Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. So food is a very wide concept, it can be said that there are thousands of kinds of human food. Food packaging is necessary for protecting contents from contamination, tampering and damage, and it also serves to determine portion sizes and display product information. Because the packaging needs for various types of food differ, many kinds of food packaging materials are available, including:
- Flexible packaging
Food labels are designed to not only get the attention of customers but also provide the information required by food packaging laws to help consumers make smart food choices.
Food Label Requirements
Food manufacturing companies know that they’re responsible for developing food labels that meet the FDA’s food labeling requirements. In addition to the FDA's requirements, food businesses are subject to other federal, state, and local requirements. These will vary depending on your product and the type of facility you operate.
While there are many things to consider — determining ingredients, producing the product, choosing a packaging container, and deciding on the best label design — don't forget to evaluate your assembly line, particularly the one that packages and labels your food for distribution.
It's one thing to package food; it's quite another to make a label that meets legal requirements and captures the attention of shoppers.
In terms of hygiene and automation, the requirements for food labeling are higher than most other sectors. Usually, production runs around the clock in companies in the food industry – although precision and performance play a crucial role in this regard, the main aim is to automate production operations and eliminate interruptions to the greatest extent possible.
VKPAK supplies the perfect labeling machines for these challenging tasks. They not only meet the high demands of our customers, but also come with a tailored servicing concept that guarantees the highest level of reliability, flexibility and operability for the series production of large quantities of products.
Below we will list some cases of food labeling machines:
Chili Sauce Labeling Machine(Jars With Wet Glue Labels)
Wet glue labeling machine can apply paper type labels to glass/plastic round containers, wrap-around, partial, and flag labels in a vertical position using cold glue. Wet glue labeling machine is AC powered, variable frequency drive system for smooth speed control. The latest microprocessor-controlled gluing system features a unique dual label cassette design for continuous label delivery at very high speeds.
Wet glue labeling machine working process
Round containers are transferred from the built-in machine to a moving conveyor and positioned precisely through the labeling points. The rotating cartridge receives the cold glue from the cartridge, which transfers to the glue rollers and finally transfers a uniform and thin film to the glue pad. The circular container at the entry material pushes a micro switch that allows the label cartridge to swing. The rotating glue pad picks up a label from the swinging label cartridge and the pick-up roller receives this label with the help of a vacuum. The round container at the labeling point is now wrapped with the adhered label, and the final moving container passes through the rubber compression band to ensure a neat and perfectly fixed label.
Wet glue labeling machine applications
Applicable labels: paper labels (need to be pasted).
Applicable products: Products requiring paste labeling on the circumference.
Application industry: Widely used in food, medicine, wine, and other industries.
Application examples: food can labeling, wine bottle on paste labeling, glass bottle on paste labeling, etc.
Wet glue labeling machine benefits
The Wet Glue Labeling Machine is simple and easy to operate, requiring the operator to feed the bottle, apply the label to it, and then the operator can pick up the bottle after applying the label. The Wet Glue Labeling Machine is equipped with a footswitch to release the label for labeling and an optional electronic label pick-up system for easy labeling operations.
Auto Sauce Jar Labelling Machine(Jars/Bottles With Self Adhesive Labels)
This labeling machine is made of SS 304 and high-class alloy, the controlling system adopts advanced PLC with touch screen, easy to operate and calibrate, with high speed, high labeling precision. This machine can be used independently, and can also be installed on any product lines. This machine can stick labels on various round or cylindrical objects, bottles, jars, tins, cans, etc.
1. This auto vertical round labeling machine is suitable for the auto labelling of round bottles or cylinder objects, round labelling & half round labelling; It's the most welcome labeller in home & abroad.
2. Easy to operate, user-friendly digital controller. Human-machine interface for easy reading and operation.
3. Memory storage of up -to 10 sets of labeling parameters for fast recall when production changes.
4. Machine is constructed using stainless steel and aluminum alloy for rust free performance and meeting FDA standards.
Plastic Food Box Labeling Machine(Box With Top Single Label)
1. Our automatic plane surface labeling machine is suitable for the adhesive sticker plane labeling on various flat top/bottom surface of jars, caps, boxes, bags, paper, trays, card etc, widely used in food, condiment, medicine, alcohol, oil, cosmetics, stationary, toy and other industries.
2. The whole machine is mainly made of top quality SUS304 material, with exquisite & humanized design, adopting three bar adjusting mechanism to make full use of the stability of triangle, the whole machine is solid and durable, easy to operate & maintain, stable & durable.
3. All electric eye are Japan and Germany advanced photo electric eye, machine reliable & durable with good performance.
4. Adopting PLC & man-machine interface control, with 60 sets of labeling parameter memory, easy to operate & quick for production shift.
5. The machine is the most suitable for a small number of products and single player operation.
6. The machine can be equipped with page/paper-separating device & ribbon date coding, or ink jet printer for online continous date/batch No. printing, with great efficiency & good date printing effect.
Food Bags Top And Bottom Labeling Machine(Bag With Two Side Label)
This labeling machine is designed for labeling stickers on upper and bottom flat surface at the same time, this can improve working efficiency greatly and reduce production error.It is widely used in daily chemical, cosmetics, food and beverage industries.
The automatic labeling machine can work for all kinds of objects with the plane, flat surfaces such as cards, bags, books, unshaped boxes, cartons, paper, pouches, other packaging bags, etc. Adopts automatically separate stacks of packaging bags or cards and convey a single piece onto the conveyor belt so as to facilitate the labeling machine to stick each sticker onto objects and thus reduce the trifles of manual paging to improve labeling efficiency. Widely used in food, medicine, daily chemical, electronic, metal, plastics, and other industries. It has an optional date coding device, that realizes date coding on stickers.
- Widely application, can lable on the flat product with 40 - 200mm width.
- High precision, driven label by stepper motor or servo motor.
- Building up electronic system by PLC, HIM, fiber sesor and label sensor.
- Adapt variety shape of object in top labeling;
- Screw adjustment to suppress body movements accurately;
- Synchronization chain mechanism ensure labeling smooth and precise calibration;
- Advanced technology of pneumatic code system, print batch number and expiry clearly.
- Transmission-type rolling bottles, make sure the labels attached more firmly;
- Labeling transparent label without bubble and wrinkle;
Food Cans Tin Labeling Machine(Cans With Wrap Around Label)
This automatic labeling machine can meet the needs of semi circle labeling, bottle labeling switching between simple, convenient adjustment;
Wide application range: self-adhesive labels, adhesive film, electronic monitoring code, bar code etc..
Application Industry: widely used in food, medicine, cosmetics, daily chemical, electronics, hardware, plastics and other industries.
Application example: PET round bottle labeling, plastic bottle labeling, canned food, etc.
More About Food Labeling Machine
Food Container and Label Options
Now that you've taken time to evaluate available space for a new food labeling machine, and how you could integrate that machine into your current production line, it is time to take a look at the different types of containers and labels used.
Depending on the specific food or beverages you’re packaging, finding the right container can be a challenge. Depending on budget, goals, and availability, packaging materials range from paperboard, cardboard, plastic, and bags to glass bottles, aluminum cans, corrugated cartons, and styrofoam trays. You can choose a custom solution or a stock container in standard sizes. In both cases, always look through the batches you receive to ensure products are consistent. A warped container or damaged bottle could cause a problem on the line.
The type of packaging that you choose can impact your food’s flavor and appearance. Science matters here. The material of a container interacting with food chemicals can cause unpleasant reactions. In addition to chemical reactions and preserving optimal freshness, consider how long the food will be in the packaging from production to transport through shelf life.
If it’s possible, consider creating a sample batch of your products in several different packages and monitor them throughout the anticipated delivery time to see how well they hold up.
The labels you choose will have to fit the container dimensions that you selected. Labeling machines can apply wrap-around labels as well as top, bottom, front, back, and side labels. In many cases, labels can be placed across the edges of containers to create a seal, creating a tamper-evident safety measure.
Your label will need to accommodate any unusual features on the outside of the packaging. Tapers, ridges, or other uneven spots can cause labels to adhere poorly. Keep this in mind when choosing labeling equipment. You don't want your labels peeling before making it off the line.
Purchasing quality containers and labels is the only way to produce high-quality products consistently. Whichever type of container you decide to use, be sure to regularly spot check them for size and shape consistency. Your label applicator machine will depend on consistent sizing and sealing to correctly place the label in the same spot every time.
The labels you use will also affect the appearance of your product on the shelf. There are many name-brand packages that taut high-quality labels that are both resistant to water and tearing. When dealing with food products, it always pays to be cautious about spills and leaks that could cause labels to slough off or look dingy. In most cases, synthetic labels combat these issues and are far more durable than paper options. Customers are quick to identify cheap labels — and that will impact their purchasing decision.
Label Printing Points to Consider
Should all of this vital information be pre-printed on the packaging prior to application or printed during application? Unless you have a coding machine that prints date codes directly onto the container, you’ll find that printing over pre-printed labels is usually the most practical solution. Your label supplier can print standard information on each label, including the product name and ingredients.
Since standard information rarely changes, you should have no trouble using these labels for an extended period of time. Some information, however (like best by dates and nutrition information), changes from shift to shift or product to product. Depending on the labeling system used, this information can be printed directly onto the label before application, creating custom food labels for each product. Custom food labels ensure that this data is always correct for food packages or containers coming out of your facility.
Compatibility with Labeling Materials
The great thing about pressure sensitive labels is that they’re fairly straightforward to the application – meaning labeling machines usually don’t have to be modified to use them. There are two exceptions, however.
If you decide to use clear labels, you will need to switch from a light sensor to a capacitive sensor. This a capacitive sensor tells the machine the exact position of each label for precision application. You also need to make sure that your machine is compatible with the reel sizes offered by your label supplier.
Otherwise, you can freely select various adhesives, face stock and coatings to create custom food labels with the performance characteristics you need (like being waterproof).
How to Choose a Food Labeling Machine
If you work in engineering or operations, you may be looking to improve your process. If you’re a business owner or purchasing manager, you need a labeler that will justify the investment. No matter what seat you’re in, there are a few steps to take before choosing a labeler machine.
Step 1: Define Production Challenges & Goals
Before you begin researching automatic label machines, take time to define what it is you’re trying to fix. Knowing this up front will help you decide on a label machine and manufacturing partner.
Have you tried to implement automation equipment but felt resistance from your team? In this case you may need an automation equipment manufacturer who provides on-site training. Have you launched a new product and need automate a difficult packing process? In this case, you might need a customized integrated labeling system. Were you recently hired to help improve production timelines and output? Are you tasked with implementing new technology and strategies on the production line? In these situations, you might need an automation equipment and a manufacturer who has a process that’s supported by data and procedures.
Here are some questions to help you understand your situation, challenges, and goals.
- What is the smallest and largest product that needs a label applied?
- What size labels do I need?
- How fast and how accurate do I need to apply the labels?
- What production issues is our team currently experiencing?
- What does successful automation look like to my customers, team, and company?
Step 2: Identify Your Labeling Machine Needs
Sometimes you aren’t sure what type of labeling machine or label applicator you need (example pre-printed or print and apply) — and that’s okay. Your manufacturing partner should be able to help identify the best solution based on the challenges and goals you share.
When operating in a food manufacturing environment, a good place to start is to consider the type of labeling machine you need. There are two basic types of food labeling machines: a hygienic labeler or a standard labeler. Both are great options depending on the level of regulations required on your production lines — like ones permitted by the FDA.
Due to rising foodborne outbreaks and recent CDC and FDA regulations, companies are opting for automation equipment that can be heavily sanitized. The best labelers for this type of cleaning are typically hygienic labelers. If your equipment doesn’t come into contact with food or beverages or isn’t even in the same facility, you may be okay utilizing a standard labeler.
- What type of automatic label machine do I need to follow our company’s food and beverage regulations?
- Are the parts for the label applicator manufactured in-house or purchased?
- Is the food labeling machine customizable?
- How often does the labeler machine need cleaning? What types of cleaning agents do we need to use?
Step 3: Test your samples on the Labeling Machine
It never hurts to ask. A manufacturer who is confident in their products being able to solve your needs and providing a customized experience will say yes. And there’s not a better way to validate your decision before buying something, than to see it in action.
So, ask to send samples of your product to the manufacturer and either watch the labeling machine in person or request a video of the test. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and ensure the machine produces a quality product you’re proud of.
- Does the labeling machine perform at the speed that our production process needs?
- Does the automatic label machine apply labels accurately at this speed?
- Will there be future testing after purchasing the labeling machine but before shipment? NOTE: This may include Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) or Site Acceptance Test (SAT).
Step 4: Confirm Lead Time Specifics
Last, but not least, get clarification on the implementation process and lead time. There’s nothing worse than investing in automation equipment that takes months to produce any results and ROI. Be sure to get clarity on timelines and expectations from your manufacturer. You’ll be thankful to have a plan in place with a process and partner you trust.
- How long will it take to implement?
- What types of training are available?
- Do you offer start up help and training?
- How long is the warranty on the labeling machine?
- What technical service support is available if questions or concerns arise?
Get a Food Labeling System that Works for Your Business
Choosing the perfect labeling equipment for your food manufacturing companies and beverage manufacturing companies will impact the overall quality of the products leaving your store or warehouse. If you are poised to increase your production by automating your labeling process, you must start by asking the right questions about the different types of labeling machines on the market and how they will interact with your current product line. Whether you are using clamshell containers, plastic tubs, or cardboard bakery trays, the labels you use need to fit your container well and present a positive image of your brand. High-quality containers and labels with great images are the key to successful shelf marketing for your foods.
Do you need a better solution to label your food products? Whether you need a faster way to print and apply nutrition information for single-serving packages or affix eye-catching labels, our custom food labeling machines are perfect for your needs.