How to Label Pallets Effectively?
Pallets, also known as tertiary packaging, not only facilitate the transport of goods, but also ensure safety and traceability. Let’s take a look at effective pallet identification and which systems are best suited for it.
Identification by labeling - what does it mean?
Nowadays, more and more industries need to trace their products and as a result there are a number of standards regulating pallet labeling. Different industries, for example food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, chemical and bottling must ensure the reliability and safety of their products by placing a pallet label (the so-called transport label), the content of which is basically unified. The pallet identification is based on a common basis. The most well-known GS1 standards are those using the barcodes and SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code, uniquely identifiing the logistical unit, i.e., the pallet). This allows each individual unit to be traced throughout the supply chain. However, the GS1 label and standards are not limited to SSCC codes. Other codes, such as GTIN, batch number, serial number, and expiration date, are also required.
Pallet label structure
The GS1 logistics label is a standard label used to identify packages or pallets for logistical or commercial purposes. The GS1 label is broken down into three sections. It has a GS1-128 barcode at the bottom, which is the only mandatory piece of information. The top and middle sections of the label contain information such as the sender's and recipient's names, addresses, and the contents of the package.
How does pallet labeling work?
Pallet labeling goes through three stages - generating the label content, printing the label and applying the label on the pallet.
The generation of the label is carried out by means of software solutions - simple or complex ones. For small productions there are basic standard softwares that do not require large resources and are easy to operate, while for large productions the creation of the label is a complex result of the interaction between the software of the labeling systems and the ERP systems of the factory.
The printing of the already created label is carried out by printing systems located at the point of removal of the pallets from the production line. Depending on how the label is applied - manually or automatically, printing is done by desktop industrial printers or systems for automatic printing and applying of labels. In all cases, whether manual or automatic labeling is used, printing takes place in real time. There are no pre-printed labels, which means that data such as serial numbers or date and time are absolutely accurate for every single pallet.
Which systems are suitable for pallet labeling?
The choice of system depends on whether the applying is manual or automatic. For manual labeling, an industrial label printer is used, and the operator takes the printed label and applys it on the pallet.
Manual labeling is not a realistic solution for large businesses with automated production and high volumes. For such processes, automatic print and apply systems are used, allowing the labeling of hundreds of pallets in a short time. Modern automatic pallet labeling systems are designed to meet the demands of even the highest speed production lines so that there is no delay in the supply chain. Of utmost importance is the possibility to effectively integrate and connect print and apply systems with factory ERP systems and warehouse management systems (WMS).
Reccommended pallet labelling systems?
Betelgeus is a major supplier of industrial labelling systems with over 28 years of market experience. The company collaborates with world-class manufacturers such as Logopak and cab, which provide effective solutions in this field.
Logopak print and apply systems from the 700, 800, and 900 series are specifically designed for automatic pallet labelling. The Logopak 700 Series is an automatic compact print-and-apply system that provides GS1 standard pallet labelling. Labelling up to 120 pallets per hour is possible. Its robust design in combination with its smart features makes this machine an excellent tool for increasing productivity. There are two models available: one for labels up to 110 mm wide and one for labels up to 165 mm wide, as well as left and right versions. Labels are applied to the pallet in a way that shows the SSCC barcode in an area of between 400mm and 800 mm above floor level, and with 50 mm distance to the right edge of the pallet as prescribed by the GS1 standard.
For greater capacity, we recommend the Logopak 800 series PLA. Complying with GS1 specifications, the system provides labelling of up to 180 pallets per hour with labels applied to up to three sides of the pallet, depending on the selected applicators. Instead of working with pre-printed labels, the 800 Series is equipped with a built-in print unit to provide direct printing in real time. In addition, the 800 Series provides easy interface level integration in existing systems, and 800-metre label rolls for extra-long running times. The Logopak 900 Series are fully automated high-speed pallet labellers for highest demands. With label and ribbon rolls of up to 1200 metres, this endurance runner prints and applies labels up to A3 to products or pallets. There are 3 models available: for labels for labels up to 110 mm wide, for labels for labels up to 210 mm wide and for labels for labels up to 300 mm wide. Providing high-speed labelling of up to 240 pallets per hour, the 900 Series easily outperforms most competitor products. The wide range of different applicators available for the 900 Series provides almost unlimited application options.
For printing wide labels for logistics applications, we recommend the industrial printers cab SQUIX 6 andSQUIX 8 - print labels at high speed and resolution. And to facilitate companies in preparing logistics labels we created the B-Label + system. It is a flexible and extremely user-friendly web-based solution, powered by a specially designed web portal for online labelling in accordance with GS1 standards, as well as hardware from CAB.
For any additional information you can contact our experts.