Solving: Labeling Ampules- Real-time Mass Production
Labeling small objects, such as vials and ampules, is not a new challenge. At PaladinID, we’ve been providing bar code labeling solutions for small objects, oddly shaped objects and soft objects for decades. Recently, one of my customers came to me with a two-fold challenge:
- One, they needed to identify small ampules with a label wrapping around onto itself and have the ability to be unwound 80% so the end user could read the instructions on the label without the label coming separated from the ampule. This was compounded by not having the adhesive pull off the pre-print or the variable print content that the Zebra printers were imaging onto the label.
- Two, with a huge upsurge in volume, the labels needed to be automatically applied. This normally would be very straight forward application for us, but trying to apply a label with an altered adhesive pattern at production speed, posed a challenge.
After six months of testing we generated 5 prototypes. We settled on a custom patterned adhesive for the labels. A patterned adhesive can be described as not covering 100% of the label surface. There are voids in the application of the adhesive, so that sections of the label would adhere to the product, and other sections would have no adhesive. After extensive testing, we found a happy medium with an adhesive ratio of 6:1 so that the labels would adhere, but could be removed, and when needed, reapplied.
Next step: Specifying the automatic applicator. My customer had spec’ed out a ampule automatic label applicator from Rota called the RE50 and contacted the distributor out of Canada by the name of Pallaypack, Inc. to purchase and install the equipment.
After several tests and the requisite tweaking, we found there was enough adhesive on the labels to run through the new applicator with flying colors. The customer’s needs were satisfied, the applicator is in place and running at full throttle. In a six-month period, they have successfully printed and applied over 1,000,000 labels.
Below is the actual label applicator up and running. They are applying 50 labels per minute, 24/7.
We would be happy to discuss your labeling requirement on your next project.