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Manual vs Automated Tread Labelling: 5 Considerations to Make

Tyre, Tyre Label Automation | 17 April 2018

Posted by Simon Boddy

Manual vs Automated Tread Labelling 5 Considerations to make

When speaking with prospective customers, we often find that many people in the tire industry are not aware of the options that exist for tread labelling with an automatic label applicator.

Although manual labelling is a tried and true solution that many companies still rely on, there are several ways in which automating your process could benefit your business. Within the right environment, an automated labelling solution can save time and budget – all while still preserving the quality of your final product.


There are several considerations to be made when deciding between an automatic label applicator and a manual tread labelling strategy. If you are wondering which method is best suited for you, here are a few important factors to keep in mind:

1. Cost

Words like ‘automated’ and ‘faster’ tend to make us think ‘pricier’. But consider what you’re already spending on your labelling process. If you are working with a manual labelling process, the amount you’re spending on time and labour could possibly be more than you would spend on an automated system. Funding a manual labelling process is an ongoing overhead expense. With this method you are covering the cost of your employees, as well as costs caused by waste and error.

While the price tag of an automated system may seem daunting at first glance, chances are the expenses it will save will prove to be worth it. Not only that, but we have found that a fully automated system can yield an impressive ROI of less than one year! However, if you are working with low volumes your ROI will be much longer, making manual labelling a more appropriate option for you. 

Read our blog: 5 Ways Automatic Tyre Label Application Can Save Budget

2. Space

Although many automation systems are quite compact, they still require a certain amount of real estate within your facility. If you struggle with space constraints, this may be a determining factor for you. Consider scheduling a site survey of your plant with your label automation partner. This service can help you understand the different levels of automation available, and whether they will fit within your existing workspace. However, if space continues to be a concern, especially if you are working with low volumes, a fully automated system might not be a suitable solution for your needs.

3. Speed

Correctly applying labels by hand can be an arduous and time-consuming task. On average, hand applying labels takes about 10 seconds per tyre. A fully automated print and apply labelling system can identify and label five tyres in the same amount of time, maintaining a constant speed of 2 seconds per tyre.

The reliability of an automated system will save time as well – consider the time lost during breaks and sick days, or the rework required when mistakes are made due to human error. Reducing the amount of time spent solely on labelling gives you the opportunity to spend more time on the big picture, allowing you to grow your brand.

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4. Legislation

Laws and regulations requiring accurate tread labelling are enforced throughout the world. Countries such as Europe, Japan, and the United States have all enacted official guidelines for compliance. As a global company, we understand the need to conform to different international market practices and requirements.

Working within these guidelines leaves little room for error, and applying labels with consistent precision is a necessity. If your company is required to follow any of these restrictions, manually applying labels may prove to be a vulnerability for your business. In this case, the accuracy and consistency of an automated solution could help ease these concerns. 

5. Quality

When it comes to quality, there is no room for compromises. You have committed careful time and attention into perfecting your product, and your labels need to meet those standards. The truth is, hand applying labels leaves room for costly mistakes and waste. The diligence required from a worker to hand apply labels at the same quality level as an automated applicator simply takes away from time that employee could be spending on more important tasks.

With an automatic label applicator, you can count on having perfectly placed labels at a consistent rate. Consistent throughput rates are crucial as they give you the ability to predict and analyse your processes with confidence. This level of improved forecasting can help your strategic planning and grow your business.


Computype can provide free consultations and site audits to help determine which automation solution is right for you, and our expert technical support means you’ll always have the help you need to keep your lines running. We can help guide you through pricing options, integration strategies, and other best practices to ensure a smooth, successful transition. With our help, automation can transform your labelling process.

Want to see the Chromaffix unit in action? Check out this playlist!

Want to see the Chromaffix unit in action? Check out this playlist!

Simon Boddy

Simon Boddy is Computype’s Global Product Manager within our Industrial Business Unit. Based in our UK facility, he has worked closely with many global tyre manufacturers to improve their processes and ensure accurate bead and tread labelling. Most recently, Simon played a large role in launching Computype’s new automated tread labelling system, Chromaffix.