As the premier material used for secondary packaging, cardboard is used by countless companies to house and protect products throughout the distribution process. Beyond its value as a secondary packaging material, cardboard boxes are also frequently used to create primary packaging for both food items and miscellaneous consumer goods as well as direct-to-consumer packaging for e-commerce.
Of course, regardless of whether one is using cardboard to ship hundreds of products across state lines or house individual goods for direct sale, the boxes themselves must be outfitted with certain codes and markings to comply with industry standards and possibly federal/state regulations.
For large-scale companies, these markings are often applied with the help of industrial equipment and large production lines. The boxes are constructed with the aid of a carton erecting machine and then sent along a conveyor to be filled with product(s), coded, sealed, and set aside for shipping or palletizing.
While this method is efficient and effective, the technologies involved are generally too expensive and large for smaller-scale companies to utilize. Fortunately, there are more accessible box labeling options available today—one of the most popular alternatives is the flat box labeling machine.
Here, we take a look at how smaller-size companies can use flat box labeling lines to begin automating their packaging processes and bring case coding applications in-house.
Benefits of a Flat Box Labeling Line
Like other forms of case coding, flat box labeling is a way for manufacturing and packaging operations to streamline secondary packaging marking and minimize physical labeling needs.
As we touched on above, companies need to mark their boxes with traceable codes and text to comply with distributor guidelines and federal/state regulations. Further, packaging elements like company logos and product descriptions aid in raising brand awareness.
Larger companies generally prefer to mark their boxes after constructing them and filling them with products. By labeling their boxes last, these companies can avoid the issue of having more coded cases than they need. While that may not initially sound like a big problem to have, it could lead to larger logistical issues, such as inadvertently violating code regulations by placing products in the wrong case.
Conversely, smaller-scale operations don’t often have to worry about this problem as their product inventory is easier to manage. Accordingly, many of these companies turn towards flat box labeling to achieve in-house code compliance without having to invest in a large production line setup.
By using a flat box labeling machine to create pre-printed boxes, companies can:
- Eliminate the need for third party case coding
- Reduce physical label requirements
- Streamline production by automating the labeling process
- Set up a solid foundation for further production line scaling
Today’s Top Flat Box Labeling Machine Options
When selecting a flat box labeling machine, companies generally choose from one of two drop-on-demand inkjet printing technologies:
High-resolution case coders like the Precision Series 72mm are production line machines that specialize in creating large graphics, text, and machine-scannable codes. Built with piezoelectric printheads, case coders can utilize thicker inks than other inkjet printers to create more durable, higher resolution codes. Due to these abilities, high-resolution case coders are one of the most popular options for marking cardboard packaging.
On the other hand, thermal inkjet printers, like the Anser U2 SmartOne, are smaller in size than high-resolution case coders but are still able to pack a punch. Despite their compact design, TIJ models like the U2 SmartOne can create high-resolution markings at levels up to 600 x 300 DPI.
In addition, they also frequently offer higher printing speeds than case coders. For example, the SmartOne maxes out at a printing speed of 76.2 m/min while the Precision Series maxes out at 60 m/min. Finally, their relatively low prices make them an accessible option for companies that are just entering the industrial printing field.
If you’re unsure of which option may be right for you, talk to one of our experts today to discuss your choices.
Searching for a Flat Box Labeling Machine for Your Business? InkJet, Inc. Is Here To Help
Tired of using outside services and physical labels to achieve code compliance? Bring case coding in-house with the aid of a flat box labeling machine. By insourcing the case coding process, you can reduce your operation’s physical label needs and streamline the coding process for higher overall efficiency.
Of course, insourcing flat box labeling requires the right combination of hardware, ink, and set-up. At InkJet, Inc., we have all three. Staffed by a team of diverse professionals with experiences in many areas of packaging, InkJet, Inc. has been helping companies of all sizes and backgrounds achieve code compliance for over 30 years. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business.
To find the best flat box labeling machine for your operation, contact us online today or call 1(800) 280-3245.