If there’s an acid test of a pressure-sensitive labeler’s ability to apply a full wraparound label accurately, that test may be the rectangular bottle. Curt Ware, production manager at American Supplement Technologies,
“With a rectangular bottle shape, if you don’t get the label started out evenly, the ends won’t meet once the label is fully applied. That’s what makes a full wrap label on a rectangular bottle a bit unusual. Most people use front-and-back labels when dealing with such a bottle shape.”
Ware knows whereof he speaks. His firm—a maker and marketer of high-end tanning and skin care solutions sold only through salons for $30 to $70 each—has been applying a label about 8” long to an 8.5-oz bottle of Designer Skin Splash tanning lotion for the past two years. Ware is convinced that the only labeling machine out there capable of applying such a label at acceptable speeds—in this case, about 50 bottles/min—is the one he’s using: the Model IL 6000 from Label-Aire (www.label-aire.com). His purchase of it came through distributor Taylor Made Labels (www.taylormadelabels.com).
“Bottles travel on a conveyor belt until they reach the wrap stations,” says Ware. “There, a belt spins at twice the speed of the conveyor belt on which the bottles sit. The bottle is pressed against a piece of foam to press the label on as it’s being pulled from the peel plate.”
What the Label-Aire machine is extraordinarily good at doing, ways Ware, is getting the wraparound label started out evenly. Once that’s accomplished, a good outcome is pretty much guaranteed. Moreover, costs are kept in check because with accuracy of application comes less label waste.
Ware says that the rectangular bottle for which the label was installed is likely to be discontinued this summer. But the labeler isn’t going anywhere. A second labeling head has been added to the Label-Aire machine and now it’s being used for front-and-back labeling of a 13.5-oz PET bottle holding the new Designer Skin Speed of Light line. Like Designer Skin Splash, it will be distributed only through the salon channel.
“As times change and our marketing strategy evolves,”says Ware, “our labeler has been able to change right along with us. That’s the real story here. That and the ability to keep costs down by keeping waste to a minimum.”