The leading brands of print applicators have a module that will allow you to take the same base unit and apply two labels instead of one to the same case or pallet. This article explains how it works and what hardware and software changes are required.
How It Works
Steps to printing two labels:
- Print Engine Gets TWO Print Jobs - the software must send both the first and second label in the correct order.
- Label #1 Appears on Applicator Tamp Pad - since there is just the one print engine (i.e. printer), it feeds to first label to arrive to the applicator tamp and waits.
- Applicator Applies Label #1 - applicator arm applies label #1 when triggered by the sensor. After the arm completes it cycle, it triggers the print engine to print the second label.
- Label #2 Appears on Applicator Tamp Pad - the second label appears just as the first one did.
- Applicator Applies Label #2 - label applicator applies second label to alternate location.
This short video from ID Technology shows the process in action:
Hardware Changes Required
Most major manufacturers allow you to use the same base model (e.g. the IDT Model 252 pictured above and below). To get the arm to place both the front and side labels, would then require just installing the correct mechanical arm module.
The image below shows how the IDT Model 252 uses the same base but with a 'dual panel' tamp arm to allow two different application actions...front and side apply.
System (Software) Changes Required
If the two labels (e.g. front and side) are the SAME, then nothing needs to change except that two copies of each label need to be sent to the print applicator instead of one. If you are using labeling software (such as TEKLYNX Central with CODESOFT) this can be done easily in the label template design.
Often, however, the two labels are different. This is where the things can get a little tricky so we recommend you put some thought into these changes.
The two labels need to be fed into the applicator by the system in order of printing. FIFO. First label job in the printer will be the first one printed out. Most label software is designed to print one label job at a time. Therefore, to feed the print applicator properly, the label system/ software needs to be adapted to print alternating labels. E.g. Front Label (case #1), Side Label (case #1), Front Label (case #2, Side Label (case #2), etc., etc.
If you need help or have questions, please contact us. We are glad to assist!