A bottle labeling machine eliminates human effort and improves the speed and accuracy of the bottle labeling process. It can be used to label a variety of bottles of different sizes and shapes.
By investing in a highly functional bottle labeling machine, you can also improve your brand image and impart a professional look to your bottled products. However, you need to consider several factors, including your business requirements, before investing in a bottle labeling machine.
Let’s understand the key factors that determine which one is best suited for your business.
The first factor in selecting a bottle labeling machine is knowing your label configuration. Here are 3 most common configurations used in bottle labels:
1. Vertical wrapping
In this configuration, bottles are passed upright for vertical wrapping through the machine. This is typically used for bottles with a square or rectangular design – or a tapering model.
2. Horizontal wrapping
In this configuration, bottles are passed through the bottle labeling machine while lying on their sides. This configuration is best suited for round bottles.
3. Front-back wrapping
This configuration is used to apply labels on more than one side. It works for a wide variety of labeling applications.
Another key factor is to consider the bottle size when choosing your labeling equipment. Depending on your business requirements, you can either choose a machine that is designed for a single bottle size – or for multiple sizes. As a guideline, a machine that can manage 750 ml bottles can be used to label wine bottles. Similarly, you need a machine with a 12-oz bottle size to label soda or beer.
Type of Bottle Labels
The type of bottle labels is another key factor in choosing the right type of bottle labeling machine. Here are the 5 most common types of labels used on bottles:
1. Wrap-around labels
This is the most common type of bottling label in existence – and the most cost-effective as well. For these labels, you don’t need to pass the bottle in any orientation. The labeling machine simply applies the label by rolling the bottle, as the label covers the bottle’s side.
2. Front-back labels
In the case of front-back labels, the bottle is oriented and labeled twice in the front and back positions while passing on the labeling machine’s conveyor. It can also be used to label multiple products, as you only need to change the front or back label roll when switching to another product.
3. Bottle neck labels
As the name suggests, these labels are applied to bottles with tapered necks. It is used for the same applications as an angled bottle. For bottle neck labels, labeling machines have label sensors to orient the bottle such that the front neck label is in line with the face label.
4. Tamper-proof labels
Tamper-proof labels are wrapped in such a way that they need to be torn to open and use the bottle. These labels provide additional space for bottle designs in the form of text and graphics. Just like bottle neck labels, these labels are oriented to line up with the front or back labels.
5. Cover labels
Cover label is an inexpensive type of label that is added to meet market requirements. For instance, they could be used to list the product’s ingredients.
Automatic or Manual labeling
Most bottle-labeling machines are either automatic or manual. While manual machines require human supervision, automatic labeling machines can operate with little (or no) human supervision. However, automatic machines are more expensive than manual labeling machines. On the positive side, automatic machines have a higher production capacity – and can easily adjust to changes in labeling requirements.
Besides these 4 key factors, you can choose a bottle labeling machine based on the following features:
Multiple product lines
To reduce purchase costs, some bottle labeling machines can be used for bottles of different sizes and shapes. Other machines have fixed parts, which help reduce maintenance or repair costs.
If you are using different label materials like paper, foil, or film, ensure that your machine supports labeling on these materials. Some materials are sensitive to pressure – and thus require the machine to push the label on the bottle after applying. Other machines wipe the applied label to ensure that it is applied flat and is free from wrinkles.
Speed of application
Bottle labeling machines are built for different speeds (calculated as the number of products per minute). Other than the speed of application, labeling machines can also manage any fluctuations in the labeling speed and indicate the problem to the machine operator.
This feature is useful when you also need to print on the bottle label. For example, a machine with an added print engine can print a variety of labels, including serial numbers, expiry dates, and barcodes. For long-lasting prints, you may opt for a unit with thermal transfer printing. This ensures that the label text is visible for the entire life of the product.
Before investing in a bottle labeling machine, you must first consider these key factors and your business requirements. Alternatively, you can partner with a professional labeling company that can help you select the right one.
With over 40 years of industry experience, LabelMill provides its customers with a complete range of labeling solutions. We also have in-house expertise in developing custom labeling solutions designed for your specific business requirements.
Our professional consultants can recommend the best labeling solution for your needs. Contact us today.