Materials handling: working without these products may cause employee injury, damaged goods and lost revenue.

Author:Katz, Steve

Lifting heavy items is one of the leading causes of injury in any manufacturing environment, and a label converting pressroom is no exception. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and its most recent data, among the occupations that had among the highest number of cases in 2015 resulting in days away from work were laborers and freight, stock, and material movers--yes, those moving label materials are part of this category.

Label manufacturing materials are heavy--this includes rolls of labelstock prior to printing and converting, as well as finished goods. It also includes the equipment essential to a workflow--dies and tooling, and also drums of inks, coatings, and in some situations, even adhesives. Lifting heavy objects such as these incorrectly or without proper machinery can not only result in worker injury but can also result in damaged products, both raw materials as well as the tools of the trade.

When discussing materials handling in the label industry, it's essential to take a look at not only the industrial equipment within a shop that's used to lift and move materials but also products that would fall under the consumables category--supplies that protect rolls of labels in transit to the customer, and products that protect items, such as cylinders and anilox rolls from damage, are considered materials handling products .With that in mind, what follows details some of the materials handling products available to label manufacturers from some of the industry's leading suppliers.


Within the tag and label industry, Aztech Converting Systems is a pioneer in supplying rugged, versatile, and affordable mobile roll material handling solutions. Aztech's Roll Runner Series of roll handling equipment is designed to transport and transfer material to and from a customer's press.

"Obviously, handling rolled material is difficult and without the proper equipment, employee injuries should be considered not if an injury will occur but when an injury will take place," stresses Mark Struckman, Material Handling sales for Aztech Converting. "Aztech roll handling equipment will not only reduce workplace injuries and workers' compensation claims, but also streamline production getting the materials on and off the press quickly and safely."

Aztech mobile roll handling equipment is available in 400 lb., 800 lb. and 1,500 lb. weight capacities and is equipped to handle a multitude of lift height requirements. Aztech quick change attachments allow an operator to change attachments in a matter of seconds for various projects throughout a production facility.

"One of the major challenges in the tag and label industry is that of getting roll materials rotated from the stacked position to the operating position," Struckman explains. "Aztech offers several options for performing this task, from the E-Z Tilt Series, designed to rotate rolls of material weighing up to 600 lbs, to the Pal-A-Tilt Series, which is designed to rotate jumbo rolls of material or an entire pallet load of material...

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