Self-adhesive label applicators, often an essential aspect of a production line, can range in size and speed depending on your requirements. A production line is built on hundreds of moving parts all working in harmony, so you don’t want the label applicator to be the weak link.

At retail, a label is essential for selling your product. It’s what attracts consumers’ attention. And, for your label to be perfectly applied to your product, you need the appropriate label applicator for the type, size and shape of the packaged product being labelled.

The different types of labelling machines:

Pyrotec PackMark offers an end-to-end service that covers every step in the process of procuring or renting labelling equipment, from project management to after-sales technical support.

To ensure our customers have the correct equipment for their applications, technicians will consider the type of container the label is being applied to, whether the application is manual, semi-automatic or automatic, the line speed required, the environmental conditions where labelling takes place, as well as transport and storage conditions and other specific needs.

Pyrotec PackMark supplies a range of self-adhesive, print and apply and linear labelling equipment, automatic, semi-automatic, and entry-level self-adhesive labels, as well as hand-held labellers and labellers for cylindrical objects.

Causes four common problems:

Four common label application issues include:

Wrinkling – Folds or ridges in your labels indicate wrinkling, the most common cause of which is using the wrong material for the container. Your label supplier or printer needs to know if you’re labelling onto a board, glass, or squeezable flexible or rigid plastic. Incorrect application or container irregularities may also cause wrinkling.

Tearing – To avoid tearing, label material should be durable. Films such as vinyl or polyester offer good tear resistance.

Flagging – A bulge along the edge of a label is called flagging and occurs if the label is too big or isn’t the right shape for the container.

Peeling or curling – Peeling may occur if labels are applied in cold or damp environments or if bottles are damp, dirty or greasy. It’s also important to ensure that labels have enough time to correctly set up and adhere to the bottle before being refrigerated to help prevent this problem.

Do you need professional help for your label application needs? Visit for an end-to-end service that covers every step in the process of procuring or renting labelling equipment.

Cost-saving consumables

As the tough economic climate tightens its grip on production costs, are you tempted to cut costs? Do you believe that opting for less expensive consumables for coders and thermal transfer printers will save you money?

Brandon Pearce, Pyrotec PackMark’s General Manager explains why tried-and-tested, specifically-designed consumables may cost a little more in the short term, but those long-term savings should not be overlooked.

‘The harmful effect of “grey” consumables will cost companies more money in the long term as expensive printer parts become damaged, specifically when it comes to the Markem-Imaje Thermal Transfer Ribbon consumables. Generic consumables have a negative effect on the lifespan of the print heads and the printer, forcing customers to replace expensive parts at costs far outweighing the savings made by using cheaper alternatives,’ Brandon warns

There are distinct advantages to using the correct consumable, especially with bigger capital investment equipment such as large printers.

Specially developed

The correct consumables are specially developed for their intended purpose on a specific machine. ‘The Markem-Imaje Thermal Transfer Ribbons have precise release layers and a back coating that matches the Markem-Imaje machine’s print heads. A poor-quality back coating can cause premature printhead wear and damage, as well as machine malfunction from static build-up,’ Brandon notes.

Less risk

Markem-Imaje consumables are extensively tested using ISO standards and are put through strict inspection criteria to ensure that you receive the highest quality products. ‘Using cheaper alternatives negates the terms of the printer’s warranty – when something goes wrong, and it often does, you are left with a hefty repair bill that could have been avoided,’ Brandon cautions.

Global consistency

Markem-Imaje consumables are consistent across the world. If you have facilities in multiple locations, you are assured of always receiving the same product to achieve the same exacting standards.

Integrated design

Markem-Imaje’s products offer complete synergy between printers and consumables – a new model is never created without simultaneously considering the consumables capable of optimising its performance. ‘This approach guarantees the long-term reliability of coders, as well as the quality and resistance of codes,’ Brandon insists.

To watch Pyrotec PackMark’s Do-It-Yourself video on Changing consumables for Markem-Imaje’s CIJ 9028 continuous inkjet printer, go to

Are you looking for a high-quality, high-performance printing solution to meet your marking and coding needs on pipes, cable, tubes and profiles? Do you also need equipment that is robust enough to withstand a demanding environment?

Overcoming common industry challenges

If you are struggling with poor code quality, ink transference challenges or extensive downtime because of coding equipment issues, it may be time to find a solution that is specifically designed for extrusion coding, producing reliable codes time after time.

At Pyrotec PackMark we have non-contact continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers supported by innovative consumables and technologies that are created specifically for the extrusion industry.

What do you need?

Whether you’re looking for a machine that operates independently or a solution that can be integrated into your existing infrastructure and seamlessly networked with the other equipment on your manufacturing lines, we can provide you with a product that suits your unique operating environment and business needs.

If you need to print codes, logos and other information on pipes, cable, tubes and profiles at high speed, we can give you with the ability to do just this, on a range of substrates including PE, PP, PA, PUR and halogen-free polymers.

Ready to find out more?

Contact Pyrotec PackMark now to find out how to can introduce more efficiency and consistency into your challenging extrusion coding environment.

More industries are moving from conventional printing to digital printing. According to recent research by Future Market Insights[1], global demand for coding and marking equipment is forecast to grow over the next 10 years – resulting in a 1.7 x increase in revenue between 2017 to 2027. The value of this market in 2027 is projected to reach more than USD 1.7 billion.

The largest growth segment in this market, in terms of market value, is continuous inkjet printing (CIJ) equipment.

Why CIJ?

This technology prints digital images by expelling droplets of ink onto various substrates. Many manufacturers prefer this coding and marking technique because it is a non-impact process, which allows millions of characters to be printed using just a litre of ink.

The ink used by CIJ printers is also quick-drying, which means that no time is wasted during the coding and marking process. CIJ is therefore both efficient and cost-effective.

At the same time, this non-contact printing method allows for high-speed, precision printing onto a variety of shapes and substrates, which provides a great return on the hardware investment.

How to take advantage of this technology

Pyrotec PackMark distributes market-leading product identification and traceability solutions, including a full line of reliable and innovative continuous inkjet systems.

Our range of Markem-Imaje CIJ printers are ideal for use in the coding and marking of:

  • Electronics;
  • Cosmetics;
  • Foods and beverages;
  • Cables;
  • Pharmaceuticals;
  • And other product categories.

For world-class industrial printing solutions that provide clear, accurate, high quality coding on many types of substrates, in all types of environments – contact us today.


Recent research reported by reveals that the global market for barcoding machines is growing. The value of this market is forecast to increase beyond USD 3.8 billion by 2024, reflecting the rapidly rising demand for product identification solutions worldwide.

Barcodes and other coding solutions are unique identifiers that enable everyone in the supply chain to recognise, classify, track, trace and manage products – and the elements used to produce these – as they move from production floor to end user.

Originally intended for use on retail products to drive efficiency at the check-out, barcodes are now used on primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. Primary barcodes are typically printed on the product packaging itself – the layer presented to the consumer in the retail environment. Secondary barcodes are used on cartons that contain products to be shipped or distributed. And tertiary barcodes are applied to the pallets that contain cartons of mixed products. Here, the barcode provides information that’s needed during the transport and warehousing process.

As consumption becomes more globalised and coding technology grows more sophisticated, it’s important to be sure you’re accessing the most innovative, efficient and effective product identification solutions available.

Where to find the best coding and marking equipment

Because coding and marking allows everyone involved in the production, processing, distribution and retail stages to quickly access the traceability information they need for any product they’re dealing with, the printed result needs to be easily legible and totally resilient.

Also, codes are applied and used in a wide range of environments, including those that are exposed to heat and humidity. The most sought-after coding solutions are those that reliably produce consistent, accurate, high quality and perfectly legible codes at high speeds, even in spaces that are dirty or humid,

Simultaneously, every production and packaging floor strives for optimum efficiency and minimal downtime in their coding processes – and therefore values coding equipment that saves time, cuts operational costs and comes underpinned by excellent service. 

If you are looking for marking and coding systems that can meet all these needs, contact Pyrotec PackMark. We offer a wide range of equipment and consumables from international industry leaders Markem-Imaje, ALTech and Harland Machine Systems, among other brands. We also provide comprehensive after sales support, offering rapid response to breakdowns, on-site service and a dedicated 24/365 technical support line: 0800 202 574.

Manufacturers have a constant battle to meet the high demands required for coding and marking packaging while maintaining operational costs.

Ideal for flexible packaging, thermal transfer overprinting (TTO) is a digital printing process that has largely replaced hot stamping and other more traditional analogue printing techniques, largely because of its cost reduction.

Thermal transfer overprinting works by creating high-quality and high-definition marks, codes and images through a transfer of ink onto a flexible substrate from a coated ribbon. This ribbon is covered with a wax-resin compound, or just resin, depending on the coding requirements.

TTO printheads have small resistors that swiftly and accurately heat the print area, transferring the relevant colour to the surface of the substrate. The fast on/off action is precise, ensuring that the heat causes no damage to the substrate.

‘Thermal transfer printers can be used for continuous or intermittent printing, making this technology suitable for an array of challenging applications including prices, date and time codes, barcodes, QR codes, logos, and ingredient or other mandatory information,’ explains Pyrotec PackMark’s General Manager, Brandon Pearce.

SmartDate X60 delivers ultrafast speeds

Designed for the most demanding, high-volume applications, Markem-Imaje’s SmartDate X60 from Pyrotec PackMark delivers high-resolution thermal transfer printing at ultrafast speeds.

Its long-life thermal printhead can print 300dpi codes on flexible packaging film at more than 350 packs/minute.

Additional benefits of the SmartDate X60 include excellent quality printing using full resin ribbons up to 600mm/s and improved quality on difficult applications, long-life thermal printhead, and its Digital Ribbon Save Print Mode that reduces ribbon consumption by 20%.

The standard 1 100m ribbon reduces changeovers and improves cost per print, while an image adjustment feature allows images to be adjusted on the user interface without the need of a laptop.

The SmartDate X60 has power saving features that reduce power consumption by up to 50%, and an IP protection kit for the installed SmartDate X60.

Cost-effective, efficient coding

‘The benefits of TTO include extremely high-resolution print quality, the ability to code fast-moving products in real time, and optimum water fastness that is ideal for industrial label printing and coding. Additionally, wax-resin compounds and full resins can be used on materials such as polypropylene to increase durability. TTO offers solvent-free printing, and its low cost of ownership thanks to optimal ribbon use make this a cost-effective and efficient option for coding on flexible packaging,’ Brandon concludes.

Convenient coding: the hand-held printer

Coding and marking have come a long way since the concept of a machine-readable barcode was first patented in America in 1949. Innovation in this field has been fuelled by a growing demand for solutions that enable traceability through the entire value chain. It’s also been driven by a demand for coding technology that produces durable and legible codes, efficiently, on a variety of substrates.

One innovation that’s been most notable recently is the emergence of the hand-held inkjet printer. Pyrotec PackMark has added the Anser U2 Hand-Held Printer to its stable – bringing the world’s most lightweight and compact mobile printer to Southern Africa.

This unique inkjet printer is not only easy to use and transport, but also extremely versatile – and therefore suited to a broad range of industries. You can swiftly produce high-quality codes on almost any substrate, from PVC pipes and plastic bags to concrete and outer cartons, at any desired angle!

Why choose the Anser U2 Hand-Held Printer for your packaging line?

  • Ultra-portable
    This machine weighs in at only 1 kg and comes with a pocket-sized remote keypad. You can take it anywhere and code all those hard-to-reach surfaces.
  • Smart
    A large, full-colour LCD display makes it easy to operate, while an SD card design enables effortless software upgrades and data management.
  • High-performance
    This hand-held coder offers 600 dpi resolution for printing clear and precise codes, as well as new Inkfinity inks for exceptional quality prints on every surface.
  • Low-maintenance
    The plug-in-print ink cartridge design requires no maintenance, cutting your downtime costs.
  • Continuous printing
    Two high capacity rechargeable batteries offer 7 hours of continuous printing with more than 200 000 characters.

Keen to find out more? Contact Pyrotec PackMark for more information on our market-leading range of coding and labelling technology.

Bar codes: back to the beginning

Bar codes – and more modern versions such as two-dimensional codes and QR codes – allow organisations around the globe to uniquely identify their products and trace these at every point along the value chain. It’s difficult to imagine life without machine-readable product codes, but this concept has only been in commercial use since the 1970s. reports that in June 1974, the first item marked with a Universal Product Code (UPC) – a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum – was scanned through the checkout of Marsh Supermarket in Ohio, USA. However, the journey of this bar code began a few decades before that.

The concept of a machine-readable product code was first patented by American inventor Joe Woodland and his associate Bernard Silver. The idea first came to Woodland while he was on Miami Beach in January 1949 and he began drawing lines in the sand, inspired by Morse Code. For quite some time, Woodland and Silver had been trying to devise a type of code that could be easily and clearly printed on groceries and then scanned to simplify stocktaking and solve the issue of slow supermarket queues.

First envisioned as a rectangular row of lines of varying thickness, Woodland and Silver changed their design to a bull’s eye shape, which they felt would be easier to read from all angles. A research team at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) assisted with the technical development of an automated check-out; and the first live test took place in Cincinnati in 1972.

In 1973, representatives of the grocery trade in the US began searching for a way to introduce a Universal Product Code – which could be universally applied to all goods manufactured for sale in supermarkets. They wanted this code to uniquely identify the product and the company that made it. This body was looking for a symbol that was small, neat and readable from any angle.

At the stage, Woodland was working at International Business Machines (IBM) – and he was part of a team that submitted a version of the UPS for consideration. The bar code that was put forward by IBM was ultimately designed by Woodland’s colleague George Laurer, who moved away from the bull’s eye shape to the rectangular design we are familiar with today. This is the design that was selected by the committee.

While the manufacturing and retail industries took a few years to warm up to the UPC, both manufacturers and mass retailers began to adopt it in the 1980s; and by 2004, the bar code was used by 80-90% of the top 500 companies in the U.S.

Of course, coding and marking has evolved quite a lot since then. For industry updates and cutting-edge coding technology, contact Pyrotec PackMark.