Labeling for SLAM Lines

First Published: February 18, 2024
Channel: Logistics

The concept of a SLAM line is essential for high productivity in e-commerce operations.

In the SLAM process (Scan, Label, Apply, Manifest) part of the process, the package to be shipped is scanned to determine the size and weight and the shipping label produced (including all the relevant info from the customer’s order). The label is applied, and all the updated order information is loaded to the shipment manifest.

An integrated SLAM installation can increase throughput, improve quality and reduce the possibility of errors during this vital part of your logistics process.

What About the Labeling?

Well, on packages being shipped from an e-commerce facility, the shipping label is usually applied to the top of the package.

Because packages of different sizes and types pass through the SLAM area, the labeling equipment used to print and apply the labels needs to be able to handle the height variation and still apply the printed labels accurately.

A number of labeling equipment OEMs have developed print and apply labeling systems, specifically for this task, including:

  • CTM has been the main labeling system for Amazon’s fulfillment centers for a long time.
  • Panther is the builder of the Predator, a sophisticated labeling system for logistics applications. Panther has some innovative ways to apply the label to all kinds of packages.
  • Phoenix Labeling is an Italian OEM with a dedicated SLAM labeling solution.
  • Weber Legi-Flex – 6100 is an advanced design that allows accurately positioned labels regardless of product orientation.
  • Fox IV Technologies – Fox IV specializes in print/apply labeling and like how they often integrated the print engine into their machine, rather than just bolt on an OEM print engine.

Here’s a short video of the Weber 6100 in operation:

Weber 6100 SLAM Labeler

Which Labeler is Best?

Honestly, it all depends on your specific application.

For high-speed applications, the Panther system is very capable, but it depends on the products being correctly aligned on the conveyor to get the most accurate results.

If your products are presented to the labeler in random orientations and you don’t want to upgrade the product handling, the Weber machine is a unique solution.

Note that most SLAM labeling systems can be set up in tandem to allow continuous labeling without stopping for label replenishment.

For More Info

Check put MHI’s resources for SLAM operations.

MHI’s SLAM group membership includes leading integrators, equipment OEMs and more – a great place to learn best practices and see real-life case studies.

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