Packaging Corner: Adding label holders to bins, totes supports 5S/lean initiatives

A variety of labeling solutions can reduce labor and materials costs.

By ·

Reusable plastic bins and totes store and organize inventory in virtually every industry. Used by manufacturers and distributors to support 5S (sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain) and lean initiatives, virtually all of these bins and totes are marked with a label. That label is commonly an adhesive-backed paper sticker bearing text information and bar codes for scanning.

But, what happens to the label when it’s time to reuse those plastic bins and totes? It’s often peeled off…mostly.

“Removing old, sticky labels is costly, time consuming, and frequently leaves an ugly residue on the surface of the bin or tote,” explains Jim Rastetter, vice president of sales for Aigner Label Holder.

However, it’s important to get the old label off entirely. That’s because a buildup of multiple labels—or an uneven surface protruding behind a new label—might make bar code scanning difficult.

Those concerns can prompt companies to dedicate a surprising amount of time and labor to label removal, Rastetter says. Because of that, Aigner developed two different types of clear plastic label holders that work directly with bins and totes.

The Bin-Buddy clear plastic sleeve has a self-adhesive back that can be applied to plastic containers that lack pre-molded label slots. The Tri-Dex heavy-duty, clear PVC plastic label holders snap into the standard sized, pre-molded label slots of any major bin or tote manufacturer. A tri-fold construction holds the label in place.

With both systems, changing the label is as simple as pulling the old one out and sliding the new one in its place. Pre-perforated paper inserts that are laser and ink jet printer compatible are included. And, because the label inserts are adhesive-free paper, any color stock can be used for color-coding and organization, Rastetter adds.

“The label holders and inserts provide a 50% cost savings in materials as well as 65% in labor savings by eliminating application and removal self-adhesive labels and their remaining residue,” he says.

Additionally, the label holders ensure that the labels sit straight. “It can be tough to orient an adhesive label perfectly straight, over and over, when applied by hand,” Rastetter says. “These products generate the neat, orderly appearance that is particularly important to facilities following 5S and lean practices.”

About the Author

Sara Pearson Specter
Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC. Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
The Overlooked Competitive Advantage: Connected Teams
57% of surveyed manufacturers believe they could reduce downtime by 10-30% by unifying their workgroup communications. What does a minute of downtime cost you?
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
PFS built one of the largest and most automated AS/RS freezers in the world in Washington state. Next up is a new design for automation. Automated Storage/ Automated Retrieval System, Cold Storage.
Lift Truck Series Part 1: Lift truck technology connects pickers to productivity
Breaking Through On Yard Visibility
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Emerging Technologies for Your Distribution Center
Come get an insider's view of the latest technologies for inside your Distribution Center. You'll learn which technologies are being piloted, which are having success and moving from concept to implementation and into production on the maturity scale, and what's coming on the horizon.
Register Today!
Trinchero Family Estates: Pallet handling in the vineyard
The second-largest family-owned wine company in the world turns to automated pallet handling and...
System Report: Rocky Brands Sees the Light
Confronting an aging materials handling system and new channels of business with new customer...

Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
In a new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business...