User-friendly Product Development

New Linear Labeller Developed in Customer Collaboration

Age-related machine failures are a nuisance for any company, as procurement requires a lot of time in addition to the costs incurred. It is even more unfavourable when an adequate successor model of the manufacturer used is no longer available on the market.

This is what happened to Opptha, a company specialised in the production and distribution of customised promotional drinks. Since the labels are a key feature of their customised promotional drink cans, it was even more annoying when their labelling machine slowly but surely stopped working.
Labelling their products requires special, container-independent requirements, so that only a linear labeller with self-adhesive dispensers comes into question for the company. Since Opptha is also a contract filler and has been using rotary labelling machines from Gernep for this purpose for a long time, they also wanted to switch to a machine from this manufacturer for the linear range. At the time of the enquiry, however, Gernep was still in the middle of developing a specially designed linear labelling machine. The two companies therefore quickly took advantage of their common interest: they decided to work together and carry out the prototype tests at Opptha in Neutraubling, just 10 km away. "For us, this was an ideal opportunity to subject the machine to a stress test during operation at every stage of development. Working with the customer, we were also able to be sure of the practicality and usability of our new linear runner right from the start," says Martin Hammerschmid, Managing Director of Gernep GmbH. Opptha also benefited from the cooperation by being able to contribute wishes and requirements during the development phase and, in the end, received a brand-new linear labelling machine that was perfectly tailored to its needs.

Gernep’s Linear Labeller Shines with Many Variation Options
The result of the collaboration is quite impressive. The Gernep linear labeller is the perfect alternative to extensive rotary labelling machines. Equipped with one to two self-adhesive dispensers, it can apply front, back or wrap-around labels to up to 3,500 containers per hour. Opptha currently fills slimline cans with a filling capacity of 150 ml to 500 ml, to which different labels are applied depending on the container. The absolute customer favourite, however, is the classic wrap-around label. The promotional drinks on offer are made from start to finish by Opptha and can be produced quickly and cost-effectively on a linear labeller - even in small batches. Quality is particularly important to them, not only in the machines they use, but also in their products. Due to the in-house production, they take care to only fill high-quality beverages. The assortment ranges from alcoholic drinks such as beer or apple spritz to energy drinks and coffee. "For a perfect product, we have the most modern machines at our disposal," says Opptha managing director Dominic Oppowa.
A convincing advantage of the linear labelling machine is the processing of different container sizes with only one format part set. This eliminates the need for makeready containers such as starwheels or screw conveyors. The compact self-adhesive linear machine can easily be integrated in existing production lines due to its compact size. As it comes on floor rollers the machine can also be flexibly placed in production hall with no big effort. 
Despite its compactness, the Gernep linear labeller has a number of variation options and includes many technical features. Depending on the place of use, a customer can choose from individual machine lengths between 2,000 mm and 5,000 mm as well as from different dispenser heights. In addition, the tape guide can be variably adjusted for containers with a diameter of 30 mm to 120 mm. Label rolls with an outer diameter of 300 mm or 400 mm can also be integrated, and label application is optionally possible via a roll-on belt or a triangular prism. The Gernep self-adhesive linear labeller is thus designed to meet a wide range of customer requirements and proves to be the ideal starter model for the lower output range.

Simple Operation with Precise Labelling Results
Gernep has equipped its new linear labelling machine with the latest technology and modern self-adhesive labelling aggregates to produce precise labelling results. As an option, even dating systems can be integrated into the machine. Nevertheless, operating the compact labeller is as simple as it can be. The containers are first separated via an automatic container barrier before the product is detected via a light barrier. Afterwards the label dispensing process is triggered right away. If there is a backlog or the collection table is full, an automatic machine stop is triggered.
The handling of the linear labeller is also intuitive, as machine settings can be made via the integrated display on the dispenser or optionally via smartphone. Even the grade storage can be set directly in the dispenser. During initial commissioning, Gernep optionally carries out machine training with qualified service technicians to instruct the operators on site and prepare them for ongoing production. 
For both Opptha and Gernep, the prototype development proved to be a successful project. Further linear labelling machines have already been ordered to cope with increasing customer enquiries. Soon, Opptha plans to expand its business area and also label cosmetic products made of PET with parts labels on the linear machine. Dominic Oppowa is therefore even more pleased that the cooperation with Gernep was a complete success and that the machine has been permanently included in the product portfolio of the labelling machine manufacturer.

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