Label/Form combinations are an effective means of combining a business workflow document with various labeling applications. There are three primary methods of creating a label/form application. Affixing the label to the document face, adding a full ply of label material or creating a label from the document substrate by using a liner and die cutting process.
In this format, the base document is normally produced by offset press, typically rotary offset. The label portion is manufactured by flexography. During the final stages of production the labels are affixed to the face of the business document. There are several advantages to form and label designs. As the document is imaged with variable information the label is imaged as well. This can reduce the print time since the label is no longer imaged as a separate function. Because the label is affixed to the form, time may also be saved during the labeling function as the worker does not need to track down or print a label matching the documentation. This can also reduce the potential for mislabeling errors.
Affixed labels allow for a variety of substrates to be used outside of the traditional EDP smudge-proof face stock. Films, vinyl and even synthetics can be affixed to create removable and more durable labels. Using more traditional label stock also gives the user access to a wider scope of adhesives ranging from static cling to aggressive tire label adhesive. Multiple labels can be applied or, in some designs, a single label will be die cut to create smaller labels.
Affixed label applications are normally found in manufacturing where products or package shipments can be labeled during the manufacturing process. Other markets that may be potential users of label/form applications would include transportation, warehousing and distribution. Affixed labels are also used in direct mail campaigns to engage the mail recipient to affix the label to a response card.
A drawback to the affixed design is the fact that the label rests on top of the document. If the document is imaged using an impact or inkjet printer, there is the potential for the print head to snag on the label. In addition, imaging using a laser printer may be challenging if the variable data is close to the edge of the affixed label surface. However, for many label/form applications, affixed labels are an efficient solution.
Form with label design
Some applications may require more labels or larger labels. In these cases, an entire page of label material can be incorporated into the business document. Typically these are unit set constructions though continuous designs are available. One advantage to this design is the opportunity to use various sized labels on a single page. This could include a shipping label, product marking label, return goods label and more. In areas where multiple components need to be marked or project tracking can be improved using barcoded labels, this format can be very effective. As with an affixed label, the label is printed by flexography while the form is printed using offset imaging. Both the form and label can utilize barcodes or human readable numbering.
An integrated label design utilizes a special liner material which is applied to the back of the document in the area of the label. The liner transfers adhesive to the back of the specified label area, then the face of the document is die cut to the correct label size. In this format, the stock used for the document is also used for the label. This can reduce the overall cost when compared to an affixed label design. Integrated label designs allow for imaging on most printers such as impact, laser, inkjet and even high-speed digital presses. Like the other label/form designs, efficiency can be improved and a reduction in time, as the document and label are printed in one process. Also, multiple labels can be created by using various die cutting patterns.
Integrated label designs are frequently found in the healthcare industry where multiple labels, each with a matched barcode, are necessary. Integrated labels are also heavily used in the warehouse and distribution markets where a package label can be incorporated into a pick/pack list which may expedite the fulfillment process.
Regardless of the selected design, a cost justification can be created to compare current process cost using separate form and label products to projected processing cost using an affixed, label/form or integrated design. Regardless of the selected format, form and label combinations are an excellent solution to improve workflow while potentially reducing product marking and shipping errors. Print resellers can learn more by contacting our sales team or visiting our website at Fleshco.com.