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Epson Partner United Automation Creates Print-and-Apply Label Applicators for Pharmacy Bottle and Bag Labeling

Press release from the issuing company

United Automation Labeling Solutions Incorporate Epson ColorWorks On-Demand Label Printer and Industrial Robots for One-to-One Automated Labeling and Verification System

Los Alamitos, Calif. – Epson today announced its partner United Automation has created automated labeling applicators integrating the ColorWorks® C7500 on-demand color label printer and Epson 6-Axis VT, C-Series and SCARA robot solutions. United Automation, with over 20 years of experience in the design and fabrication of custom automation equipment, engineered the ColorWorks pick-and-place desktop label applicator and the ColorWorks labeling and verification machine based on feedback from retail pharmaceutical customers that require an upgrade from black-only labels to color labels to incorporate warnings, logos and branding on prescription bottles.

The pick-and-place desktop label applicator integrates the ColorWorks C7500 on-demand color label printer and an Epson high-precision SCARA robot to feed, print and apply color labels with accuracy. The labeling and verification machine, which incorporates the ColorWorks C7500 and an Epson 6-Axis robot, features loading, labeling, peel labeling, inspection, verification, and unloading functionalities. The labeling and verification machine for prescription bottles can print and apply up to 600 unique color labels per hour with label placement precision.

“The ColorWorks labeling and verification machine is the first United Automation solution to incorporate color labeling,” said Jeff Runge, project manager, United Automation. “Color is becoming increasingly important for retail pharmacies and now, with the ColorWorks integration, we are able to offer customers a comprehensive, automated color labeling device that places labels with precision and accuracy. Plus, the ColorWorks output offers labels with a tremendous shelf life and fade-resistance.”

United Automation’s ColorWorks labeling and verification machine can help simplify and streamline the process of printing and applying color labels, while first-in, first-out, in addition to inspection and verification technologies, help ensure the correct bottle receives the correct label. With United Automation technology, the machine prints and applies wrap-around as well as folded labels to prescription bottles varying in height and diameter. The inclusion of the ColorWorks C7500 provides the flexibility businesses need to help reduce waste and decrease costs associated with ordering and maintaining an inventory of pre-printed labels.

Once the bottle is detected in the machine, its barcode and label data are verified before moving along to the label station where it is greeted by its corresponding printed and folded label. After the bottle’s manufacturer and patient barcodes are verified, the bottle is moved to the peel label station where its peel label is applied and its barcode and label data are verified once again. If need be, the bottle can be rejected to the reject bin before exiting the machine.

Additional ColorWorks labeling and verification machine features include:
· Label placed over pre-existing label without covering original barcode and expiration data
· Text auto-aligned on label based on pre-determined reference point
· Label position verified at two points in cycle
· Label height adjusted dynamically based on per-bottle specifications
· Applicator reads both "picket-fence" and "ladder" type barcodes
· Folds label and applies removable adhesive tab to maximize print area

“We know color labels can help improve the readability and comprehension of information and enhance safety for pharmaceutical packaging,” said Andrew Moore, product manager, Commercial Label Printers, Epson America. “These new solutions from United Automation are revolutionary in providing a seamless and reliable automated color labeling application system that will help pharmaceutical businesses include color coded warnings and highlighted information for customers.”

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