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Well, it depends. In our experience the vast majority of such requests are made without understanding the extra work involved during production, so we try to ensure we’re doing it for the right reasons. You will need to discuss your needs with your Customer Service Rep so we can make sure we understand the underlying reasons and recommend the best approach.
Here’s an example of what we encounter on a regular basis. A customer may request “1,000 labels per roll please” – which sounds reasonable but it ignores the practical realities, as follows:
1000 labels that are 3” long will create a finished roll that is approximately 6.14” in diameter. Most label applicator machines accept rolls up to 8” in diameter (known as OD for Outside Diameter). In this case, an 8” OD roll could accommodate approximately 1,920 labels of the same 3” length – so why break the roll down if it’s not necessary?
Similarly, 1000 labels that are 6” long would fit on a 7.75” diameter roll – still well within the industry standard of 8” OD.
Conversely, if your labels are only 1.5” long, 1000 labels would only require a 4.75” diameter roll.
As you can see, the label size directly affects the diameter of the finished roll, and breaking rolls into quantities lower than can be fit on an 8” OD roll is both wasteful and time-consuming – which impacts production turn-times as well.
Also, most customers using mechanical applicators prefer their rolls as large as possible so there’s less change-over required between rolls. So it’s important that you identify the maximum OD your applicator can handle – if (like most) it accepts the standard 8” rolls, then you don’t need to even mention it to us, as our standard maximum roll size is 8” OD for any machine-applied labels.
Now, there are some exceptions to this “rule of thumb”. For example, if your applicator has a smaller maximum OD it can work with, or alternatively you may want larger rolls than the standard 8”. If that applies to you, by all means mention it to your Customer Service Rep.
Of course, all the above only applies to “machine-applied” labels. If you’ve chosen “hand-applied” in your order, then the rules change. In such cases we generally avoid splicing small rolls together, as most customers prefer 4 small rolls rather than a single large one – so they can have multiple staff applying labels to their products at the same time. However, it’s impossible to predict how many labels may end up on each roll, as each order is unique and the production layout varies according the makeup of the order.
If, having discussed your specific needs we agree that it makes sense to build rolls of a non-standard size or specific quantity, please be aware that extra charges may apply. After all, anything that requires manual intervention in the production process carries a cost overhead as well as possible delays. Our staff can explain the options more fully once they see what the order looks like.