Boxes, cartons, cases, totes…all refer to the class of packages defined by rigid construction and rectangular form. They range from the most basic corrugated box to full color, slick-coated primary packages. Cartons are relatively easy to control and due to their rigidity and consistent shape, label application is pretty straight forward. This does not mean that it is not without difficulty. Case and carton labeling is one of the most common applications for automated labeling equipment, and also requires the largest variation of application styles. Vac/blow, tamp, corner wrap, multi-panel and their various combinations all have their place, the trick is to determine which one fits your needs the best. In addition to application type there is the question of whether or not the label will be pre-printed or will require a Print and Apply Labeler.
When selecting a supplier for your carton labeling application it is important to know the answer to several questions. Which panel is the label to be applied to? (Top, side, front or a combination) How many cartons do I need to label in a given time? (Higher speed applications may rule out print and apply equipment) If the application calls for a print and apply Labeler, do I need label design software? Does it need to integrate with software or systems I already have in place?
There is a multitude of labeler manufacturers in the case, box and carton market space. Prices, specifications, experience and quality vary dramatically, choose several to talk to, quiz them on their experience and ask for referrals that closely match your needs.