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Four common pitfalls to avoid on label machinery projects

Remember these bits of advice on container dimensions and production requirements when embarking on a labeling machinery project.


1. Unanticipated additional container sizes/shapes. A machine designed to label an oval container will have tooling that’s not suited to labeling a round once it’s on your plant floor. Take the time to think through all the possible containers you’ll be running on your labeler and communicate that to your equipment vendor up front.


2. Not prioritizing production volumes before the machine is designed. If there’s an oddball size or shape that’s throwing a wrench into the machine design process, knowing that size were going to run, say, less than 1% of the time can put things in proper perspective. Conversely, tell the vendor which container sizes and shapes are expected to account for the bulk of the production volume. That enables them to optimize the equipment, to the extent possible, for those sizes and shapes.


3. Confusing product throughput speed with label dispense speed. As it turns out, the two are completely different. In one multipack labeling application, one consumer products company told its vendor the required throughput speed was eight bundles per minute. But they neglected to mention the conveyor speed was moving at 200 feet per minute. Ouch.


4. Overstating the speed requirements. Labelers are very speed-sensitive. Requesting a labeler to be designed for300 per min for a line that ends up running at 70 per min will likely cause problems. Avoid over-specifying your speed requirements to the labeling equipment manufacturer. This can also happen if you assume each machine in the line should run 15% faster that the next closer machine to the critical machine on the line, a common rule of thumb. If your labeler is the fifth machine down from the filler, using this logic will require it to run 2X faster that the filler, which may not be close to reality.

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