WHAT IS A LABELING SYSTEM?
A label is the way a product tells its own story. In the supply chain, good product labels are designed to convey in-depth information through a shelf appealing aesthetic, combining appetite enticement, mandatory data, and reasonable persuasion.
Automation has brought speed, safety, and efficiency to food & beverage labeling applications and gave rise to a variety of industrial labeling systems over the years. We will guide you through the main food & beverage labeling solutions using automated systems currently available, including:
- Hardware & software labeling systems
- Barcode labeling systems
A GUIDE TO HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE FOR FOOD & BEVERAGE LABELING SOLUTIONS
A labeling system is a set of automatic or semi-automatic procedures aimed at applying pre-printed or just printed labels to a product to ensure identification and traceability, while also promoting the manufacturer’s brand image. Labeling systems come in a wide variety of hardware and software solutions for food & beverage label applications.
From a hardware standpoint, the options for manufacturing food & beverage labels generally fall into two main categories:
- Semi-automatic label printer applicators. Ideal for small batches or offline labeling processes with items uniformly lined up on the production line. Label printing is triggered by a hand-operated switch.
- Fully automatic label printer applicators (automatic labeling machines).The perfect food & beverage labeling solution fora complete integration within the overall production process. These machines can get the item in place to apply one or multiple labels with guaranteed precision at production line speed.
When it comes to product labeling software, the available food & beverage labeling solutions on the market are even more far-reaching.
One common feature is a user-friendly interface, meant to enhance users’ creativity by allowing intuitive designing steps or even recommended templates for complete labeling. Other common characteristics of labeling software are:
- freedom of customization (custom labels);
- automatic generation of barcodes and 2D codes (mainly QR and DataMatrix);
- compatibility with labeling systems;
- template implementation and reuse.
A GUIDE TO FOOD & BEVERAGE LABEL MANAGEMENT USING BARCODE LABELING SYSTEMS
Barcode labeling systems allow the printing of a barcode directly on the product label. They are regulated by a set of labeling requirements monitored by the national food standard agencies (FDA – Food and Drug Administration, EFSA – European Food Safety Authority, FSA – Food Standard Agency).
A complying barcode label offers many features, including:
- continuous tracking of consignments along the entire supply chain;
- quick and accurate automatic data collection with reduction of scanning errors;
- efficient real-time tracking of warehouse inventory;
- monitoring consignments completion to prevent surplus.
A barcode labeling solution is extremely useful in recall action scenarios. Tracking and removing anomalous items get easier and more effective in preserving food safety and brands’ reputations.
Therefore, among the food & beverage labeling solutions, barcode labeling systems make sure that food and beverage labels are properly designed, printed, and applied, to help you streamline regulatory compliance, save hours of time, and significantly reduce operational costs.
DATALOGIC BARCODE READERS COMMONLY USED IN FOOD & BEVERAGE LABEL READING
Datalogic offers many devices for food & beverage label reading. We can mention four of the main ones.
Matrix 120 and Matrix 220 for automatic unattended scanning in packaging lines and OEM integration in automated packaging machinery;
Gryphon and PowerScan for manual scanning of limited quantities of labels or of rejected/off-line products;
Skorpio X5, PowerScan, HandScanner for intralogistics/logistics applications;
QuickScan for in-store retail operations.