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Print and Apply Labeling

Integrated Print and Apply

Capture11Integrated Print and Apply systems are our speciality – they do more than apply labels. They multiply the benefits of automating the labeling process by tying it to the information flow of your supply chain:  to automate parcel shipping, provide Work in Process tracking, ensure you are meeting compliance labeling requirements for your retail customers and many other useful tasks. The benefit is not just the worker’s time in peeling and sticking the label, but the capture of information on scanners and scales, ensuring that the correct information is on your package, eliminating the pre-printing and collation activities and other hidden costs. Some of our clients been able to remove entire offices and departments dedicated to the printing, organization, collating and distribution of labels. In addition often picking can be sped up by allowing operators to batch-pick and then customize the label to the product by customer or by order. Integrated systems are connected to a controller or host system that feeds the correct information and then the labeling system verifies its correctness; the overall system speed can be a function of host responses which may not be as fast as the basic labeler itself.

Print and Apply – Batch Applications

Batch Print & ApplyBatch Print and Apply systems simply remove the labor from the process of printing, peeling and sticking a label.  Additional benefits include more consistency of application (same place at the same time, every time).  Batch systems are relatively easy and can be setup on an existing production line.  A day of training is always recommended if you are not familiar with print and apply.  Batch systems can also include the ability to customize low-level information on each label, such as incrementing a serial number on each label, or printing a weight along with standard information.  Low-level customization can be sometimes accomplished in the Printer-Applicator itself or additional control can be provided. Batch systems typically are driven directly by the labeler or a local PC.  Sometimes such as for carton serialization, the system can be driven from the print and apply engine itself.

  • Batch Labels
  • Product Identification
  • Product Labeling
  • Weigh Labeling
  • Serialization
  • Date Code Labeling

StreamTech SCS Software

apa screenStreamTech SCS software seamlessly integrates the flow of communications and manages the data and machine control requirements for parcel manifesting and compliance labeling to replace manual labor.  It’s important to understand both your peak throughput requirements as well as your full product spectrum to best taily a system for your needs.  We support both standard and interleaved operation, dual printers with selection of one or alternating for a “Hot Backup”.   SCS is Windows-Based, Real-time and supported remotely.  SCS also has the ability to interrogate ZPL files to assign them to the correct package based on their contents.  The software is highly user friendly with robust Config files that allow the technical user to modify many parameters without the need to call for support.

  • Multiple P&A Select On/Off
  • Packaging Tracking
  • Sortation System Add-on
  • Data Logging & Reports
  • User, SuperUser, and Admin Security Levels
  • PLC heartbeat
  • Host Interface Options
  • Error Messaging

Print and Apply: More Advanced Applications

Top Print and ApplyThe challenge of a print and apply application is a function of one or more factors.  In general, the speed of the application provides a broad basis for how complex they are.  Speed is obviously a function of how many labels per minute you want to apply, but it’s also a function of the size of the product if the tamp length varies, how long it takes to position in front of the print and apply machine, the speed of printing (higher resolution and larger labels take longer), print quality desired, and other factors.  Another complexity factor particularly with compliance labeling is the exact acceptable location and orientation which may vary by customer.  Systems can get very complex if the requirements vary a lot. Things to consider in a print and apply system:

  • Speed and throughput of product (parts/min)
  • Top, Side and/or Front Label Placement
  • Print quality needed typically 200-600 DPI
  • Range of Tamp Length needed
  • -> Side Apply – Can Box be Justified?
  • -> Top Apply – Variance of Heights
  • Print speed on the label stop (inches/min)
  • Re-orienting the product make things simpler?
  • Will labels overhang the product?
  • Label location requirements – variable?
  • Conveyor height above the floor
  • Orientation –  ease of media replacement
  • Communications (ethernet, USB, Serial)
  • Redundancy requirements
  • Roll size requirement (roll change frequency)
  • Overlabel & packlist requirements
  • Blow-on requirements
  • Messaging & Alarming requirements

Entry Level P&A

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300-600 per hour depending on the response time of the host system, product size and other factors.  The product data can be sent, the response received, label applied and verified prior to starting the cycle for the next item.  Usually single-printer applications; where manual backup is OK.

Moderate Speed

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Medium speed aplications typically involve an upgrade to high speed capable printer-applicator.  The conveyor and data transfer design accomodate these higher speeds and provide sequencing and buffering necessary to synchronize the flow.  Printer-applicators may be pneumatic or electric.

High Speed P&A

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High volume automated shipping systems often involve faster print and apply systems.  Variations in case heights of up to 30 inches at 30 cases per minute are easily handled with a single printer; dual printers are good for many operations for “Hot Backup” during label changes and for additional redundancy.