Trends in Labeling

According to the study from PMMI, Trends in Labeling, there are several labeling trends to watch for.  The report lists six trends on the edge of changing labeling processes over the next three to five years:

  • Reductions in label unit costs
  • Thinner label stock
  • Reduced label material waste
  • Greater use of sustainable materials
  • Implementation of anti-counterfeiting and tamper-evident tactics
  • Improved tracking across the supply chain

Changes are ahead for labeling— new label types, new technology and new machines are emerging.  As with most types of machinery, versatility is in high demand, and labeling is no different. Packagers need a machine that can accommodate various label materials and technologies. Equipment must be adaptable and should offer increased output, easy installation and high quality labels.

According to a report from PMMI called, Trends in Labeling, rapid-fire changes in labeling technologies are making customers eager for new solutions and some guidance from labeling suppliers.

Paula Feldman, director of business intelligence, PMMI, says, “Seventy percent of the companies we interviewed for this report are making some sort of change to their labeling, marking or coding processes. And what they want is for their suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to help them implement the changes seamlessly.”

In response to this burgeoning desire, some suppliers are unveiling new technology to better serve packagers looking for a change.

Matthews Marking Systems introduces a new line of economical thermal transfer printers for packaging applications. Sold under the SVM nameplate, these high performance printers offer arrangements for either continuous or intermittent printing. With a high resolution print quality of up to 300 dpi, the SVM-Series thermal transfer printers are ideal for printing barcodes, graphics, fixed or variable data, date codes and batch numbers.

For faster installation and as a result less downtime, these printers offer easy access mounting frames for effortless installation to existing production processes. They easily integrate with form/fill/seal systems, primary labelers, thermo-formers, and overwrapping equipment. Other benefits include instant dry time, high resolution images and non-toxic ribbons.

One way to save time and money is by bringing label production in-house. Primera Technology, Inc. provides a full line of products manufacturers of any size can use to print labels in-house, allowing manufacturers to bring products to market more quickly and produce top-quality labels at an affordable price.

“Each business has its own unique needs and objectives,” says Mark D. Strobel, Primera’s vice president of sales and marketing. “That’s why we produce a range of products. There’s a Primera printer that fits the production needs of manufacturers of all sizes.”

Primera’s new CX1000 color label printer is designed for in-house production of professional-grade pre die-cut labels – from 50 to 5,000. Capable of printing on virtually any laser-qualified label material (including pressure-sensitive plain papers, white and clear polyesters and more), the CX1000 delivers 2400-dpi print resolution and prints at a speed of up to 16.25 feet per minute. The machine is also built to be easy to install and operate, so there is a very short start-up time needed to get the printer installed and the job going.

Created for increased uptime and lower operating costs, ID Technology’s, IDT Model 252 label printer applicator features a modular design and robust construction and also comes integrated with ID Technology’s Centerline Modularity design philosophy. The goal of Centerline Modularity is to create an easily identifiable reference point for default calibration in product identification machinery. This is accomplished through a process that identifies and catalogues all possible points of adjustment, and then works to eliminate as many of those adjustment points as possible. The results are increased uptime and lower operating costs for machinery using this design.

“Working with our customers and leading industry associations, ID Technology was able to determine that many issues that resulted in downtime were caused by unnecessary tinkering or adjustments to the printer applicator” says Alan Shipman vice president, ID Technology “so we tasked our design team with developing a system that would significantly reduce or eliminate the need and ability to manually adjust ID Technology machinery.”

Designed to quickly and precisely adhere labels to irregular surfaces, the HST (High Speed Tamp) is the newest application module in the Diagraph line-up. Its pivoting design allows for the contouring of irregular surfaces at speeds up to 300 FPM. The precisely controlled servo motor design and pivoting head and roller ensure the label is not only adhered, but conformed to the product.

Inks are evolving too, designed to offer better, brighter and easier to use labeling. AquaTech ION Label ink systems from INX International Ink Co. are premium quality water-based flexographic printing ink formulations. For use with paper, film and thermal label printing on anilox rolls up to 1500 lines per inch, each ION aqueous system offers strong performance with superior press stability for better printability at a wide range of press speeds. The system touts brilliant color strength and outstanding transparency and resolution.

Packagers are changing the way they look at labeling, and the new products on the market are making it easier to find the right solution that meets the need for faster, more accurate, brilliant colors and easy integration.