The Difference Between Manual And Semi-Automatic Label Dispensers

Label dispensers have been an intricate part of industrial operations for many decades. Today there are two types of label dispensers generally sold, manual and semi-automatic. While both do basically the same thing, dispense labels; there are a few characteristics that make them different.

Label dispensers are set up to do a very simple job in a much simpler way. Rolls of pre-printed labels are loaded into the label dispenser which looks something like a heavy-duty tape dispenser. The labels then roll out of a slot in the front of the label dispenser while a metal bar spanning the width of the slot removes the backing.

The main difference between manual dispensers and semi-automatic label dispensers is the way the label is advanced. Manual label dispensers require the operator to pull the label through the removal device while a semi-automatic label dispenser uses a small motor to instantly advance the roll of labels whenever one is removed.

Manual label dispensers are less expensive than the semi-automatic models and are often good enough for small jobs. Only when the label dispensers "act up", in other words malfunction, do the manual label dispensers pose more problems than their semi-automatic counterparts. Since humans rarely use the same amount of power when pulling the labels out, the parts of the label dispensers can become worn by the constant changes in tension. Eventually the labels can stick in the label dispenser or come out so loose that the metal bar is unable to remove the labels backing.

Semi-automatic label dispensers are somewhat more expensive than the manual models, but with so many different styles of semi-automatic label dispensers on the market it is hard to say that the costs are unreasonable. Due to the motor that pushes out the label at a constant speed, operators are less likely to have maintenance problems with the semi-automatic label dispensers.

The Components Of Label Dispensers

Label dispensers come in several sizes, styles, and shapes. There are label dispensers that automatically dispenser labels and others that require the operator to manually extract he labels from the label dispenser. Manual label dispensers are usually intended for light duty work and are manufactured very simply, with only basic components. Automatic, or semi-automatic, label dispensers require a little more complex set-up in order to provide the best efficiency for the job. These automatic label dispensers are usually made from metal and are designed to stand up to industrial conditions. This article will briefly discuss the four main components, the motor, the take-up hub, the strip plate and the photodetector that go into every automatic label dispenser.

The label dispenser motor is the driving force behind the automatic label advancement. It also controls the speed at which the labels are dispensed. The motors are powered either by batteries or by an electrical power cord plugged into an ordinary outlet.

The take-up hub is connected to the label dispenser motor by a bar. A liner holder is part of the take-up hub that holds the roll of labels inside the label dispenser. The hub turns in sync with the motor to collect the label roll into place and apply tension to the labels along the bar that removes the backing from the labels.

The strip plate is a part of the label dispenser that acts as a separator for the label and its backing. The strip plates in semi-automatic label dispensers can be made of many different materials but are most commonly plastic, metal coil or sheet metal. The strip plate is designed to remain sharp and able to work with many different sizes and thicknesses of labels.

The label dispenser's photodetector, or switch plate, triggers label advancement in the label dispensers by tracking whether or not a label is currently present in the position to be removed. A photodetector is the better option between the two since it does not have to come into contact with the label in order to track it.

Label Dispensers Used In Medical Facilities And Hospitals

Medical facilities and hospitals are busy places with little time to waste fussing with a label dispenser. With the number of samples that go through most medical laboratories on a daily basis, labels and label dispensers are essential in order to keep everything running smoothly.
Semi-automatic label dispensers are valuable to people who work in the medical field by speeding up the identification process on samples and enabling hands-free label dispensing.

The label dispensers used in medical facilities and hospitals come in both wall mounted and tabletop models, whichever is deemed more convenient for the medical workers. Frequently the label dispensers provide the capability to dispense several various labels simultaneously. This enables workers in labs and hospitals to use multi-colored label through a single label dispenser to visually identify samples for testing. Each colored label from the label dispenser may stand for a different test, or a different lab that the sample is intended for.

Labels and label dispensers are also used in pharmacies to label the bottles of medication. It is vital that the printing on these labels is clear after going through the label dispenser since often they contain valuable safety information for patients. The name of the patient, dosage instructions, doctor information, and description of the medication are all printed on the label before it is run through the label dispenser. For this reason the strip plate cannot allow too much tension from the label dispensers on the labels or the printing may get smeared.

The final application of label and label dispensers in medical settings and hospitals can be found in the identification bracelets given to each patient who is admitted into an emergency room, x-ray facility, test lab or hospital. The label dispenser for these labels are usually single-line and use an inexpensive type of paper. The strips of labels that are created by these label dispensers are placed in plastic bracelet sleeves for protection and durability.

Label Dispensers For Your Home

Label dispensers are present in almost every industrial setting, from manufacturers to postal shippers. However there are not too many applications for label dispensers in the average household. After all label dispensers are usually designed for jobs that require a large amounts of labels dispensed quickly from a label dispenser. How often have you needed a few dozen labels in your daily home life? Still the label dispenser companies worked hard and came up with a two label dispenser designs that have the possibility of making your life easier through the label dispenser's use in your home. These two models are return address label dispensers and food label dispensers. This article will briefly discuss the applications for both of these designs as well as how they can improve the quality of your life.

Return Address Label Dispensers

Return address label dispensers are designed to sit on your table or desk and dispense return address labels for use with your everyday mailing. The preprinted return labels are loaded into the machine, which automatically advances the labels for easy envelope preparation. The return address label dispenser makes paying bills or sending out holiday cards much quicker and easier, not to mention less straining on your writing hand. Although return address label dispensers may be difficult to find, check the Internet you'll have more luck, they are reasonably priced and affordable for most households. The time you save is worth the price you'll pay.

Food Label Dispensers

Have you ever peeked into your freezer and came face to face with a container or package that you couldn't identify? Food label dispensers prevent this from happening by providing an easy way to label your food for future use. This comes especially in handy for households who prepare meals ahead of time and store them in the freezer. The labels that work with food label dispensers are specially designed to withstand the frigid temperatures found in household freezers.

Will Label Printers Replace Label Dispensers

Label printers have taken the commercial industry by storm, providing an easy and speedy way to create labels and dispense them, much like a label dispenser, either for quick application by an employee or directly onto the product. Since these new label printer designs have incorporated the job provided from an ordinary semi-automatic label dispenser too, people may wonder if label dispensers are still necessary when label printers can do the same job as the label dispenser and more while taking up about the same amount of space as most label dispensers.

In the common household it makes sense to use a label printer, rather than a label dispenser for the majority of your label needs since the super capacity of a label dispenser isn't often needed in a home, or even a regular home office. Small businesses may get away with using a label printer instead of a label dispenser if the labels they use aren't fancy and the company doesn't need a large quantity of labels on a regular basis, otherwise a label dispenser is needed. Keep in mind that the environments in the home and usual small business place isn't harsh enough to make necessary the need for the more durable label dispensers.

However in a large warehouse or assembly factory it just doesn't make sense to attempt to replace label dispensers with label printers. Labels for commercial products usually require specific printing that needs heavy-duty industrial printers. These printers made up large qualities of labels on rolls, which are then shipped to factories to use with label dispensers for placement on the products. Label dispensers are faster at processing these labels and affixing them onto products. It's safe to assume that factories aren't going to want to get rid of their industrial label dispensers anytime soon.

How Label Dispensers Improve Assembly Plants

Statistics show that large industrial factories that assembly and package products frequently require the use of a label dispenser to keep up with labelling demands while maintaining a professional look. Workers who have to fumble with rolls of labels appreciate the ease provided by label dispensers not caring whether they get the use of manual label dispensers or automatic models. The main reasons that label dispensers are used at assembly factories is the increased efficiency, speed and reduced maintenance costs associated with label dispensers.

By using label dispensers with pre-made labels that are printed on separate industrial label printers, assembly line workers can easy grab a label and keep up with the fast-paced rate of average assembly lines. Since industrial label dispensers, all label dispensers actually, remove the backing while they dispense the labels, factory employees can produce many more units that they could if they had to take time and manually remove the backings. The increased efficiency these label dispensers provide makes them very valuable to assembly plants.

Label dispensers have fewer components than industrial
label printers. This reduces the amount of maintenance label dispensers need as well as the number of breakdowns that label dispensers experience. This is why large assembly factories usually only have a few label printing machines that produce the large amounts of labels they need while they purchase hundreds of label dispensers to assist workers in placing all those labels on the products. Its no surprise either that this is more cost-effective for companies that mass produce products for distribution to wholesale and retail establishments since industrial label dispensers and the relatively low quality materials that the rolls of labels they use are much less expensive than label printing machines and the higher quality labels individual label printers need.

Follow Us

     Twitter logo Facebook logo YouTube logo Google Plus logo LinkedIn logo

Subscribe to our Social Networks for the latest news, views and videos from Etiquette

Etiquette Accreditation

Etiquette holds accreditation at the highest level of BRC IOP

Etiquette holds accreditation at the highest level of BRC/IOP - the global standard for packaging and packaging materials - and as SEDEX members Etiquette supports sustainable and ethical supply chains.