Label applicators are machines used to dispense, apply, or print and apply labels to packages. Machines range from simple manual dispensing to fully automated print and apply high production units. Dispenser only label applicators are the method of choice when precise label placement is unnecessary and volume is low. A simple, low-cost electric label dispenser is all that's needed for this type of application.  The dispenser supplies a label that has been partially peeled from the webbing. The operator takes the label and applies it to the product. A sensor indicates that the label has been removed and advances the roll to partially dispense the next label. The webbing is wound onto a roll as the labels are dispensed. The speed of the operator and how the product is handled determine the rate of application.

With a semi-automatic applicator, the operator places the product into position and triggers the unit to apply the label. The product is removed and the cycle repeated. Triggering the applicator is usually done with a foot switch so the hands remain free to handle the product. A palm button, photo eye, or proximity switch are other triggering options.

Semi-automatic print and apply label applicators, also known as print-and-apply models, are used for printing labels "on the fly" and then applying them. Printer applicators are preferred when a company has a large variety of products, and pre-printing and storing every type of label becomes prohibitive. They are also used when special coding (e.g., date, batch number, and serial numbers) is needed or when only small batches are run, and changing labels for every batch is too time-consuming.  The operator places the product into position and triggers the unit to apply the label. The product is removed and the cycle repeated. Triggering the applicator is usually done with a foot switch so the hands remain free to handle the product. A palm button, photo eye, or proximity switch are other triggering options.

Automatic applicators are used when high volumes labeling is needed. A photo eye detects the product as it comes down the conveyor line and triggers the application of the label at the proper time. Product handling must be tightly controlled to ensure accurate label placement.

Automatic print and apply label applicators are used for printing labels when a company has a large variety of products, and pre-printing and storing every type of label becomes prohibitive. They are also used when special coding (e.g., date, batch number, serial numbers) is needed or when only small batches are run, and changing labels for every batch is too time consuming

When higher volumes and labeling on conveyor lines are needed, fully automatic label applicators are the choice. A sensor detects the product as it comes down the conveyor and triggers the application of the label at the proper time. Product handling must be tightly controlled to ensure accurate label placement.