Precise Labeling for Highly Automated Production Lines

Labels for the automotive industry

Labels from Logopak

The labeling of goods is of utmost importance for clear and efficient goods logistics. It must be durable, robust and quickly readable by machine. These requirements are not easy to meet. It is difficult to apply reliably adhesive labels on porous materials or in oily assemblies.

Logopak has 45 years of expertise in all types of labeling. Labels from Logopak meet the highest demands for readability & durability.

Success Story powered by Logopak

Success Story powered by: the Think WIOT Group and Logopak

Automobile manufacturing poses complex logistical challenges. Parts, component and system/module suppliers send components from various locations around the world to the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), who assemble them into cars on the assembly line at the main plant. The large number of deliveries requires careful coordination to ensure a smooth production and assembly process.

OEMs are sometimes supplied with complete assemblies, such as the engine or axles, by system and module suppliers. Parts and components are in turn sent to the system and module suppliers. The entire logistics chain must be carefully coordinated.

The labeling of shipping units and the digital reusability of information form the basis for an optimally coordinated supplier system. The largest supplier worldwide is Bosch with a revenue of 52.6 billion euros in 2022 in the Mobility Solutions business sector, followed by Continental with 39.4 billion euros and Denso with 38.6 billion euros.

Up until the 1980s, suppliers and manufacturers in European automotive production used 40 incompatible container systems. In addition, disposable packaging made of paper, cardboard or films was used. In order to reduce the large quantity of packaging materials and different packaging systems, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) made the decision in 1988 to introduce a recycling system for containers.

Since then, the so-called small load carriers or KLT containers have replaced the previously common disposable packaging. With KLTs, storage and processing costs are a fraction of what they used to be. The containers are made of break-resistant polypropylene and can withstand up to 100 circulations without being damaged.

The VDA standard 4500 has created a system for transporting goods on which the entire logistics chain in the automotive industry is based. The basic dimensions of 600 x 400 mm form the standard measurement throughout Europe and correspond to the "Euro Standard". Conveyor belts, transport vehicles and lifting equipment are geared to these dimensions or multiples thereof, for example in the case of Euro Pallets (1200 x 800 mm).

Automotive logistics is a key success factor for the automotive industry in ensuring synchronized production.

Automotive Intralogistics

In the production chain of large automotive manufacturers, KLTs (small load carriers) support both automated and manual work processes.

Labels from Logopak

Labels are available in numerous materials and formats. However, only a few formats are suitable for the automotive industry.

Waste volumes can be avoided by using durable reusable packaging such as KLTs

Waste volumes can be avoided by using durable reusable packaging such as KLTs. In addition to the sustainable nature of KLTs, they also offer greater protection for the transport of complex components.

The automotive industry places the highest demands on the quality, safety and durability of labels. They must adhere to porous, oily or distinctly curved surfaces. Robust label materials and special adhesives are required for this. Labels must often be applied in continuous operation and the information on the label must always be legible. Compliance with VDA standards and, in the case of tire labeling, the EU regulation, are also crucial.

Material identification is crucial for handling in the supply chain. Large components such as car bodies, engine blocks, door panels and headliners are marked directly with adhesive labels. The anticipated stress for the workpiece in the subsequent assembly process determines the label material and the composition of the adhesive.

The most common substrate for labels used in automotive manufacturing is polyethylene (PE). As a labeling technology, barcode labels are the most widely used. In the vast majority of cases, suppliers apply the labels to the components.

Labels on KLTs are made of tearand heat-resistant cardboard that is pushed into the pocket provided on the container. When the KLTs pass through a washing line, labels made of a special composite of various moisture-repellent materials are used. For standard-compliant labeling, the label has a size of 210 x 74 mm. This ensures machine readability of the barcode.

The car body is given a special multilayer label, which is applied before the painting process. The top layer is then peeled off. The remaining layers are transparent and the ID becomes machine-readable once more. "This is one of our most successful barcode projects for the automotive industry," says Lars Thuring, Senior Manager Strategy & Product Management at Logopak.

Linerless labels are labels without carrier material. Their use not only save waste, but also a lot of space and weight during storage and transport, and thus a lot of costs and CO2. In addition, up to 50 percent more labels fit on a roll without carrier material.

Logopak Systeme

  • Year of establishment: 1978
  • Headquarters: Hartenholm, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
  • Employees: 300
  • Part of the Possehl Group since 2011
  • Possehl Group turnover: EUR 4.4 billion
  • Member of Possehl Identification Solutions (PID) since 2023
  • Online: logopak.com

Labeling Systems

Logopak offers future-proof labeling systems based on GS1 standards for highly efficient item labeling.


Applicators are positioned close to the conveyor belt for the final application or blow-on process (without pressing) of the label.

Logopak's labeling systems are used on conveyor lines where containers need to be labeled with a high number of cycles, either in transit or at standstill. The 400 and 500 series are Logopak's most common small labeling systems in the automotive industry.

The counterpart in the large machine series are the 850 and 920 labeling systems. They are mainly used for labeling pallets or other larger shipping units in outbound shipping.

The 400 system labels up to 120 products per minute, the 800 system up to 180 pallets per hour. Larger labels for pallets are applied at a lower rate than smaller labels because a pallet cannot be moved as fast as a KLT.

Logopak's labeling systems each consist of a main body and a variety of modules that can be variably combined. "It's a box full of high-performance components that we can combine," explains Lars Thuring, Senior Manager Strategy & Product Management at Logopak. "This then results in the best possible solution for the customer."

The 400 Series, for example, has 30 possible applicators. These include a telescope applicator and vacuum-pad for variable product heights with a blow-on function and adjustable stroke length limitater, or a front-/rear applicator with a swivel arm and blow-on function for pass-through labeling on the front and back faces in the direction of movement – and in real time.

There is a two-axle telescope applicator for two different application positions and integrated roller for roll-on label application in pass-through operation, an applicator for corner labeling – and much more.

"One of the largest systems I remember was a pallet labeler that could operate two conveyor lines on top of each other," recalls Lars Thuring.

"The entire system was four meters high and could be adjusted in height. The labels were large pallet labels that were applied on two sides simultaneously and contained an RFID tag."

Labeling systems with housing

For production environments with high levels of fine dust, labeling systems – here an 850 system – are fitted with a housing.

Quality Assurance

If a barcode does not meet the minimum standards, a new label is automatically printed and applied. This way, the readability of each label is guaranteed.

Integration With LogoSoft

LogoSoft provides centralized management and easy updating of datasets, production data and updates.

The error message "barcode not readable" is a nightmare in production or logistics. Logopak therefore checks barcodes for readability immediately after they are applied. A scanner on the vacuum applicator checks each dispensed label for readability and identifiability.

If the device detects an unreadable barcode, a new label is automatically printed and applied. This ensures that only shipping units that can be reliably read throughout the entire logistics cycle are delivered.

Logopak has been offering RFID tags since 1999 and is one of the pioneers in this field in Europe. The labeling detection is seamless with RFID, even if there is no optical view of the label.

All Logopak labeling systems are in principle RFID-capable, and can be retrofitted if required. The integration of barcode and RFID labeling in one system is regarded as particularly secure.

For central data and process management, Logopak offers the LogoSoft industrial software system. This middleware is used to integrate the labeling systems into the conveyor lines. The software accesses data from the IT system and makes it available to the labeling machines.

Movement and process data from photocells, barcode scanners and other systems converge here centrally. Logopak's software suite supports common barcode and RFID standards as well as applicable standards and guidelines, such as those relating to traceability.

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