Warehousing, logistics, distribution and manufacturing today are subject to compliance and regulatory requirements related to labeling of their products. These requirements are becoming more common and stricter as companies large and small must comply with these standards in a global economy. Businesses face many challenges when considering how best to approach these varying and evolving standards:
- Labeling can be labor-intensive, slowing throughput of manufacturing and packaging.
- Manual label information generation and placement application are prone to error.
- Products to be labeled can present their own problems. Where a cardboard carton can easily be conveyed and labeled, a package of baked goods presents different handling requirements.
- Changing labels for varying products (changeover) is time consuming.
- Accuracy of barcodes and label content is critical, and the right label must be on the right product in the right place.
- Many standards, whether government mandates or customer-driven compliance initiatives, are very explicit in the format and placement of labels.
Labeling products is not unique to manufacturing industries. Consumer product manufacturers, retailers, produce growers and distributors, warehousing and shipping companies and food product retailers all have requirements for creating and applying labels to their products. Complexity varies greatly, but each company must conform to legal and industry standards.
There are as many reasons to barcode and label products as their are products. Each business requirement for labeling brings not only challenges but opportunities to implement effective solutions. Slow throughput, inaccurate barcodes and incorrect placement are just a few problems associated with manual and pre-printed labeling. Print and apply functionality can provide solutions to these and other problems in cost effective ways. This paper will discuss five business processes high speed print and apply technology can improve.