Epson partners with United Automation to create print-and-apply automated label applicators

New automated labeling applicators integrate the Epson ColorWorks C7500 Colour Label Printer with Epson 6-Axis VT, C-Series, and Scara robot solutions.

Epson America (Los Alamitos, California) has announced that its partner, United Automation (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) has created new automated labeling applicators that integrate the Epson ColorWorks C7500 Colour Label Printer with Epson 6-Axis VT, C-Series, and Scara robot solutions. United Automation, with over 20 years of experience in the design and fabrication of custom automation equipment, engineered the ColorWorks pick-and-place desktop label applicator and the ColorWorks labeling and verification machine based on feedback from retail pharmaceutical customers that require an upgrade from black-only labels to colour labels (to incorporate warnings, logos and branding on prescription bottles). The pick-and-place desktop label applicator integrates the Epson ColorWorks C7500 Colour Label Printer and an Epson high-precision Scara robot to feed, print and apply colour labels with exceptional accuracy. The labeling and verification machine (which incorporates the ColorWorks C7500 and an Epson 6-Axis robot) features loading, labeling, peel labeling, inspection, verification and unloading functions. The labeling and verification machine for prescription bottles can print and apply up to 600 unique colour labels per hour with excellent placement precision.

The Epson ColorWorks C7500 Digital Label Printer.

“The ColorWorks labeling and verification machine is the first United Automation solution to incorporate colour labeling,” said Jeff Runge, Project Manager at United Automation. “Colour is becoming increasingly important for retail pharmacies and now, with the ColorWorks integration, we are able to offer customers a comprehensive, automated colour-labeling device that places labels with precision and accuracy. Plus, the ColorWorks output offers labels with a tremendous shelf life and fade-resistance.” United Automation’s ColorWorks labeling and verification machine can help simplify and streamline the process of printing and applying colour labels, while first-in, first-out, in addition to inspection and verification technologies to help ensure that the correct bottle receives the correct label. With United Automation technology, the machine prints and applies wrap-around labels as well as folded labels to prescription bottles varying in height and diameter. The inclusion of the ColorWorks C7500 provides the flexibility businesses need to help reduce waste and decrease costs associated with ordering and maintaining an inventory of pre-printed labels, the companies pointed out.

Once the bottle is detected in the machine, its barcode and label data are verified before moving along to the label station where it’s ‘greeted’ by its corresponding printed and folded label. After the bottle’s manufacturer and patient barcodes are verified, the bottle is moved to the peel-label station where its peel label is applied and its barcode and label data are verified once again. If necessary, the bottle can also be directed to the reject bin before exiting the machine. Additional ColorWorks labeling and verification machine features include:

  • Label placed over pre-existing label without covering original barcode and expiration data.
  • Text auto-aligned on label based on a pre-determined reference point.
  • Label position verified at two points in cycle.
  • Label height adjusted dynamically based on per-bottle specifications.
  • Applicator reads both “picket-fence” and “ladder” type barcodes.
  • Folds label and applies removable adhesive tab to maximize print area.

“We know colour labels can help improve the readability and comprehension of information and enhance safety for pharmaceutical packaging,” said Andrew Moore, Product Manager of Commercial Label Printers at Epson America. “These new solutions from United Automation are revolutionary in providing a seamless and reliable automated colour-labeling application system that will help pharmaceutical businesses include colour-coded warnings and highlighted information for customers.