1. Unanticipated additional container sizes/shapes.
A machine designed to label an oval container will have tooling that is not suited to labeling a round container. Take the time to think through all the possible containers you’ll be running on your labeler and communicate that to your equipment vendor up front.
2. Not prioritizing production volumes before the machine is designed.
Tell the vendor which container sizes and shapes are expected to account for the bulk of the production volume. That enables them to optimize the equipment, to the extent possible, for those sizes and shapes. If there’s an oddball size or shape that is throwing a wrench into the machine design process, but it’s only going to run 1% of the time, your supplier can put things in proper perspective.
3. Confusing product throughput speed with label dispense speed.
As it turns out, the two are completely different. In one multipack labeling application, the consumer products company told its vendor the required throughput speed was eight bundles per minute. But they neglected to mention the conveyor was moving at 200 feet per minute. Ouch.
4. Overstating the speed requirements.
Labelers are very speed-sensitive. Avoid over-specifying your speed requirements to the labeling equipment manufacturer. This can also happen if you assume each machine in the line should run 15% faster than the next-closest machine to the critical machine on the line, a common rule of thumb. If your labeler is the fifth machine down from the filler, using this logic will require it to run 2X faster than the filler, which may not be close to reality.