Labeling Innovations from Weber

What To Look For In A New Print-Apply Labeling System

Posted by Chris Erbach

Oct 18, 2021 10:40:51 AM

Whether you are looking at label automation for the first time or if you are getting ready to update some old label printer-applicators that have worn out their welcome, there are a few important things to think about. 

Make sure you have all the information you need to make a decision that will reward you for years to come.

There are quite a few different varieties and manufacturers of print-apply systems out there. Most work well, as advertised.

But there are some major differences in the features and construction of these systems that can effect production up-time, maintenance and longevity.

 

Some Common Issues

 Durability

Depending on your type of product and the production line that the print-apply system is used on, it can see modest to over-whelming activity. First time automation companies might just be labeling 10-20 pieces an hour, where a distribution center might be labeling a package every few seconds.

But in both cases, durability is a major consideration. What would happen if the machine failed? Can you have your production line down for any length of time while the system is fixed? This could create a bottle-neck that keeps products from going out the door. You can employ a zero-downtime system that has a back-up printer-applicator, but that can get expensive. 

When looking for a new print-apply system, see who has a proven track record of durable systems with a good maintenance track record. As with anything, you get what you pay for. Buying a cheap system will only bring future headaches as well as a pain in your wallet when you have to replace it too soon.

Check out systems that are built using substantial materials like stainless steel and aluminum plate. Check and see if all the connections are protected from damage or abuse. Are moving parts like applicator arms shielded to protect the operator or local workers? Make sure the print engine that you chose is a new model from a major manufacturer like Zebra or Sato with up-to-date features. These integrate easily with your online systems for loading label formats and monitoring jobs. 

Read More

Topics: Labeling Systems, print-apply, Model 4050, label applicator


Squaring Up A Labeling Solution - Labeling Tools

Posted by Linda Roser

Jun 8, 2021 8:45:00 AM

When you sell a product that is a unique shape, there are many packaging challenges. One such company is Swanson Tool, a Chicagoland-based manufacturer of measuring tools, and the inventor of Speed Squares®. Ironically, framing squares are in the shape of a triangle.  

Swanson framing square labelSwanson was approached by one of their customers about a new packaging configuration for two of their largest framing square sizes.  Typically, the labeling for these items include a large glossy tagstock material that is stapled or glued together, sometimes with an instructional “blue book” contained within.  Because of the odd shape, this is all prepared by hand. 

The new packaging would require more products per case, but the existing labeling solution adds a lot of bulk.  They needed to streamline their labeling, and noticed that some of their competition uses pressure sensitive labels. 

That’s when Swanson decided to call on Weber Packaging.  In their search, they also noted they could use Weber to capitalize on this opportunity to streamline the labeling process as well. 

Sawnson-speed-square-labelThe primary requirement for this label was that it needed to be removable without leaving any residue behind on the high-quality CNC-machined aluminum framing squares that would frustrate the end user. After all, the preferred location of this new label was directly on top of etched distance and angle markings, essential for the use of the product. 

We gave them a semigloss removable paper label to start off, but that ended up tearing too much, leaving behind shreds of the label. We then sent a durable label option of our Flexlyte 2.3-510-40. The white polypropylene film material has excellent opacity with a high gloss background. The adhesive is a specially formulated acrylic adhesive designed for ease of removability from packaging. These were actual tradeshow samples using a matte overlaminate.  Functionally, this combination did the trick.  But they also preferred the aesthetic of the matte overlam used on these samples compared to their glossy tagstocks they had been using.  Based on the screens and gradients provided in the artwork, Weber’s Graphics department recommended that this be run only on our digital presses.

Swanson framing square label labelerNext, they asked Weber to find a way to automate the labeling process.  The idea was to place a triangle-shaped label on the corner of the framing squares, or a triangle-on-a-triangle.  The framing squares have an extended base, or bevel, which allows them to nicely rest along side the length of a piece of lumber and be slid up and down to trace lines for cutting. 

However, placing that on a conveyor makes for an awkward resting position, and leaves the tools prone to shifting and inconsistent placement.  Our engineers were quick to find a solution.

Read More

Topics: Labels, custom labels, tool labels, custom labeling system


Label Shelf Appeal

Posted by Linda Roser

Mar 16, 2021 11:54:12 AM

A label isn’t just a label. It is your brand!

A label is, in fact, the most visible and constant impression your customers have of your products and your company.  The label serves as the primary communicator of your brand's story. You see labels on every consumer product and package. Labels attract attention.  Labels identify products.  And there are labels that inform and, yes, even sell products. 

Shelf impact is an important aspect of selling your products in stores. Labels play a big role for consumers unfamiliar with the product increasing their reliance on attractive packaging to make a purchasing decision. Consumers today have become a highly visual audience. Customers often end up judging a product by its label. They can be swayed to purchase a new product or switch from a brand they know well due to an impeccable label design.  The competition to get your brand noticed is fierce.

First appearances and immediate attraction really do matter. On the shelf, your packaging should not only reflect high quality label printing, but must speak directly to your customer. As appealing as the actual product may be, it will not sell itself unless it comes in an eye-catching packaging design that attracts potential buyers. Whether you own a brick and mortar location or a web-based business, what all products need most is shelf appeal.


Packaging can mean the difference between the success of a product or its failure. Great designs, colors, and quality labels all affect the success of your product’s shelf appeal. Products with shelf appeal use color and design to catch the consumer's attention and outshine the competition.

When done correctly, shelf appeal alone can encourage a consumer to place a product in their shopping cart. Research shows purchase decisions are made at the point of sale. If your product is new or isn’t very well-known, shelf appeal can greatly help to grow your brand and increase sales.

The real power is a premium label. What makes a brand stand out and why do we choose one product or brand over another? In more instances than we realize, it is the label or a unique-shaped container that is enhanced by the label. From upscale personal care products or craft spirits for example, it is a fact that brands create a “wow” factor through creative packaging.

How will you use your label design to make your brand stand apart?

  • Are you looking to have a clean, sleek label or a bold design?
  • Are you trying to reflect a refined style or attitude?
  • Do you want a style that looks handcrafted?

All of these things can be achieved with the right label design. If you are planning to sell your product at a premium price, make sure it looks worth that premium price.  One of the first things people notice about packaging after the name is its coloring. The choice of color you put on your packaging will largely determine the audience it will attract. Color impact, which can grab consumer attention, creates category consistency and improves brand recognition.

Product names should be descriptive and memorable while appealing to the specific target demographic audience.  The label must be compelling to grab the attention of the consumer. A package must appeal to emotion through relatable and personal labeling. Packaging choices influence your consumer’s impression of the quality of the product which correlates to sales.

Making your labels provide a more tactile experience can set your product apart. For example, a karess soft touch overlaminate appeals to a higher- end market. Customers who touch products believe the products are worth more. Color and texture are key ingredients for successful labels and packaging.

Read More

Topics: Labels, custom labels


Our Top Craft Beer Labels From 2020

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jan 27, 2021 10:00:00 AM

One of the coolest things about our Digital Label Department is our sample rack of labels siting in the corner. Nothing fancy. It just holds the end rolls of some of the amazing label runs that Weber prints every day.

I love to wander back to that department to check out the latest craft beer labels on that rack. Every brewery has adopted a style of artwork for their brand, and most of it is so interesting, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.

2020, as a year, was pretty bad. I hope you all got through it safely and remain in good health. These labels are one of the true bright spots. Enjoy!

 

1. New River Brewing - West Jefferson, NC

Founded in 2016 by father Greg Hershner (a family doctor) and his son, Adam (an industrial engineer), New River Brewing started small but with a big goal: disrupt the local craft beer market by creating innovative beverages in Ashe County North Carolina.

Veteran home brewers turned pro, these two began slowly until 2018 when Adam won a NC Brewer's Cup Medal. That was a turning point for the brewers and they opened their current Taproom and Brewery in 2019. They are committed to bringing the best craft beers and pub food to their community.

One thing common to most taprooms is the ability to bring home some fresh-brewed goodness via a crowler or growler. Many breweries use plain labels and just write the name and date on it with a Sharpie marker.

New River knew they had an opportunity to showcase their brand with a great-looking label on their crowlers. The label material is our Digiflex Silver with a matte over laminate, giving it a reflective quality with a subdued reflection. 

2. 903 Brewers - Sherman, TX


Deeply rooted in originality, high quality, and community, 903 Brewers prides itself on solely offering its best to its customers.

Their labels are in-your-face designs that get noticed right away. Bold colors and striking colors are their trademark. The 903 IPA is a fruity treat with notes of grapefruit, pear, stone fruit and mild spice. They say it pairs well with hot wings, curry and tom foolery.

Acting on their dream of sharing their love of creating great beer with folks who mean the most, 903 Brewers is the product of the perfectionism and persistence of founders Jeremy (also head brew boss) and Natalie Roberts.

Their award-winning beers include the Sasquatch Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout which took home the silver in the 2015 Great American Beer Festival aged beer category.  Their Scotch Ale, Kilt Switch, took home a bronze in 2018.Cultivating its craft since 2013, 903 beer is noticeably crafted with impeccable care. 903 Brewers first made a name for itself with the beloved The Chosen One Coconut Ale and Roo’s Red Ale. Now, with an array of year-round, seasonal, and special release beers, craft beer enthusiasts are sure to find their flavor.

This label is a Flexlyte white BOPP film with a clear gloss over laminate for protection.

3. Le Chien Brewing - Denham Springs, LA


The Le Chien Brewing Company started out in 2016 and is a micro brewery in the antique downtown district of Denham Springs, Louisiana. They feature great handcrafted craft beers and sodas, along with custom food and live music. 

And, as you can see from this crowler label, they are completely dog friendly! Check out their Facebook page for some great dog pics for visitors to their taproom and patio. The brewery is built in an old oil change shop. The pit that was used to get under the cars to change the oil was converted into a home for their fermenters and tanks. You can actually see them through grates on the floor!

The label we made for Le Chien is for their 32 oz. crowlers. Beautifully designed, with simple graphics and great colors, the label has areas for writing in the beer information contained in the crowler. The label used our Digiflex white BOPP film with a matte over laminate for a low sheen writable surface.

4. Tantrick Brewing - Allegan, MI


Tantrick Brewing is named after the two owners, Tanya and Patrick who opened their taps in 2018. They are dedicated to using the freshest ingredients to deliver outstanding beer to their customers around Allegan, Michigan. They recently started canning and found Weber as an alternative to hand labeling cans from sheets. 

Their beer menu ranges from IPA's to Stouts, Irish Reds and even into a couple of refreshing ciders. And their labels are just beautiful! The design really stands out with it's trippy colors and mesmerizing patterns (see more info below). We printed these labels (above) on Digiflex white BOPP film with a matte over laminate. They are easy to spot on the shelf and a true pleasure to enjoy.

The Covid pandemic has upended most breweries around the country this past year, as so it did to Tantrick.  They have a Mug Club and all mug club members get their own handmade glass mug, which are made by Avolio Glass Werks in Kalamazoo

Earlier in 2020, local Covid regulations prohibited gathering indoors, but the move to outdoor seating was causing a lot of mugs to be damaged.  So they decided to suspend the service, and give mug club members an option of buying 16 oz cans instead.  They changed the art on their labels to reflect the unique designs of each mug. Most of the new label designs are a theme off of their Mug Club mugs. And the wood grain band across the top of the label reflects the scorched wood bar surface in the taproom. It is their way of bringing the best of the Tantrick Mug Club to their members and other customers while creating amazing label designs!

Currently, mug club members are also given a complimentary koozie to hold their prized beverages.

5. Mountain Fork Brewery - Broken Bow, OK


Established in 2015, Mountain Fork Brewery is located in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. The water for their beer comes from the pristine Mountain Fork River. They believe that from a good source, comes a good beer. And their goal is to produce easy drinking, creatively crafted beer with you in mind.

Mountain Fork is located in a shopping center that also includes a coffee & ice cream shop, a winery and a distillery! Demand for their brews have increases so much over the years that they have increased their capacity with a 20 barrel system. With a winery, distillery and brewery located so close, they have the adult beverage market covered.

And it makes it easy to get access to used bourbon barrels from their neighbor at Hochatown Distilling next door. The whiskey goes out one day and it's filled with beer the next! The above label is an example of their Stout aged in whiskey barrels. It has an 11% alcohol by volume from aging it for 6 months. 

This label was made with our Flexlyte clear film with a white underpainting and a clear gloss over laminate for protection. This is a beautiful label with outstanding colors that reflect the lake area of their location.

Read More

Topics: craft beer can labels, craft beer label materials


RFID Smart Labels and Pharma

Posted by Linda Roser

Jan 13, 2021 10:58:11 AM

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology has been around for many years.  It first caught on in retail and logistics as a natural fit.  Items with RFID labels, also referred to as Smart Labels or Intelligent Labels, can be tracked and identified efficiently through every stage of the supply chain, from purchasing to shipping to delivery.

Why is RFID a good solution for medical devices?

Consider the FDA requirements that mandate unique device identification (UDI) for medical devices. With a UDI system already in place, barcodes can become smart codes by having RFID sensors embedded in the barcode labels. RFID sensors can be engineered to withstand the high temperatures of sterilization, and by using thermal data logging technologies, hospitals can track assets through use, sterilization, and reuse.

Comprising of a small chip, which is capable of carrying up to 2000 bytes and an antenna, the RFID devices do a job similar to that of a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card – provide a unique identifier for an object. Like a bar code or magnetic strip, an RFID device must also be scanned to gather the identifying information. 

Today, pharmaceutical companies are also recognizing the benefits of RFID labels, and for very good reasons. In pharma, RFID labels help to manage inventory, increase operational efficiencies, remain in compliance with governmental regulation, and ensure the wellbeing of patients and consumers. RFID labels also enable itemizing and sorting of stock to ensure quality and prevent waste.  

RFID within the healthcare segment helps make medicine and assets smarter by providing improved visibility of inventory and assets. It's true that lost or stolen materials cost the healthcare industry millions every year. With RFID labels, you can see medicines and devices travel through the supply chain as intended, providing an accurate chain of custody.  Improved visibility reduces the risk of counterfeit drugs entering legitimate distribution channels and unintended product diversion. Accurate, timely and complete data helps avoid product expiration and stock outages and effective recall management. 

Nothing is more important than patient safety, but counterfeit drugs are real and one of the largest fraudulent markets in the world. Radio-frequency identification can help provide a quick way to retrieve information, track pharmaceuticals or items in the supply chain, and help avoid the costs associated with counterfeit or adulterated medications. The tag is placed on an individual object, which allows for unique identification.

Efforts of the FDA, in collaboration with pharmaceutical suppliers, to maintain a secure drug supply in the wake of rising counterfeit drugs prevalence, has encouraged the pharmaceutical industry to use RFID in combination with the electronic product code (EPC) for real-time tracking, tracing, and authentication of drugs.

It is critical to provide the right drug and of course, one that's free of tampering.  RFID not only ensures integrity, it delivers strong counterfeiting deterrence as the label itself could be used to authenticate the pharmaceutical product and tamper evidence. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has played a vital role in escalating the widespread adoption of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in the pharmaceutical sector to strengthen anti-counterfeiting and track-and-trace efforts. Besides these benefits, RFID technology is acknowledged for its ability to increase supply chain efficiency, reduce errors by proper storage of information, boost patient safety and monitoring, enhance staff, patient, and asset workflow, easy adoption and flexible usage, and cut down labor requirements. 

Read More

Topics: Labels, RFID, custom labels


Craft Beverage Soda Nostalgia

Posted by Chris Erbach

Dec 3, 2020 10:10:34 AM

 

Back in 1926, when the automobile was starting to become commonplace in the United States, there was a problem. Cars like the Ford Model T and the Dodge Series 116 were going faster and farther, but the roads they traveled were mostly still unconnected dirt ribbons.

Two entrepreneurs, Cyrus Avery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and John Woodruff of Springfield, Missouri, decided they wanted to try to connect the country with a paved road to enhance auto travel. They lobbied the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) for the creation of a route across the country near the center. What eventually evolved over the years was Route 66, which connected Chicago in the East to Santa Monica in the West.  The road grew by connecting smaller local roads into one unified paved US Highway. It opened up the country to commerce and travelers, especially helping the migration to the West during the Dust Bowl years of the 1930’s.

While many changes occurred over the century, including the endpoints, Route 66 has remained a special magical highway romanticizing auto travel in the 40’s-60’s.

The scenic by-ways, small town diners, museums and tourist attractions still bring travelers looking to relive those special times when traveling by car was more than just speeding down a crowded concrete multi-lane raceway. When you mention Route 66 to those that know, it conjures up images of large un-air-conditioned beasts full of families traveling down long stretches of two-lane asphalt.

Larry Tarantolo was lucky enough to grow up in Cicero, IL, right along where Route 66 (Ogden Rd.) passed by on its way to the endpoint at Lake Michigan. He was enamored with the legend of that highway, often traveling it with his family. He learned the history and lived the magic of the famed first road across America.

As a beverage marketing entrepreneur, Larry worked in the industry for years, creating multiple products and working with many experts in the bottling and distribution arena. One of the professionals that Larry befriended was Ron Filbert, a fourth-generation bottler of custom root beers and sodas. Filbert’s Old Time Root Beer is a well-kept Chicago secret that is a hard-to-find Southside treasure. Ron’s plant is located in a brick building on South Ashland in Chicago and it turns out custom hand-made sodas daily. The equipment is old but well-maintained, as you would expect from a seasoned craftsman.

About twenty-five years ago, Larry met Ron and they have developed a great working relationship over the years. And one of the special things tying Larry to Ron’s company is that Filberts and Route 66 were both opened in 1926.

Read More

Topics: Label Applicators, craft beer can labels, pack leader PL-501, craft beverage labels, craft soda labeling, Mother Road Soda


Follow Weber Packaging Solutions

Twitter-1 Facebook-1 YouTube-1 RSS Pinterest-Logo-Vector-by-Jon-Bennallick-02-1 LinkedIn-1


Download Users Guide to Labels

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all