costs when using this technology.

Print-and-apply label systems are typically lower in price than inkjet printing systems with a cost range on average from $13,000 to $35,000 depending upon the solution. Units with higher speeds, multiple applicators, and/or wash-down enclosures typically are at the higher end of the price range. Printer applicators typically have a higher operating cost than inkjet printers or laser printers because of the cost of labels.


Advanced Print and Apply Solutions and Applications

Peel Away, Hidden
Packing Slip Labels

This solutions prints and applies a covert packing slip to the outside of the shipping container. The printer applicator prints on the liner side of a pre-printed packing slip label. The top side is boldly printed to identify it and indicates that the packing slip is hidden underneath. After the shipment contents are printed on the bottom side of the label, it is dispensed, the liner border is removed, and the label is automatically applied to the shipping container.


Pre-Printed Decorative
Label Applicators

Many companies have the need to apply pre-printed labels to their cartons. These vary in design but could be as simple as marking the carton as “fragile” or “gift inside”. It may be of an advantage to apply a pre-printed label with your companies contact information and logo. This could be less expensive than utilizing specialized corrugate boxes.

Since a pre-printed label applicator does not require a print engine, very high throughputs can be achieved.


Pallet Level
Print and Apply

Just as at the case level, there is a growing need automate the labeling process of pallets. A common question asked is "How do we label a pallet so that a forklift operator can spend the maximum amount of time moving pallets and not waste time entering and exiting the forklift?". Most pallet labeling applications have a lower throughput and utilize a label 4″ wide or less. However, labels up to 8.5″ x 17″ can be printed and applied. Pallet labelers can print and apply a label to the front, side, adjacent panels or even corner-wrap depending on the application method

High Resolution Inkjet Marking

high-resolution-inkjet-marketingIndustrial inkjet printers have come a long way since the technology's widespread introduction in the 1990s. High speed processing capabilities allow for extremely fast throughput rates. Flexibility is also an advantage of inkjet systems as they allow for quick changing between images.

Many industrial inkjet systems now feature automatic cleaning for the print head, which reduces labor and extends the service life of the inkjet printer. Inkjet printer Systems without automatic cleaning typically require repair or refurbishing on average of once every ten months. Self-maintaining and self-cleaning industrial inkjet models, on average, run for more than three years before major service is required. Many of today's better inkjet printers do not require a compressed air connection, a feature that helps to reduce cost and maintenance issues.

Most inkjet systems are capable of printing a four-inch high block of information and graphics, including barcodes, use by/sell by dates, lot numbers, product names, descriptions and product ingredients. Industrial inkjet systems can be specified with multiple print heads for printing on multiple sides of the case. Like the printer applicators or laser coders for case marking, inkjet printers give packagers the ability to eliminate or reduce the number of pre-printed secondary cases, which cuts material, transportation, warehousing, and material handling costs.

For high-volume, end-of-line operations where the typical barcode is 30 characters or less, today's inkjet printer may be the most effective solution. If complex graphics are not required, then neither are labels, and no labels equals lower cost. For example, it may cost 2.5 cents to print and apply two 4 inch by 6 inch labels on a case. Printing directly on the case may cost 1.25 cents per case, a savings of 50 percent.

The typical industrial inkjet system costs between $20,000 to $25,000. Adding print heads to the system for printing on multiple sides of a case will increase this cost.


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