Are you aware of hidden cost in your manufacturing and logistics lines? In a previous post, we have showed you six ways to save ink in order to reduce inkjet printing costs. Today, you will learn how you can save even more money (and help to protect the environment along the way) by following our seven smart tips for reducing labeling costs!
1. Adapt your label size – less is more
It sounds trivial, is yet worth checking: Many companies use labels with large prints and white areas that are bigger than necessary. In the past, it was mainly humans’ job to read the information printed on labels. In the age of industrial automation, camera systems and barcode scanners do the reading instead. Their ‘eyes’ (meaning sensors) don’t mind small codes and condensed print content, as long as you respect their specifications for reading performance. In terms of white space around barcodes, a small quiet zone helps the scanner to read the barcode successfully. It should be five times the width of the narrowest bar.
Consider these adaptions and you might be able to size down your labels. A great side effect of smaller labels is that they help save resources and reduce waste!
2. Reassess your label stock
Make sure your labels are tailored to your needs. If glossy label material isn’t totally necessary, paper labels might be just fine. The labeling experts at Weber Marking Systems will be happy to find the best option for your application.
3. Ask for in-stock labels and special conditions
Labels are cheaper when purchased in large quantity. Ask for special conditions instead of re-ordering 10,000 labels every few months. In addition, consider buying in-stock labels at your trusted supplier. They are not only instantly available, but also usually better priced than labels that are produced to order.
Bonus tip: Take advantage of discount pricing by issuing a blanket order. It allows you to not hold more stock than necessary at any time. Plus, it avoids the administrative expense of processing frequent purchase orders, while you can improve planning security.
Weber Marking Systems will supply you with customised labels manufactured in-house, where a great variety of materials, adhesives and tools is at disposal. Large storage capacities ensure fast delivery.
4. Use ribbon save features in label printers
Did you know that there are label printers and print-apply labling systems with integrated ribbon save features? It means that the printer stops the transfer of ribbon between unprinted areas. Thus, the ribbon is used to the maximum, so you can print significantly more labels per ribbon. It is perfect for applications with high print volumes and pre-printed labels.
The ribbon save functionality will not only help you to reduce consumption and be gentle to the environment. It will also boost your productivity and increase uptime, since it favors longer printhead life: If the print controller detects a free space, the printhead is raised, the ribbon is stopped and the material is fed to the next print position.
5. Choose the right printing method
When printing labels in-house, it is important to ask what the application requires: Do prints have to be particularly brilliant? Should the prints be very durable? Or is a simple, easy-to-read print image sufficient? Answering these questions will help you decide whether direct thermal printing or rather thermal transfer printing is the right choice in terms of thermal printing methods.
Direct thermal printing does not require ribbon and is therefore a low-cost solution. The prints are, however, more sensitive to light and abrasion. Nevertheless, it is sufficient for many applications in logistics and retail, as long as there are no special requirements for the print quality in terms of brilliance and durability.
|Thermal transfer printing
||Direct thermal printing
|Print durability||long-lasting||short term (sensitive to sunlight, heat and abrasion)|
|Print speed||high||very high|
6. Backfeed: Make maximum use of printing area
To make the best use of label material and print space, some label printers and labeling systems have a backfeed function. It automatically pulls back the label media from the tear-off or peel-off position to the print position. It allows you to print labels efficiently at their lead edge. This way, the area to be printed is used to the maximum.
In addition, labeling systems with a backfeed function do not require large gaps between the labels to detect the label start and end. As a consequence, the label gaps can be reduced to a minimum. The price of raw material per square meter largely determines the price of the label. The smaller the gap between the labels, the cheaper the label roll!
7. Go for all-electric labeling systems
Pneumatic systems are considered to be a major power eater in production plants. Pneumatic energy is used in labeling systems to generate the applicator movement or blowing off the label onto the product (known as tamp blow method), for example. Weber Marking Systems has launched electrically powered labeling systems, such as Legi-Air 4050 B and Legi-Air 6000. They provide customers with numerous advantages in industrial labeling:
- Cost reduction through less energy consumption
- No or lower maintenance costs of the pneumatic system
- Higher production output in labelling
- More precision in label positioning
- Better controllability
- Longer life, less wear
- No production downtime due to contaminated compressed air
Hungry for more information? Don’t forget to learn about our 5 future-proof solutions for labelling more efficiently!