• Daniel Searle

Which Machine Is Right for You? | P250 v P150

Updated: Mar 22




A labelling machine is a monumental step in the right direction towards speed and efficiency, but investing in one isn't always straightforward.


Many manufacturers, ourselves included, have their custom models designed for specific circumstances, work on particular products, or otherwise perform in a way best suited to their environment.


Making the right investment means understanding your options and selecting a machine that will best suit your requirements. Labelling machines can come with a variety of modules and differing levels of versatility, further influencing the level of return on investment you can expect.


In this regard, having more options is far more beneficial than not by enabling you to increase labelling accuracy on different product types and increase application speed amongst other benefits.


Entry-level machines are often limited in the number of modules they are compatible with, yet, they can still prove beneficial under certain circumstances. With that said, we'll be diving into our only two front and back labelling models - the P250 and P150 to see how they differ and which might be the best option for you.


P250 Specification and Uses


Our P250 labelling machine is our most versatile model. We originally designed this machine for a contract packing environment. It hosts a range of options, providing contract packers with the versatility they need to label a wide range of SKUs.


Similarly, the machine can recall up to 100 custom-named recipes while optionally supplying digital setting dials. These enable less-skilled operators, without prior engineering knowledge, to get 90% of the way to a previous setting.


However, human interaction is only necessary for the initial setup and label reel changes as a fully automatic system. Leveraging process optimisation tech, there are fast changeover and advanced change over options available too.


Speed range can often be a concern. After all, is the ROI there if the process isn't much faster?


Our P250 has a flexible speed range, but this range ultimately depends on the label length and spacing between each product. Thus, the efficiency and rate of application depends on your production set up. Manually loading a machine will be significantly slower than leveraging a P250 alongside other production equipment designed to remove double handling and maintain a consistent flow.


The P250 is built custom to your requirements, so we have a number of standard models that can be added to suit various environments and container shapes. Below are a handful of some of the modules available on the P250:


Transfer belts*: The most stable form of in-feed or out-feed conveyor transfer also allows space for inkjet coding on the base of the product if required.


Slat chain conveyor: Variable speed conveyor available in various sizes depending on requirements.


Twin pitching rollers / belts*: Automatically creates spacing between bottles. Belts are used for higher speed applications to create an accurate pitch.


Chain alignment mechanism*: Aligns oval product ready for accurate labelling.


Top hold belt: Stabilises products during front and back applications.


P250 label heads: High accuracy and high-speed label heads to apply the label from the backing paper to the product. Single head, front and back, twin front, and quad formats available.


Three-roller wrap system: High-quality module for applying wraparound labels. Specifically designed for glass bottles and/or transparent labels.


Linear wrap system*: Maintains linear motion for ultimate wrap speeds.


Inspection: Various sensors and cameras available to inspect label alignment, missing label, OCR, barcode read, and more. Saving operators having to manually check for critical items.


Reject system: Triggered by an above camera or sensor to automatically remove “bad” product from being packed and mitigating product recall risks.


Printing: Thermal transfer coder integration for over-printing variable data such as BBE, use by date, DOM, serial number, barcode etc.


Rotary tables: In-feed or out-feed collecting tables allow for product to build up in an area ready for operator packing.


All above modules can be added to a single machine to give ultimate flexibility to your engineering team across the widest range of SKUs. The modules bolted to the conveyor (*) are installed with an undermount system that enables simple in and out adjustment by a single turn wheel. This can be further enhanced by Process Optimisation Technology which adds digital readouts to these dials and the label head dials for simple operator setup.


P150 Specification and Uses


As an entry-level machine, the P150 doesn't have the full versatility options as the P250. The P150 is a good solution to lines with minimal changeover requirements or used on dedicated lines that run the same product throughout the day.


The most notable difference from the above P250 is the label heads. The P150 uses our entry-level P100 label heads which are limited to 25m/min and can only label straight sided products. The P100 heads also exclude the advanced technology that comes with the P250 so a lower accuracy of ±1mm accuracy is expected.


The options mounted to the conveyor are on a kip lock system on the P150 that needs physically undoing and moving by hand compared to the easy-adjust undermount system on the P250.


The P150 includes limited module options listed below:


Transfer belts: The most stable form of in-feed or out-feed conveyor transfer also allows space for inkjet coding on the base of the product if required.


Slat chain conveyor: Variable speed conveyor available in various sizes depending on requirements.


Twin pitching rollers: Automatically creates spacing between bottles.


Chain alignment mechanism: Aligns oval product ready for accurate labelling.


Top hold belt: Stabilises products during front and back applications.


P100 label heads: Our entry level label head available as a single head or front and back format


Linear wrap system: Maintains linear motion


Rotary tables: In-feed or out-feed collecting tables allow for product to build up in an area ready for operator packing.



Who Can Use the P150?


The P150 is an economical solution to very straightforward front and back (or single sided) straight sided container labelling. They are a popular choice within the oil and chemicals industry that tend to standardise on 1-5L jerry cans. The stainless steel components also ensure longevity in these harsh components.


Which Is the Best Machine for You?


If money was no object, then the P250 is the obvious choice for anyone. It offers significant efficiency, speed, accuracy, and setup improvements over the entry level P150. However we understand that not everyone has unlimited budget so the P150 is an economical option for simple lines with no or little changeover.


The P250 is the only choice if you are working with pharmaceuticals with the ability to integrate inspection systems and even serialisation if required. It’s ultra high accuracy and high speeds also make it an extremely popular choice in cosmetics where end users require perfect label placement. Contract packers will find it challenging to source a machine covering all the critical areas the P250 does.


We recommend replacing equipment every 10 years to ensure the technology is up to date, however we have both P250s and P150s in the field that are over 25 years old and still working strong. Therefore it’s important to cost your initial investment over how much will be saved in operational labour over the lifetime over the machine.


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