Archives for posts with tag: industrial labelling machines

From the seed that is planted by some blistered hands to the product that is displayed on a shop shelf, there is a long way of hard work, profits and losses. Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is aimed at improving farmers’ lives. It targets small communities, gives shoppers the opportunity to reduce poverty through a simple purchase. Although the initiative was more than laudable, something else was needed to make the small community shops more connected and responding to the demands of the supermarket chains that owned the majority of consumers.

The solution was found in 1988, when the first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, was launched under the initiative of Nico Roozen, Frans van der Hoff and Dutch ecumenical development agency Solidaridad. The independent certification allowed the goods to reach the supermarkets. Fairtrade labelling allowed consumers and distributors alike to track the origin of the goods and make sure they benefited the farmers at the end of the chain. Label printers make it possible for other business to use the label, but its use on packaging requires prior license agreement.

In 1997, the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) was created, with the goal of inspecting that the standards were met across all countries that had adopted the system.

In 2002 FLO launched a new International Fairtrade Certification Mark aiming at increased shelf visibility and easier cross border processes.

At present, there are Fairtrade Certification Marks on many products, the most popular being coffee, tea, bananas, mangoes, cotton, etc.  There are an estimated 14 million people in the developing world that depend on cocoa production. 90% of cocoa is grown and harvested on small family farms of 5 hectares or less, while only 5% comes from larger plantations. Coffee, so much in demand, and so much a product we are used to, requires a lot of hard work. It takes four years for a coffee plant to yield fruit.

The reputation of fair trade has soured over the past few years and more and more young people and children are educated in this direction.

Fairtrade is an example to understand the value of a label. It can enrich a life, financially speaking, it can save one, in the case of food labels, it can help shape the prestige of a brand.

Maybe not that poetic, it is industrial labelling that helps a message – information or brand, get conveyed.

Lexmark has recently made public its intention of quitting the inkjet printing business. This has to do with HP, Canon and Epson dominating the market, but mainly with a serious decrease of consumer use. It was just a matter of time until people, benefiting from social media sites, would lose interest in the printed image.

According to BBC News, Lexmark would stop development of the technology by 2013 and close its inkjet supplies factory in Cebu, Philippines by 2015.

While the interest in consumer printing photos has faded, the one in labelling has increased. Various legislations underline the importance of consumers being informed about the products they are purchasing. The information is done through printed labels or messages.

The APLINK Series from ALS are inkjet printing systems that can cover a wide range of marking and coding industrial applications for porous but also non-porous surfaces. Industrial inkjet printers are used in a range of businesses area: food industry, medical industry, cosmetics industry, package labelling and security labelling.

What are the main advantages?

  •  very good resolution and clarity
  • flexibility and economic production

 How do industrial inkjet printers work?

Industrial inkjet printers work by propelling droplets of ink onto paper from a computer produced digital image.

There are two main technologies: continuous inkjet (CIJ) and drop on demand (DOD). The CIJ is used commercially for marking and coding of products and packages.
The DOD technology uses a piezoelectric crystal in each nozzle instead of a heating element. When current is applied, the crystal changes shape or size, forcing a droplet of ink from the nozzle. The advantage of piezoelectric ink jets is that they allow a wider variety of inks than thermal or continuous ink jet.
An example of the piezoelectronic application is the “use before” date. In this case the head is stationary and the product moves, which highlights the long service and the low operating cost.

Although invented in 1976, the inkjet printer became a home consumer item only in 1988 when Hewlett-Packard made it available for an exorbitant sum. Having lost in the consumer sector recently, it has been perfected to respond to an increasing industrial demand.
Apart from offering label applicators and thermal transfer printers, ALS is also dedicated to industrial inkjet printers, as one of the best choice for porous materials.

If you think of tomato purée, hand cream and oil paints and we give you a small hint: the container, you’ll soon get the picture of what unites them: the tube.

Having low costs of production and easily manufactured in multi-layered options which offer extra protection for certain products – cosmetics or food related, the tube has become one of the most demanded commercial container. Metal, plastic or laminate, it is flexible and air-tight which contributes to a longer and more hygienically storage of the contents.

The tube only receives value once this one gains commercial awareness by means of the label. Targeted at consumers, the label says everything there is to be known: the ingredients, the expiry date and the manufacturer. Proper tube labelling is very important and the advantages have to match those of the very manufacturing of the tube.

  • Improved logistics
  • High quality graphics at a lower cost
  • The labels can easily be re-thought in terms of colours, design and information
  • Can choose between paper, film or metalised labels
  • Labels can be applied in various ways: full-wrap; partial-wrap; with or without product orientation

The ALS tube labeller tackles the concept of labels from both the manufacturer’s and the consumer’s perspective. It is sophisticated, reliable and fast, already present in Europe, USA and Asia. It works at speeds in excess of 100 tubes per minute, being accurate every single time. This is due to the solid foundation that each ALS T-Series machine is built on, which keeps movement and vibration to an absolute minimum. In no time anonymous tubes will be labelled and made known to the consumers.

industrial food labelsConsumers are more than ever interested to know what’s in their food. Over several decades there has been an increase in legislation which forced food manufacturers to display more and more information about the food on its labelling and packing.

ALS understands that proposed changes in food labelling legislation could lead to industrial label applicators benefiting significantly.

In California, the Right to Know initiative, which would require the labelling of food which contains genetically modified ingredients, will appear on the state’s November ballot according to the California Secretary of State’s office.

“We’re thrilled that Californians will have the opportunity this November to vote for the right to know what’s in our food,” Stacy Malkan, a spokesperson for the California Right to Know campaign told the Sacramento Bee.

“This initiative is pretty simple. It’s about our fundamental right to make informed choices about the food we eat and feed our families,” she added.

Malkan claims the proposal gained steam quickly as her organization collected nearly a million signatures in “just 10 weeks.”

If voters pass the law, it would take effect on July 1, 2014. Labels would read “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” or “May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.”

This highlights just how sensitive some food manufacturers are regarding changes in label legislation. As a result labelling businesses which can efficiently label huge volumes of products are best placed to deal with such demands.