How does a typical labeling system work? Labeling products is a mass-produced proposition, but complexity will increase as diversity increases.
How does a typical labeling system work?
Product labeling is a mass-produced proposition, but complexity will increase as products increasingly diversify in convenience, travel and wholesale club formats. It starts with the packaging (printed with your name, company logo, and other information). Packaging is pulled or stretched over the product, whether it is a container of multiple items or individual units such as bottles of juice, soap or bleach. The label is then shrink-wrapped so that the heat holds the label to the product.
Polyolefin film is more elastic; it is often used with food because it does not release harmful chemicals when heated and stretched. It is also used on products with sharp corners as it is not brittle and does not break easily.
For high production capacities, automated equipment most often conveys product into machines, with adjustable speed motors and drives controlling conveyor speed. For example, the feed rate may be slower for thicker, slower shrink film gauges.
What are the main types of exercise in the label?
After the product unit enters the machine, it is pushed or placed into the labeling position. The labeling position is where the label is applied to the product. Here, some conventional sleeve wrapping machine designs use continuously running rotating motors and clutches to push the product from the conveyor belt to the labeling position; their speed and feed rate are the limiting factors.
The actuator arm then pulls the film label onto the product. A pneumatic gripper at the end of the arm grabs the material and spreads it slightly, and then the arm pulls the label onto the product and aligns it. Once in place, the clamp releases the tab. The product is then placed back on the conveyor belt through the shrink label machine heat tunnel. The heat must be sufficient, but not so high as to damage the product.
What are the main challenges in implementing campaigns in the labeling process?
Labels are fast, but they should be as accurate as possible. There are always new applications where products need to move faster than existing machines. This is where application engineers often ask questions that designers haven’t considered. For example, target load factors are often based on existing technology, and the design goal is to keep the machine running, not speed.
The faster you move, the more force or torque you need. Identifying a load is as easy as putting it on a scale. It is important to note that load includes more than product weight. This includes actuator arms and clamps, mounting plates, bearing plates and even friction. To measure the latter, attach a simple scale to the load and pull it across the relevant surface to get fairly accurate values. Defining machine motion is as easy as identifying work cycle times. This is the total time the designer wants to perform a specific action. For example, let’s say one axis pulls the product into place, and the other grasps the label and pulls it onto the product. The clamp is then released and the product is pushed back onto the conveyor. If the designer assigns 1.6 seconds to this task, does the motor have enough time to complete the task?
Perhaps it may take 0.2 seconds to move the product to the device. After moving the product to the label position, it may take an additional 0.2 seconds or more to pull the label onto the product. It then takes time to release the clamp before pushing the product forward. If the gripper takes 0.4 seconds to release, the motor only has about 0.4 seconds to move the product into place and push it back onto the conveyor. What seems like a simple move is actually quite fast. If the distance is 10 inches, then the assumed speed of 10 × 2/1.6 seconds = 12.5 inches/second is actually 10 × 2/0.4 seconds = 50 inches/second.
Shrink wrapping machine
Video and music stores often wrap DVDs, CDs, and videotapes using straight-slip sealers to cut film around the product. The L-Bar Sealer uses an L-Bar to cut the film around the product in one pass. These are also called pulse sealers because they use electricity rather than heat to cut the film. These don’t smoke like a straight bar sealer.
Sometimes the wires go through the shrink wrap. The downside is that it gets dirty and wears out over time and needs to be replaced occasionally. A heat gun is similar to a hair dryer; the heating tunnel utilizes a conveyor belt to pull the product through the heated area. Finished labels shrink more evenly.
Shrink wrap sealers are designed to seal thermoplastic films and bags such as polyethylene and polypropylene. To seal, a vacuum sealer removes air from the package and moves it into a shrink tunnel, where the excess package is further shrunk. Sleeve wrapping machines are designed to individually wrap a variety of packs, whether short or long or collated packs in trays. Belt sealers allow continuous sealing of bags; they are suitable for packaging bags that can spill powders, liquids, and grains.