Labelling specialist Industrial Labelling Systems (ILS) Ltd has been appointed exclusive UK distributor of a breakthrough range of automatic print and apply labelling systems incorporating several unique features that give users improved economy, problem-free operation and full machine availability.
Built by Swedish company Autolabel AB, the new range takes ease of use, maintenance and integration to a new level. Thanks to a clean and straightforward web path, both the ribbon and label roll are quick to replace – it takes just 20 seconds to change the Label roll or ribbon rolls. The printhead, print roller and driving belt are also easy to replace without tools.
“Historically, replacing the printhead has been a major operation; some rival systems require the entire printhead assembly to be removed and sent back to the manufacturer, whilst others require lengthy adjustment to prevent misalignment and premature wear. Being able to carry out this task in a couple of minutes without tools and requiring no adjustment is a major breakthrough,” explains Denis Brett, managing director of ILS.
An on-board industrial PC eliminates the need for an external computer, so, for example, label data can be collated and labels designed and uploaded via the labeller’s PC or a networked PC loaded with control software. The structure of the Linux based operating system makes it easy to emulate various print engines. The labeller will also interface with established ERP systems such as SAP or WMS without the need for any additional expensive ‘middleman’ third party software.
Brushless DC motors, the solid, monoblock construction of the frame and the patented label sensor play a major part in ensuring reliability and high quality printing. The aluminium chassis is machined as one piece, eliminating the need for any mechanical adjustments and ensuring tight tolerances are maintained over the lifetime of the labeller. A patented label sensor checks that each label is correctly positioned and automatically self-adjusts when changing label type.
Buyers can choose from a variety of applicators, including the patented Autolabel Blow Vac. This applicator plate, with integrated vacuum injectors and blow nozzle, applies large labels (of up to 150x100mm) with high precision from a distance of up to 200mm. The applicator has no mechanical moving parts, so there is no need for costly and cumbersome safety covers. The applicator automatically folds away during media changes and cleaning, allowing easy access to the printhead and print roller for in situ cleaning.
“Most print and apply labellers rely on an assisted air blow pipe for transporting the label from the printer onto the applicator pad. The problem with this is that labels often get wrapped around the blow pipe, stopping the machine from working correctly. Autolabel has engineered a specially designed air nozzle that not only eliminates the need for the traditional blow pipe but also affords significant reductions in compressed air usage,” says Brett.
There are three models in the Autolabel range: the D43, T43 and T63, all of which are operated via an optional intuitive touchscreen. Designed chiefly with the food industry in mind, the D43 is a direct thermal printer with a print width of 108mm and 300dpi resolution. Also with a print width of 108mm and 300dpi resolution, the T43 thermal transfer /direct thermal printer is ideal for pharmaceutical, automotive and other applications where the product has a long life span, is stored for a long time or is subjected to tough handling. The T63 thermal transfer printer has a label width of 175mm and standard 300 dpi print resolution and is suitable for box and pallet labelling applications, where large labels carrying lots of data are commonplace.
“This print and apply system is 10 years ahead of its time. We’ve already shown it to key customers in FMCG industries and they have been extremely impressed by how simple it is to operate and maintain and above all, the overall cost of ownership,” adds Brett.