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Thermal Integrated Labels_ solution for high volume distribution centers
Thermal integrated label systems are the solution for high volume distribution centers. Many fulfillment and distribution locations use pick or pack lists to pull items and then separately print a shipping label after the product has been pulled and packed. This two step process can create several workflow problems. Printing a shipping label after the shipment has been packed creates additional time in the shipping process as the product must wait for the correct shipping label. In addition, this process requires a label printer, consumables and time to image the label. Having a form and a label as two individual components also means two inventory items and storage space. Integrated labels can improve this process.
The Problem_Imagine a warehouse center using six laser printers to generate 75,000 documents per day. How much time is spent on generating the form and label? How much time could be saved using a single print solution? When a two document system is used, how many times might a package be miss-labeled? Errors that occur when a product is incorrectly labeled may result in a return, restocking costs, product damage and most importantly, dissatisfied customers. Even a .5% error rate could produce additional costs and lost sales. Integrated labels can address some of the above workflow issues.
A Definition_Integrated labels are created by applying a special liner to the back of the area which will become the shipping label. The liner material uses a unique adhesive construction that allows the liner to transfer the adhesive to the back of the printed document. After applying the patch of adhesive transfer material a die is used to cut through the face stock. The cut must be precise to cut through the face stock and the adhesive but not cut through the transfer liner. This process is known as an “integrated label” since the label is created from the same face stock as the entire document, in this case, thermal paper. The label size is only dependent on the size of the document itself and this is normally restricted only by the size of the printer throat where the completed document exits the printer. The integrated label ensures that the shipping label and packing list, combined into a single document, are for the same order. This reduces time searching or replacing lost labels and reduces the chances for error. Laser printers are often used for these applications, however, laser printers in hot, dusty warehouse locations can cause their own set of issues. Cut sheet paper is susceptible to moisture from dampness or humidity. This can create sheet curl and jamming within the laser printer used to generate the pick/pack document. In addition, a label could pre-dispense in some cases creating more severe jamming and downtime. This may occur in printers with tight paper paths. Jamming could include damage to the fuser rollers of the laser printer as well as down time on the packaging line. If you are experiencing any of these issues it may be time to talk with us about thermal printed integrated labels.
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