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Label rewinders & unwinders

General information about the rewinding and unwinding of label rolls

There are various types of techniques and solutions for winding and unwinding label rolls. Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages. Which technique and which type fits best depends on a number of factors. The most important factors to determine which rewinder or unwinder fits best include:

  1. The type of label printer being used
  2. The way of use
  3. The size of the label roll (both diameter and width)

Below you will find some general information about label unwinders and label rewinders for after printing. If you want advice for your application, please contact us.

Simple, affordable and yet efficient

In a number of cases a very simple unwinder can be used for thermal printers. By using the Godex labelstand, a desktop label printer can handle larger rolls. Ideal for temporary applications or as a supplement/backup for industrial printers.

Because a Godex label stand has no motor or other drive as an unwinder, this unwinder is very affordable. The disadvantage of this is that the printer itself is responsible for the unwinding by pulling harder on the label. Especially with large and heavy label rolls, this can lead to faster wear of the printer parts over time.

The Godex label stand is suitable for use with thermal label printers. An active unwinder is recommended for daily use or with high capacity.

Inkjet label printers do not function or function less well with this type of unwinder.

Godex labelstand
Godex rewinder T-20

Active rewinder and unwinders

Many unwinders are available for unwinding label rolls that do not fit in the printer and for winding printed labels.

Unwinders are used for unwinding larger label rolls that would otherwise not fit the used printer and are basically available in 2 techniques. The first and least sold technique only slows down the label roll while the printer is pulling. By offering resistance during printing the technique ensures that the roll does not unwind further when the printer stops. The other and more used technique is the active unwinder. This technique determines, usually with a swivel arm, whether it needs to be unwound or should pauze.

A rewinder is by nature the same as the active unwinder. Often it is determined by means of a sensor or swing arm whether there is enough space to start winding.

Business labels offer a number of different types of Godex in this segment. The Godex units are multifunctional and can be used as both unwinder and rewinder. An exception to this are the inkjet label printers which require an adjustment to compensate for the so-called “back-feed”.

For inkjet label printers

Inkjet label printers work with a so-called back feed. This means that the labels are pulled back when printing starts. This happens not only during the first print, but also after interim maintenance of the printhead.

In addition to the backfeed that has to be compensated, there is one more important difference with thermal printers. An inkjet printer does not like if the labels are pulled or if there is (too much) resistance when entering the labels.

An inkjet printer can therefore only function properly with a modified rewinder and unwinder. The adjusted unwinders should ensure a constant and low tension at the input. An unwinder for an inkjet printer must therefore only be able to unwind but also to be able to rewind.

The rewinders come in several variants. The winding does not always have to be able to go back and forth, sometimes enough space can be created by means of a loop to receive the back feed without tension.

For a standard solution, the modified variants of Godex such as the Godex T10C can be used.

For simple roll to roll printing, a complete set of the DPR-SRL rewinder, unwinder and baseplate is recommended. This allows for easy alignment of the printer with the un- and rewinder.

There are 2 options for printing labels with the Epson TM-C7500 (G). The simplest and most logical choice is the original Epson rewinder. This is mechanically connected to the printer so that it works together as 1 machine. The special Z-CAT rewinder from Labelmate is available for applications where label rolls need to be tightly wound.

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