Efficiency In Packaging: The Importance Of Labelling Systems

Every product manufacturer understands the fact that creating a product isn’t the full extent of your effort. It’s one thing to create something, and it’s another thing entirely to have it properly labelled. Because at the end of the day, the people who are meant to use that product need to know what it is. 

In fields like pharmaceuticals where proper product knowledge is especially needed, you can imagine just how critical labelling systems become. In this article, we’ll look into what a labelling system is, how these systems have evolved, and what you need to do to make sure that you have the right labels on your products as well. 

What Is A Labelling System?

Calling it a labelling system pretty much explains what it is directly. This is a process or method that you use to assign labels to items or objects. Labelling systems have become especially important because they provide a reliable way for you to identify products. You can categorize them, and you know what everything stands for when you have a reliable labeling system. 

Today, there’s pretty much no industry that doesn’t use a labeling system. At the end of the day, everyone wants to make sure that they can achieve easy identification of their products. And with the right labelling system, you can do just that. Whether it’s a simple process of using tags or something that incorporates electronic tools like barcodes and more, a label system has proven to be very essential to today’s manufacturing industry. 


Labelling systems really began with manual operations, as  you’d probably be able to imagine. Back in the day, people would have to attach names and labels to items, ensuring that people could find them when they were needed. At the same time, industries like pharmaceuticals used these labels a lot to ensure that everything – from tablet coatings to the meds themselves and more – were properly identifiable. 

Still, manual systems weren’t perfect – at the end of the day, it was a case of finding the right labels for the right products, and sometimes, errors were made. This is when digital tools now came in.

Thanks to barcodes, radio frequency identifiers, and more, it became much easier to not just add labels to items, but to encode other important data about these items so that they could be kept confidentially. 

With RFID tags, everyone finds it much easier to store and read data wirelessly, so you can track items and know where each product is.

Today, we’re now seeing innovations such as with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) that hold the promise of streamlining packaging processes as much as possible. At the same time, mobile and cloud-based solutions have also started becoming popular, allowing people to print labels with their phones and share data with key stakeholders whenever it is needed. 

Types of Labelling Systems

Thanks to the evolution of the industry and the role of technology in general, labeling systems have expanded to include several types and configurations. With that in mind, here are the major types of labelling solution options available: 

Labels Operating With Pressure

First, we have pressure-sensitive labeling systems. Basically, these systems use labels that work with adhesives and are applied directly to the product with pressure. 

The benefit of these systems is that they are very flexible. They can handle different label sizes and shapes, and this means that they work in different industries and fields as well. The fact that they’re generally not harmful also gives them a major plus. 

The Wrap-Around Labels 

With this system, you have labels that go around round or cylindrical containers. These could be tubes, bottles, or cans, with labels going around them for proper identification. With this system, label placement is as consistent as ever, and you can especially optimize efficiency. 

Wrap-around labels also make it easier to produce items quickly and stick labels on them, so you can move much quicker. 

Top and Bottom Labeling Systems

In this system,. The labels are placed on both the top and bottom surfaces of the products at the same time. So, wherever you pick the product from, you get to see the label and can know exactly what it is. 

Print and Apply Labeling Systems

Over the years, printing has become one of the cornerstones of conventional universal labeling. And in this system,, both printing and labeling functions are incorporated into a single device. 

In this label, you have a system that prints variable data and product information whenever you need it. This information is then saved on the label, and the label is placed on the product directly. So, anyone who wants to learn more about the product can do so directly from the label.

RFID Labels

Radio frequency identifiers (or RFIDs, as they’re called) also make use of data encoding. Here, we have RFID tags that hold the data about the item and are applied to the packaging. All you need to get is an RFID scanner, and you will be able to read the data for the product directly. 

With RFID labels, you can ensure proper tracking and keep eyes on the product as it moves from one end to the other. So, surveillance is easily achieved here. 

Labeling Systems That Work With Heat

Under this class, we have two major options – direct thermal systems and thermal transfer labels. Both are similar in the sense that they use thermal printing technology to make the labels. 

The difference, though, is that direct thermal systems use heat to make images with the use of specially coated paper. On the other hand, thermal transfer printing will take ink from a ribbon and move it to the material of the label. At the end of the data, the results are the same.

Automated Labeling Systems

Today, automation is coming for everything. And that includes label systems. With automation technology, labels can be applied on their own, integrating all the necessary information about the products and putting them on it. 

This way, human input is reduced, and professionals can handle other tasks that they need to.   

Handheld Labeling Devices

Finally, we have the OG handheld devices. Label printers, portable markets, and more will make it easier for you to create your high-quality labels and print them on the spot. Most of them run on batteries, but they are especially effective if you need something immediately. 

How Different Industries Make Use Of Labelling Systems

Like you probably already know, everyone wants to make and create stuff. And this means that the need to also properly label them is pretty high. So, it should come as no surprise that labeling systems have become prominent across the board. Wherever you look, different industries are implementing labeling. 

Still, some industries especially have a need for these systems. These include:

The Beverage & Food Industry

We all eat. And for food and beverage manufacturers, they have to deal with a lot of stringent regulations that guide the way they work. Part of these regulations surround safety and accuracy in product labeling.

With labels, manufacturers can show information about their products – from nutritional facts to available ingredients to allergy notices and so much more. 

Drug Makers & Developers

Just like it is in the food industry, the pharma space is also highly regulated. Drug makers are tasked with ensuring that they have the right labels on their products, which will show things like warning labels, dosage instructions, and much more. This way, issues like mishandling and contamination can be avoided.

Here, it’s not just about having labels – even the labels themselves need to be regulatory-compliant. So, this is important to note. 

General manufacturers’ Need Labels Too

In the manufacturing industry, we use labels for everything – identifying products, tracing them, and even managing inventories to ensure smooth movement. Even product components have labels on them to ensure that stock is properly managed. 

Use For Retail Industry Players

Think about the last time you walked into a store – you saw labels showing the prices of goods, what goods were, and much more. 

These days, retail stores have leaned more towards using barcodes as their primary labeling solution. Barcodes help make labeling faster, thus optimizing checkout and improving inventory management. So, stores have a lot to benefit from them.

Improving Distribution & Logistics

The logistics industry is one that cuts across different other spaces. And here, labeling systems come in handy when products need to be tracked in real time. 

In most cases, you’d find that shipping labels have their own barcodes, tracking numbers, addresses, and more. These are applied to the products, making it much easier to sort and route them when the need arises. 

Hospitals & Healthcare Workers Use Labels Too

From identifying patients to handling specimens and managing medications, labels are very important in the healthcare space. Patients wear wristbands with barcodes on them, packages have labels on them, and much more. 

All of these ensure that hospitals can run more smoothly, and that they remain compliant with regulations. 

Application In The Automotive Industry

For vehicle manufacturers, labeling systems are very important to ensure part identification and quality control. Labels usually come with serial and part numbers, with barcodes being applied to vehicle components to ensure that they remain traceable as manufacturing goes on. 

Key Features of Effective Labelling Systems

Print Apply System

For a labeling system to be termed effective, it’s not just enough for it to work or for you to be able to label stuff. Generally, manufacturers also need to consider a few features in their quest to implement an all-encompassing labeling solution:

It Needs To Be Accurate: First, ensure that your system ensures accurate label placement on your products. So, errors can be minimized.

They Should Be Flexible: What is labeling if it isn’t versatile? You should be able to handle different types, sizes,m and shapes of labeling systems to ensure that they can accommodate different products too.

Performance & Speed Matter: If you’re in an industry that needs high-volume production, then you need a system that offers this too. This way, you maintain production efficiency.

They Should Work In A System: An effective labeling system should be able to easily integrate into existing production systems. This improves operational streamlining and gives you easy work.

The System Should Be Easy: As usual, ease of use is also important with labelling systems. The interface should be seamless, maintenance should be a breeze, and it should be user-friendly on the whole.

Important Quality Control: Beyond just labeling, you need to have inspection and verification systems that ensure the accuracy of your label. Proper quality control helps you to detect any possible misrepresentation or missing labels, as well as additional defects that can cause issues.

What Does The Law Say?: Before implementing a labelling system, make sure that it supports compliance with your industry’s top regulations. For instance, for food makers, the FDA has strict requirements for food labels. Be aware of these and know what you’re working with. 

Choosing the Right Labelling System for Your Business

With the focus now being on choosing the right labeling system, you want to make sure that you have the right features, and that the system itself is ideal. So, put some of the following into consideration as  you go forward:

What Do You Need?: First, start by identifying your requirements and needs. Consider the types of products, the volume, sizes of the labels, and even the speed of labeling you want. 

Think About The Technology: Look into the different labeling technologies and examine where they shine and where they fall off. Based on your needs, you should be able to make a choice. 

How Do You Integrate It?: Also look into whether you’d need to integrate the system with other software systems or equipment as part of your supply chain or production line. How do you do that? And what do you need? 

The Customization Requirement: Your system should be able to offer a degree of customization, especially when it comes to label designs and content selection. This flexibility will improve the consistency of your branding and optimize regulatory compliance too.

Examine Both Usage & Maintenance: Generally, you want to look for a system that’s user-friendly and also easy to maintain. This reduces your chances of making errors and also optimizes your overall operation. 

Don’t Just Think About Now: As your business grows, there’s a high chance that your labeling needs will do the same. This is why you also need to consider scalability as a feature and its potential impact on your future operations. 

Always Compare Costs & Returns: A labeling system is an investment in your business. So, you want to make sure you get proper value for it. Beyond just the amount of money you’ll be spending, ensuring that you get the right returns and value for this investment will be critical in the long run. 


Everyone uses labels these days. And you can see the importance of these systems. With their features and ability to improve traceability and identification, labeling systems are definitely a critical piece of every manufacturing process. 

If you’d like more information about these systems, then reach out to us at Sainty Tec. 

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