The further step is the labeling of bottles. In the earlier days, gummed paper labels were used which satisfied only the legal requirements of declaration. When these labels came in contact with moist surface, they lost their identity. Later shrink film plastic labels came into use for this application. Auto-sleeve system for labeling then became a commercial success. Auto-sleeve labels are used both for one way and refillable-multi-trip plastic bottles. It is a stretchable label made of low density polyethylene of special grade.

The Department of Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified to carry the following declaration on the label of the disposable bottle of mineral water or packaged drinking water. [“Crush the bottle after use”] The notification is published in the Gazette of India and the rule has come into force from 01/04/2004. Other labeling requirements should be as per PFA Rules and Packaged Commodities Rules as prescribed in IS: 14543 – 1998 (Specification for Packaged Drinking Water).

The Label on the Bottle generally contains the Brand name along with the design which is registered with the Trade mark bureau, a tag line just below the brand name and vital information’s such as Manufactured by, Marketed by, ISI logo with IS code and CM/L No., Purification Process and general note, Recycle logo, Crush the bottle logo, Best before time period, Net contents, Nutritional value (optional), Mineral details if added externally (Optional), Do not Litter logo, For BIS details visit, See Neck or bottle for Batch no, Mfg. Date , M.R.P, etc.

Three types of Labeling are currently used in the industry today viz. Shrink Labels, BOPP Labels & STICKER Labels


Shrink labels are printed labels and are directly inserted manually on the bottles during its transit on the out feed conveyor after the inspection process.

These labels are commonly used in the industry on a large scale. A module called the Shrink Tunnel is used to shrink the labels on the body of the bottle.

There are Two variants in the
  1. Electrically heated  shrink tunnel is a heating tunnel which has a heater along with a fan which acts as a blower and distributes the hot air from the heater equally inside the tunnel.
  2. Steam heated  shrink tunnel is a heating tunnel which operates on steam, the steam actually helps in even shrinking of the ssleeve on the bottle and gives a relatively smooth finish to the label, however the Opex and Capex remain higher, generally sued with high speed lines
The space inside the tunnel is sufficient enough to pass a single bottle in line.

This tunnel is mounted on the Out feed conveyor the labels get shrinked due to heat in the tunnel uniformly across the body of the bottle. The diameter of the Label is just more than some millimeters than the diameter of the bottle. Shrink labels cost some where between 16ps to 28ps for 1 litre bottle depending on the no. of colors used and diameter of bottle. Shrink labels are generally used with low & medium speed machines, higher the speed more no. of labors are required to put in the label on the bottle. The Cap Sleeve can also be applied manually or through an applicator in this system.

Automatic Sleeve applicator machines are also available to match high speed bottling line s particularly at speeds above 60 bpm


The other type of Label is called the BOPP label (Biaxial Oriented Poly Propylene). These labels come in printed rolls and a special type of machine is required to affix these labels on the bottle. The machine is called BOPP Hot Melt Glue Labeling Machine. The in feed slat conveyor of this machine can be interlocked with the out feed conveyor of the Filling machine so as to provide complete automation of the system. A roll of BOPP label is loaded on the disk of this machine which unwinds itself similarly like a movie film roll. The starting point of this roll is hooked to the unwinder device which when starts to rotate unwinds the roll. This roll is then cut at a desired point and the glue which is kept in liquid state in a container is sprayed using precise nozzles on to the bottle in form of spots. The spots are marked from top to bottom of the bottle for the desired height of the label. The cut label is then applied automatically using mechanical arm on to the bottle and is pressed. The bottle also rotates it self around its axis to enable such mechanism. These labels are low in cost and are very attractive in appearance more over the arrangement of the labels on the bottles are maintained in uniform hence there is no difference in the position of the label in between any successive bottles.

The table below shows the Comparison between both the arrangements.
Sticker Labels :

This is the newest trend in the labelling segment, single sided or both side sticker labelling is available , with self-adhesive labels bottle can be labelled in both Square and round shape, however the cost of such labels are comparatively higher and preferred for non-standard premium bottles

The machines are well adapted to correspond to the Filling lines
Auto labelling lines matching Bottling speeds are available

This has to be done on the bottles as per the IS guidelines. A machine called Batch coding machine does this job of printing Mfg. date. batch no and MRP on the bottle. The machine is a mini computer wherein we can feed the desired data and the machines prints it on the bottle on the desired location i.e. on the neck / cap or body of the bottle through ink jet printing technology, The process of printing is online and the machine is installed either on the out feed conveyor of the Filling machine or the BOPP labeling machine. A sensor on the machine identifies the transit of the bottles and prints the required details on the bottle. The machine comes with lot of features including a counter which can count the no. of bottles produced in the batch. Different varieties of this machine are available in the market at different cost and specifications.