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Semi-Automatic Labeling Machine: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

If you have any question about semi-automatic labeling machine, you will find the answer right here.

Whether you want to learn about the features, design, specifications, or working principle – all information you’re looking for is right here.

Keep reading to learn more.

How Does Semi-Automatic Labeling Machine Compare To Fully Automatic Labeling Machine?

 Automatic two side labeling machine

Automatic two side labeling machine

Importantly, both of these machines automate the labeling process.

However, the major difference between a semi-automatic labeling machine and a fully automatic labeling machine is in the initiation of the labeling process.

The labeling process in the fully automatic machine is entirely carried out by the machine, right from the initiation stage to the final labeling step.

The automatic labelers have a system that puts the products in place ready for labeling.

On the other hand, the semi-automatic labeling machine needs the help of an operator to initiate the labeling process.

For the machine to apply the label on the products, they should be already lined up.

Also, the product is again removed by hand.

Also, fully automatic labeling machines are majorly used in the production of large quantities and batch numbers.

However, the semi-automatic labeling machines are ideal for smaller batch numbers and quantities.

In summary, the comparison of the semi-automatic labeling machines and fully automatic labeling machines will be around;

  • Price and operating cost – With the fully automatic labeling machine having a higher price tag.
  • Package flexibility – With the semi-automatic labeling machines having low package flexibility/versatility.
  • Label options – Typically, a semi-automatic labeling machine is designed to apply only one label type.

However, this can add other label types through some design alterations.

  • Speed – There is no large speed variation between both machine types.
  • Space – Both of the machines have varying space requirements.

What Are The Components Of Semi-Automatic Labeling Machine?

Semi-automatic labelling machine

Semi automatic labeling machine

Various semi-automatic labeling machines have different parts.

These parts operate harmoniously to ensure the labeling process is not only efficient but fast.

Although some parts may differ depending on the machine type or design, there are some main components.

Below is a list of these main components. Each part is vital and greatly affects the labeling process.

 Parts of labeling machine

Parts of labeling machine

Feeding Hopper

Here is where the materials are introduced into the machine.

Ideally, the feeding hopper should operate systematically.

Accuracy, caution, and precision are required in the introduction of the materials for labeling.

This way, the materials will not break.

Also, this will make the labeling process less tedious and involving.

Date Printer

I trust that most of the products you have come across have dates.

Commonly, the most important dates are the manufacture and expiry dates.

If you keenly examine the products, the date is printed outside the main label.

Including the date on the main label may overcrowd the main label.

Luckily, most modern semi-automatic labeling machines enable you to print the date outside the label using this part – the date printer.

Labeling Station

The actual labeling of the products occurs in this station.

It comprises two parts, the labeling head, and the labeling pad.

This part may feature a clear display so that you can actually see the label being applied.

Also, you can adjust it to meet your various labeling needs.

Control Panel

The control panel dictates and enhances the efficiency of a semi-automatic labeling machine. Generally, with the control panel, the entire labeling process will be within the grasp of your hand.

Most of the adjustments and configurations of the machine are implemented from this component. Also, the panel will alert you as an operator of any emergency concerns.

Typically, most machines feature a touch screen control panel due to technological advancements and improving the user experience.

Drive Mechanism

The labeling process involves the motion – of the products being labeled and the various machine components.

Majorly, the drive mechanism comprises – conveyor, motor, and roller system.

The motor is not only the central part of the drive mechanism but is also an integral part of the machine.

It powers up the entire appliance by converting electrical energy to mechanical energy.

As for the conveyor, its primary role is to move the products from one part of the machine to another part for a smooth labeling process.

Its major components are belts and wheels that work simultaneously to convey the products.

Lastly is the roller system, which is dependent on the motors and conveyors for motion.

This system aids the various components of the machine to move and stay in the right position.

Labeling Plate

This is where you will put the labels for the machine to pick and print on the surface of the container.

Usually, the label picking process is automatic, followed up by printing.

The plate size and numbers will vary depending on the size and the type of labeling machine you are using.

Discharge Mechanism

After the labeling of the products, they have to exist the machine.

Also, the products should be checked if the labeling is correctly done.

The discharge mechanism ensures both of the above are a success.

Safety System

Safety is paramount when it comes to operating any machine.

Commonly, semi-automatic labeling machines feature emergency buttons that are easily accessible.

An additional safety feature is the insulation of all electrical wires.

Moreover, the wires are again enclosed in a lockable box for additional safety.

Furthermore, some semi-automatic labeling machines may feature a security system that interlocks various processes.

Lastly, most safety systems will also prevent the powering on of the machine if all the parts are not in place.

How Does Semi-automatic Labeling Machine Work?

The operation of a semi-automatic labeling machine is dependent on the components it has.

We have highlighted the basic steps that labeling machine will follow during the labeling process.

  1. First, the products are fed into the machine. Notably, the feeding is synchronized with the labeling process.
  2. Next, using the conveyor system, the products move to the label distribution area where they are adequately spaced – ready for labeling.
  • Still, on the conveyor system, the products are labeled automatically in the labeling box.

At this stage, the speed might decrease to ensure accurate labeling.

  1. Finally, the products exit the machine after being labeled appropriately.

Note: Since the subject label machine is semi-automatic, the labeling process has to be initiated by the operated.

Thus, this may as well be the first step in the operation of the semi-automatic labeling machines.

Why Should You Invest In Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

You should think of a semi-automatic labeling machine as an alternative to the automatic labeling machine.

Although it does not feature full automation, it pretty much comes in handy in the labeling process.

Having mentioned that, here are some major reasons why should consider getting your business a semi-automatic labeling machine:

  • It is easy to use – Since these machines are partly automated, operating them is easy. Actually, all you need to do is initiate the labeling process and the machine will handle the rest.
  • Increased production – Compared to manually labeling the products (or using hand held labeling equipment), the use of a semi-automatic labeling machine increases production in the labeling process.
  • Efficiency – By efficiency, I mean increased production at a low input cost.

A semi-automatic labeling will guarantee efficiency, making your investment in the machine profitable in the long-run.

  • Cost-effective – Comparing the price of the semi-automatic labeling machine to its average service life, you will realize it is a worthwhile investment and ensures value for money.
  • Increase the competitiveness of your product – As it is famously quoted, ‘when you go to Rome do what the Romans do’.

Most companies have embraced automated labeling of their products making their labels more outstanding.

To be at par with current labeling practices, you will need at least a semi-automatic labeling machine.

What Are The Limitations Of Using Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

Regardless of their overwhelming benefits, the semi-automatic labeling machines have a few draw backs.

  • First, due to its partial automation, semi-automatic labeling machines can not initiate the labeling process automatically – minus an operator.

This may mean additional labor requirements.

  • Also, you need to meticulously program the semi-automatic labeling machines.

If the machine’s settings are slightly off, a compromise in the accuracy of the label application will occur.

  • Depending on the labeling method the machine employs, the labeling process might be slow.

For example, the suction method of label application is will result to slow labeling.

  • Lastly is the range of applications of these machines.

Mostly, semi-automatic labeling machines are constrained to one product.

Moreover, most semi-automatic labeling machines apply only one type of label.

Which Industries Use Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

Packaging and labelling process

Packaging and labeling process

Provided the industry has products that need labeling, you can use a semi-automatic labeling machine.

Below are some typical examples of industries that use semi-automatic labeling machines regularly;

  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Wine industry
  • Food industry
  • Beverage Industry
  • Cosmetics Industry
  • Hardware
  • Chemical Industry
  • Paint Industry
  • Contract Packagers
  • Machine Integrators

Which Products Can You Label Using Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

Semi automatic bottle labeling machine

Semi automatic bottle labeling machine

Commonly, semi-automatic labeling machines are designed to label only one specific type of product.

What this then means is that there are various types of semi-automatic labeling machines for different products.

The common types of products labeled by the semi-automatic labeling machines are;

  • Cosmetic containers
  • E-liquid bottles
  • Wine bottles
  • Standard shipping containers

What Is The Difference Between Manual Labeling Machine And Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

Manual labeling machine

manual labeling machine.

We will look at the comparison between the two in terms of key subtopics.

Label Application

Manual labeling machines require human effort to put the labels.

The operator will have to turn the crank to apply the label manually.

On the other hand, the application of the label in the semi-automatic label machine is automated. The operator only arranges the products and the machine label application.

Output Level

Since manual labeling machines are entirely labor dependent, they have low output because humans grow tired due to energy depletion over time.

However, for semi-automatic labeling machines, operator involvement is minimal thus, a higher output level is recorded – provided the machine settings are correct.


Price levels of labeling machines vary depending on the degree of sophistication.

With that in mind, semi-automatic labeling machines have a higher price than manual ones since they employ technology in the labeling process.


Logically, a semi-automatic labeling machine is faster than a manual labeling machine.

However, in a way, the speed of both machines is directly dependent on the worker’s /operator’s rate.


Both machines have limited versatility or application.

Ideally, both machines are designed to label specific products using specific stickers.

We have exhausted the comparisons between the two.

Hopefully, the above information will guide you to choose the best machine that will suit your need.

How Can You Increase Efficiency Of Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

Maintenance is key in not only retaining but also increasing the efficiency of your semi-automatic labeling machine.

Simple maintenance practices include cleaning the machine and replacing or repairing dysfunctional parts.

Next, you can ensure that the labeling settings are correct.

Incorrect settings may extend the labeling process since you will have to redo the entire process.

Lastly, since automatic labeling partly depends on a worker (who arranges the bottles for labeling), the machine’s efficiency is also tied to the worker.

Allowing the operators to work in shifts will boost their productivity which will directly reflect in the efficiency of the labeling process.

How Should You Maintain Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

There are some regular maintenance practices you can carry out on a semi-automatic labeling machine.

However, other maintenances are done upon the discovery of malfunction.

Below are some major typical maintenance practices you can carry out on your semi-automatic labeling machine;

  • Controlling the length of the label to ensure that it is not too long.

A lengthy label sticks easily – resulting to a tear or scratch on the label.

  • Regularly replacing and using a high quality backing paper on the machine.
  • Continuously adjusting the electric eye for easy tag detection and a smooth labeling process.
  • Constantly aligning the label to increase the machine’s accuracy in the label application.
  • Checking the traction wheels and ensuring they are not too tight or too loose.

Cleaning The Machine

Another key maintenance practice is cleaning the semi-automatic labeling machine.

During cleaning, ensure the following:

  • Clean the machine from the outside
  • Do not pour water on any part of the machine, even the cover.
  • Notably, the use of a damp instead of wet cloth is advisable.
  • You can make use of non-aggressive detergents
  • To clean the compartments, use cotton.
  • Cleaning involves the removal of any label and glue residues.
  • Ensure you remove any debris and dust from the machine’s header.
  • You can clean the cutter with a swab dipped in alcohol.
  • Lastly, without exerting too much and pressure, ensure you clean the sensors for efficient labeling.

Note: The various semi-automatic labeling machines come with instruction manuals that detail the several maintenance practices you can carry out on the labeling machine.

Can You Integrate Semi-automatic Labeling Machine With Existing Production Line?

Yes, the two key ways of using a labeling machine are feeding them manually or integrating them into an existing production line.

Integrating a semi-automatic labeling machine in your existing production line will go a long way in ensuring faster labeling.

Thus, the label will be immediately applied to your products provided an operator or a connected machine triggers the switch.

Which Surface Can You Label Using Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

Vertical semi automatic labeling machine

oval surface semi-automatic labeling machine.

Typically, a semi-automatic labeling machine will apply labels on various products with different materials such as glass, PVC, ceramics, metal, HDPE, and PET.

Notably, these products have different surfaces.

Generally, semi-automatic labeling machines can apply labels on the below surfaces;

  • Round surfaces such as bottles
  • Flat surfaces such as envelopes, cartons, trays, boxes, etc.
  • Oval surfaces


Which Types Of Labels Can You Apply Using Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

The common types of labels that the semi-automatic labeling machines use include:

  • Paste labels
  • Stickers
  • Ant-counterfeit labels
  • Self-adhesive labels
  • Bar code

What Are The Common Causes Of Semi-automatic Labeling Machine Failure?

No process has a 100% guarantee of no failure – labeling using a semi-automatic labeling machine is no exception.

We have highlighted some common problems when using semi-automatic labeling; alongside their causes and possible solutions.


ProblemCausePossible Solutions
Label is not clearFailure of the machine to detect the gap within labelsIf your machine is using light and dark sensors, print a black timing on the backside of the liner

Alternatively, replace or go for a machine with an ultrasonic sensor – which uses sound waves to detect the gaps.

Line tears occur after label applicationDamaged applicator tipReplace or repair the applicator tip.

Use Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) tape which is highly slippery.

No Label FeedingIncorrect position of the measuring product

Electrical eye failure

Loose labeling head preventing it from pulling the sticker

Label system failure

Output power to the header is not connected

Adjust the sensor position

Replace or repair the electric eye.

Fasten or tighten the labeling head.

Run a diagnostic on the labeling system

Check if the labeling header is connected to the power supply

Continuous Label FeedingIncorrect positioning of the label sensor and the electric eye.

Electric eye failure

Adjust the position of the label sensor and the electric eye.

Replace or repair the electric eye

Labeling Axial Position Not AllowedIncorrect positioning of the labeling and the peeling plate.

Incorrect positioning of the label in the label head.

Adjust the position of both or either the labeling and peeling plate.

Adjust the positioning of the label in the label head

Labeling Position Before and After Labeling Is Not CorrectIncorrect positioning of the measuring object

Extended or shortened delay time.

Adjust the position of the measuring object

Adjust the delay time.

Label Does not Attach on the productSlow labeling speed

Short reserved label

Extremely fast labeling speed

Measuring object is positioned far from the target

Interval is too small

Poorly viscous label and a dirty sticker

Adjust the labeling speed

Increase the length of the reserved label.

Adjust the measuring object.

Increase the clip belt’s speed to widen the interval.

Replace the label with a more viscous and clean label.

Wrinkles after LabelingLong reserve label leading to failure of label adjustment.

Slow labeling speed

Fast conveyor speed

Reduce the size of the reserve label.

Adjust the labeling speed and the conveyor speed

Missing labelMeasuring object has poor sensitivity

Slow or fast labeling speed and conveyor speed

Adjust the sensitivity of the electric eye

Adjust both or either the speed of labeling and the conveyor.

Loose Label Bottom PaperPinch belt speed is faster than the labeling speedAdjust either the labeling speed or the pinch belt speed


How Do You Determine Production Capacity Of Semi-automatic Labeling Machine?

The production capacity of a semi-automatic labeling machine is measured in the number of bottles or containers labeled per minute.

Conclusively, you will know the production capacity of your machine in terms of how many products it can label at optimum conditions.

How Much Do Semi-automatic Labeling Machine Cost?

The price of a semi-automatic labeling machine can range from as low as $270 to as high as $960 per piece.

This price variation is dependent on many factors, including;

  • Machine size – the bigger the machine, the more costly the machine.

This can be attributed to the cost of the materials used in manufacturing the machine.

  • Production capacity – a highly productive semi-automatic machine will attract a higher price since the production capacity is directly linked to the machine size and technology employed.
  • Versatility – This is in terms of how many label types the machine can apply.

Also, here you can consider what product types the machine can label.

  • Sophistication – Some semi-automatic labeling machines have additional features such as a date coder, which may add to their price.
  • Condition – Typically, a new machine will be more expensive than a used machine.

How Much Power Does Semi-automatic Labeling Machine Use?

Typically, most semi-automatic labeling machines need 110V – 440V of power to efficiently carry out the labeling process.

Are Semi-automatic Labeling Machines Portable?

Most table top semi-automatic labeling machines are portable. Commonly, portability is dependent on the size of the machine.

Do Semi-automatic Labeling Machine Have Any Safety Features?

Safety come first when operating a machine.

As such, most manufacturers create a safety manual for their semi-automatic labeling machines. You should follow these manuals to the latter when operating the machines.

Below are some prominent safety features that a semi-automatic labeling machine may have:

  • Emergency buttons that are easily accessible to cut off power supply in case of emergency.
  • Process interlock – for example the labeler cannot move if there are no containers or the machine cannot power on if the electrical box is open.
  • Insulation of electrical wires and enclosing them in a lockable box.
  • Isolation of all moving parts to prevent injury.

How Does Horizontal And Vertical Semi-automatic Labeling Machines Compare?

Figure 8 Vertical semi-automatic labeling machine

The major difference between the horizontal and the vertical semi-automatic labeling machines is in the side the label is applied.

The horizontal or the top side semi-automatic labeling machine applies the label from the product’s top (or on the upper surface).

On the other hand, the vertical semi-automatic labeling machine applies the label on the sides of the product.

Can Semi-automatic Labeling Machine Label Multiple Surfaces?

Yes, however, some semi-automatic labeling machines are specialized to only label certain surfaces.

Are There Two Side Semi-automatic Labeling Machines?

Yes, the two-sided semi-automatic labeling machines feature two heads that aid in with the application of one or two opposed labels.

What Makes Pressure Sensitive Semi-automatic Labeling Machine Unique?

One outstanding feature of the pressure-sensitive semi-automatic labeling machine is the ease of operation.

The operator places the product and steps on a foot pedal to apply the label on the product.

Also, this equipment increases consistency and efficiency in the labeling process.

Additional Resources:

At SaintyCo, we offer a range of machines such as cylinder labeling machine, automatic two side labeling machine, pressure sensitive labeler, vertical labeling machine, flat surface labeling machine, horizontal labeling machine, point wrap round labeler, high speed wrap labeler, automatic two side labeling machine, multi surface labeler, and paste labeling machine, amongst others.

For any questions of inquiry about semi-automatic labelling machine, contact us now.

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