Benefits of Automating Labeling with Robots
Labeling is a relatively new application for industrial robots. In the past labeling had been a manual process. Workers would spend hours, painstakingly applying labels to individual products or packages. Not only was manual labeling tedious, but it was also incredibly slow and inefficient. Manufacturers then began automating labeling with machines. While this helped improve label quality, machine labeling had its limitations. Labeling machines were inflexible and limited to automating only a single labeling task. They also were quite large and only suitable for automating mass productions, restricting their use. Fortunately, industrial robots have emerged as an alternative to traditional labeling machines and address the limitations of previous automated labeling machinery. Both articulated and collaborative robots can be used to automate labeling applications. The FANUC LR Mate 200id is ideal for labeling automation. The rise of labeling robots is due to their many benefits which include:
- • Speed - The operation speed of articulated robots allows them to label products in less time than manual or machine methods. Faster product labeling will reduce cycle times. With robotic automation there are no breaks or delays, operation speeds remain high and consistent.
- • Higher Productivity - With faster cycle times throughput increases allowing for higher productivity. The ABB IRB 1600 can label products faster and operate twenty-four hours non-stop, significantly boosting productivity. Manufacturers will be able to meet high demand with labeling robots.
- • Error Prevention - The accuracy and programmability of robots will prevent labeling errors from occurring. With manual processes products can be mislabeled causing compliance or tracking issues. Automating with the KUKA KR6 R900 mitigates errors by reducing human involvement.
- • Better Label Quality - Automating labeling with robots will improve label quality. Crooked or crinkled labels will be prevented with the steady movements of the Yaskawa Motoman MH6, improving the overall aesthetic of products. Label placement will become consistent across all items.
- • Greater Flexibility - Industrial robots will allow for greater flexibility, especially over traditional labeling machines. The Universal UR10 can automate multiple labeling applications. Six axis robots can also label a variety of items regardless of type, shape, or size.
- • Reduced Waste - With fewer errors the amount of waste will be reduced. Fewer labels are wasted as a result of better label quality. The prevention of compliance issues will mitigate any product waste.
- • Lower Costs - With labeling robots, less manual labor will be needed. Robots can fully automate labeling unlike machinery which still requires an operator. Labor costs will be reduced. The prevention of waste will lower material costs.
- • Improved Time to Market - Automating labeling with robots will improve time to market for products. Faster labeling and error prevention will allow items to be processed quicker and reach consumers in less time.
- • Save Space - Labeling machinery and even workers can consume a large amount of floorspace. Robots can actually help save space so it can be used more efficiently. Many of today’s robots feature compact footprints. Some even have mounting options for ceiling or wall installation, opening up the space below them.
- • Scalable - Industrial robots are scalable. As your business and customer demand grows, robots will be able to adapt to the higher demand without having to increase labor.