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When Should Product Labels Be Applied To Containers?

When it comes to labelling products, businesses must decide when is best to apply the labels to the containers. From cosmetics to food products, this is an important decision that can impact your labelling machinery and packaging quality. Applying labels before or after filling the container can have different benefits and drawbacks, depending on the product and the labelling machine. In this article, our experts discuss when product labels should be applied to containers, and how advanced labelling systems can help.

Labelling Before Filling

One approach is to apply the labels to the containers before filling them. This is advantageous when the labels need to be placed in a specific location, or if they require special treatment to adhere properly to the container. By labelling the containers before filling, businesses can ensure that the labels are positioned correctly and that they adhere properly to the container.

Additionally, labelling containers before filling them can save both time and reduce labour costs. Businesses can use labelling machines to apply the labels automatically and quickly, without having to stop the production process. This helps to keep the production line moving and can increase overall efficiency. Many manufacturers also use labels for internal tracking throughout the production line, and labelling before filling can help keep track of products as they move through the line. 

Labelling After Filling

Another approach is to apply labels to the containers after they have been filled. This can be beneficial when the product is still in the development stage or when the packaging design is not yet finalised. By waiting to apply the labels, businesses can make changes to the product or the label design without having to discard pre-printed labels that are no longer usable.

However, applying labels after filling can be more challenging than pre-labelling. The labels must be applied quickly and accurately to avoid damage to the container or the product. Additionally, certain products may require specialised labelling equipment, such as rotary high speed labelling machines, to apply the labels effectively. If you are using labels which contain critical information such as use by dates or lot numbers, then labelling after filling can be a better option as information won’t need to change if there’s an issue in production. 

Labelling Machine Considerations

Many labelling machines can apply labels to both filled or empty containers, but they must be designed and set up for this purpose. Applying labels to filled containers may require a machine that can adjust to the shape of the container and apply the label with precision. A wrapround labelling machine is a popular option for applying labels to containers that are already filled.

Another important consideration when it comes to applying product labels is the type of container being used. Certain containers, such as those with curves or unusual shapes, can be more difficult to label. In these cases, it may be necessary to use a different type of label or a different type of labelling machine. For example, a pressure-sensitive labelling machine may be more appropriate for containers with curves or unusual shapes, as they can apply the label more evenly and with greater precision.

When to apply product labels to containers depends on the specific needs of the business and the product being labelled. Labelling machines are a valuable tool in the labelling process, providing efficient and accurate label application. Whether pre-labelling or labelling after filling, businesses should consider the benefits and drawbacks of each approach and choose the best option for their specific needs. For more information on the best option for your products, speak with our specialist team