Consistently high-quality container dressSelf-adhesive labels are a winning product thanks to their adaptability and advantageous features – they are sturdy, elastic, and water and slipresistant. In many sectors, they are the product of choice for high-quality and long-lasting container marking. Autocol applies self-adhesive labels to containers with constantly high precision, even where the situation calls for very high rates of output. At the same time, the machine is designed so flexibly that it can be adjusted to a wide range of container sizes and shapes.
Both large and ultra-small labels are applied with great precision.
The different Autocol designs allow for precise labelling from the low to the highest output range.
The Autocol is easily accessible and comfortable to use.
Relieves pressure on operators
An additionally-available device can provide for automatic splicing of the label carrier film during the reel change-over.
Flexibility for the future
The Autocol can still be retrofitted or converted, even after many years of service.
Figures, data, factsOpenClose
Method of operation
The label applicator for self-ahesive labels conveys the label carrier film to the container via tension and feed rollers. A pneumatic loop buffer system at the infeed ensures continuous unwinding of the label carrier film from the reel. The label is removed at the application wedge, and precisely transferred to the container. The label position can be corrected using a digitally adjustable starting position. In the machine carousel the self-adhesive label is pressed to the container, fixing it in place.
Labelling of glass, plastic, metal and ceramic containers with self-adhesive labels
Depending on the label size, up to 48,000 containers per hour can be labelled using the APS 3 Label Applicator, or up to 60,000 containers per hour using the APS 4 Label Applicator.
- Electronic closure inspection and gap detection at machine infeed
- Infeed worm with safety clutch
- Single-hand fasteners for the quick change-over of the centring bells and container plates
- Autonomous label applicator with tensioning and feed roller
- Central lubrication points
- Various installation options possible
APS3 and APS4 Label ApplicatorsOpenClose
APS 3 Label Applicator
- Accommodating two horizontally orientated label rolls
- Inspection of label and carrier film using ultrasound
- Inspection for torn label carrier film
- Pneumatic loop buffer system to relieve strain on the label carrier film
- Adjustment of the applicator via four, or optionally up to six, axes
- Reproducible settings by means of adjustment indicators with locking function
- Infinitely adjustable contact pressure in the applicator head conveyor system unit
- Tensioning and feed roller with servo drive
- APS 3 Label Applicator: presentation tolerance at the application wedge +/- 0.5 mm, even at maximum output of 48,000 containers per hour
- APS 4 Label Applicator: presentation tolerance +/- 0.2 mm, even at maximum output of 60,000 containers per hour
- Operation via separate LC terminal
Mechanically-controlled container table
- Container table with mechanical cam control
- For simple applications with a limited range of variations
Servo-controlled container table for alternating decorations
- Each container plate is driven by a computer-controlled servomotor
- Optimal use of the brush-on run using individual container rotation
- Container orientation, for example in accordance with the can seam or glass seal, is possible using a camera or sensors
Servo-controlled container table in spoked wheel finish
Operation and change-overOpenClose
- Colour touch-screen
- Safe access to the user interface using individual transponders
- User-friendly menu setup in the operating program
- Task-oriented user concept
- Easy-to-follow display of current production data
- Malfunction display in plain text and as graphic display
- Text displayed in the set language
- Interface to superordinated systems such as PDA (production data acquisition) or LMS (line management system)
- Remote maintenance possible
All models in the Autocol range can be quickly changed over to other container and label formats, without requiring tools. Firstly, select the new type using the LC terminal on the label applicator. The unit can be adjusted via four axes, and optionally via up to six axes, and accordingly re-set for the new container shapes. Thanks to the adjustment indicators with their locking function, all settings can be reproduced with total precision.
A system with indexed stops enables the container guide rails to be quickly adjusted in relation to the infeed worm to accommodate different container diameters. The Raptec handling parts are easy to change and are colour-coded. The height of the machine head can be electrically adjusted and automatically fixed in place. Centring bells and container plates are equipped with single-hand fasteners. As a result, change-over times are greatly reduced.
The Raptec handling parts can be changed over easily
Precise recognition of the end of reel via sensor
When changing the reels on the Autocol, the operator splices the end of the first label reel with the start of the second reel. This eliminates the need to thread the label carrier film into the machine at each changeover. A cutting table is mounted on the labelling station to facilitate this task. If optional additional equipment is purchased, the reel can be changed over automatically. At a slightly reduced machine speed, the end of the first reel is spliced with the start of the second reel. A further option is a sensor which can precisely identify the end of the reel, so that each reel can be fully used.
Mechanical container orientationIn this Autocol version, the containers are orientated prior to labelling so that the labels cannot be placed on the container seam. The orientation of the containers with base-spotting bars is performed at the container table. After this, the front and reverse labels are glued accurately into position on the containers. It means that labels in the “no-label look” in particular have an immaculate appearance.
Camera-assisted containerSeveral CCD cameras identify lettering, emblems, cams or the moulding seam on the containers. After this, servo-controlled container plates handle bottle alignment. 64 different programs can be called up on the operating terminal to control the rotation movements.
Applications in the pharmaceutical industryOpenClose
Labelling of containers for the pharmaceutical industryThe self-adhesive labels are applied to the containers using a label applicator unit. Sponge rollers and brushes help wrap each label around three sides of the container, gluing and pressing it on. Cam-controlled rotating plates rotate the containers as required. After this, a hotmelt unit glues an outsert onto the fourth side of the container.
Labelling ampoulesThe pharmaceutical ampoules are first transferred from the feed table, where they are held on a tray, to the container table. Here they are given self-adhesive wrap-around labels in the “no-label look”. Using two label applicators, outputs of up to 60,000 ampoules per hour can be achieved. This Autocol version is also a winning option for its compact design.
Transport support using pucksOpenClose
Labelling of unstable containersIn this Autocol model, the unstable containers are conveyed in carriers, each holding one workpiece. This makes for precise guidance and centring, so labels can be applied to an accuracy of millimetres. Two label applicators apply front and back labels to the containers.
Base of tin labelling
For plastic tobacco tins, the base of the container can be given a selfadhesive label. The tins are labelled from above on the Autocol's infeed starwheel via a dispenser arm, with the label then being pressed on using a sponge roller. The label reels are fitted horizontally on the unit, with an option to install automatic splicing of the label carrier films. On the container table, the plastic tins are equipped with a further self-adhesive label, applied around the side wall.
Label applicator on the conveyor beltOpenClose
Carton labelling with two label applicators, installed directly on the conveyor belt
- Label applicator mounted directly onto the conveyor
- Suitable for simple labelling tasks
- Inexpensive – no main machine necessary
Automatic reel change-over
- The end of the first reel is spliced to the start of the second reel
- No interruption in production – splicing is possible even at high rates of output
- Simple system for safe production
- Relieves pressure on operators
- Retrofitting possible at any time
- Two self-adhesive labelling units installed per label
- Precise end-of-reel recognition using a sensor
- The first label applicator is stopped when the end of the reel is reached or if the label carrier film tears
- The second label applicator takes over labelling for production, with no loss of output
- The subsequent reel change on the first applicator can then be performed easily
Other additional equipment
- Installation of one or more additional label applicators
- Mechanical positioning of the container in the infeed starwheel or on the container table
- Camera-assisted container orientation
- Workpiece carriers for conveying and centring unstable containers
- Inspecting for labelling errors on the label carrier film
- Code/dating device for the label front: ink-jet, laser or hot-stamping, perforation or heat transfer printing
- Pressure-reduction unit at the machine infeed
- Multifunction starwheels with gripping tools as infeed and discharge starwheels, for handling different containers with a difference in diameter of up to 20 mm
- Central lubrication system
System expansions - KRONES CheckmatOpenClose
- Checks that the labels are not missing and have been applied correctly
- Checks the label position and angle of rotation
- Checks printed-on data, e. g. BBD or product codes, to ensure they are present and accurate
- Recognises bar codes
- Checks the fill level and container seal
- Discharges faulty containers using the retaining starwheel, clamping starwheel, or pusher
System expansions - KRONES GarantomatOpenClose
- Additional labelling station above the Autocol infeed or discharge
- Applies shrink sleeves to act as tamper-evident seals
- Unwinds the sleeve tube from the reel and cuts it to from individual shrink sleeves in the labelling