Hang Tabs Australia has employee expertise in both the supply of Hang Tabs or self-adhesive hooks and in labelling equipment. The Label-On website covers a vast range of self-adhesive applicators.
When it comes to the application of hang tabs they can be supplied in rolls that can be dispensed with labelling equipment. Typically this would be done with a Top and Bottom label applicator with some modifications to handle the thickness and clarity of the hang tabs.
So a key question for Hang Tab clients is “when should I automate the application of my Hang Tabs”?
Below we discuss some of the key considerations:
a) Volume of use
The cost of equipment and the time to set up that equipment along with your base labour costs can all influence what volume of hang tabs that justify automation.
If a decision is based on Volume alone then a monthly application of not less than 100,000 hang tabs would justify a close look at automation
b) Accuracy of Placement and Product shape
In some cases, human application will be more accurate – for instance on soft or irregular shaped products. In other cases like uniform rigid packaging Automatic application will provide more consistent and accurate application. For example thin boxes and packs are ideal for handling in a labelling machine and on a conveyor.
c) Existing machinery and conveyors
Automated labelling (hang tab application) is more easily implemented when the packs or product are already being moved with conveyors and orientated consistently. Label applicators can be the first piece of equipment a manufacturer uses as they move to automation so it may be a good place to start with the automated application of hang tabs. In this case the products are placed onto the conveyor of the label applicator or into a feeding hopper attached to the label applicator.
d) Environmental Considerations
Using rolls of Hang Tabs mean that each hang tab needs to have backing paper – which is thrown away. The same can be said for the commonly supplied format of sheet form hang tabs. Pad form hang tabs reduce this waste factor significantly sharing one piece of backing paper for up to 10 hang tabs reducing the backing paper waste by 90%. Companies that are currently using rolls of hang tabs and applying them manually can easily switch to this format. Hang Tabs Australia can even supply the pad form hang tabs in strips where there are 10 pads all on the same backing strip; giving the feel of roll form use but saving the environment and most likely application time given only one tenth the length of material has to be on the bench or pulled from a roll to cover the same production volume of hang tabs application.
e) Speed of Production
Automated application can comfortably apply 60 hang tabs per minute. A manual worker will struggle to do even a third of this speed. On the other hand the manual worker may have other tasks like checking the product quality, packing into cartons, closing boxes etc… and in this case the application of a Hang Tab is part of a series of jobs justifying the placement of that worker.
We currently have a case study where a large volume client of ours intends to move to automated application of hang tabs. They were used to using roll form hang tabs and applying them manually. They made the switch to our Pad form hang tabs which provided significant savings – some of which were derived from reducing the amount of backing paper by 90% in the switch to Pad Form hang tabs.
In this case the client needs to consider the likely resistance to change for the workers who have already streamlined the use of the roll form hang tabs. Our client reported significant increases in production time when applying pad form hang tabs manually as opposed to the old roll form hang tabs. When shown pictures of how they were applying the pad form hang tabs it was quite clear the workers were making little effort to streamline the process with pads of hang tabs scattered and product to be “labelled” in messy stacks on sorting tables.
If this client can overcome the resistance to change and make some minor changes to the process of manually applying the hang tabs, this client will reap the savings of moving to Pad form hang tabs. They are also considering strips of Pad Form Hang Tabs. Common sense says it can be done as it is swapping one manual process for another and the strips option can provide some familiarity with the roll format, still the human acceptance factor can be overriding. In the end our client will automate the process and this will mean moving to roll form and there will be significant labour savings and enhancements in consistency of hang tab placement. Until then the Pad Form hang Tabs offers them cost savings from the reduced use of backing paper; if only they can have it accepted and implemented in their factory used to the roll format of supply.