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Fall/Winter 2010 | Learning About Labels


Label Roll Unwind Direction

Behaviorally speaking, “unwinding” connotes relaxing, de-stressing, mellowing out. When it comes to machine application of labels, paying attention to “unwind direction” upfront definitely can prevent stress when applying the labels.

According to PrintWiki, “Label unwind direction is simply the way in which a label unwinds from a roll.”

Seems simple enough, unless it doesn’t get addressed when your order is placed. That’s why your Lightning Labels customer service rep will make sure to check it out as part of the ordering process. Even if you’re applying by hand now, chances are a label applicator will be a future consideration. By paying attention to unwind direction along the way, this important issue will be top of mind when it becomes relevant.

PrintWiki addresses the four label unwind direction options and provides a diagram to illustrate each (see diagram at right). #1 shows the top of the copy dispensing first, #2 shows the bottom of the copy dispensing first; #3 shows the right side of the copy dispensing first; #4 shows the left side of the copy dispensing first.

For those of you who have been thinking about a label applicator or contracting with a firm that will machine apply labels for you, the good news is affordability and versatility. For those considering keeping the application process in-house, many options exist, from simple label dispensers costing a few hundred dollars to fully automated systems running many thousands of dollars. Label applicator systems exist for bottles, jars, lip balm canisters, lids, and just about anything else you can imagine.

When you feel the time is right to look at a label application system, we’ll be happy to talk with you about both products and processes—and address pros and cons of a particular solution.

For example, since most labeling machines only provide one unwind direction option for a specific type of container, it’s worthwhile determining this as part of the equipment selection process.

While there is no inherent advantage or disadvantage to any particular unwind direction, you may have special requirements that make it beneficial to use one unwind direction option. The time to address this issue is before making a purchase.

By being aware of unwind direction now, you’ll better be able to unwind later.