Weber Packaging Solutions, Inc.

Been There, Labeled That -- Weber's Blog on Labels

Urban Growler Brewing For Growth in St. Paul

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jul 25, 2018 11:13:45 AM

 

“It’s all about the community and how we bring people together through beer,” said co-founder and Master Brewer Deb Loch.

Celebrating their fourth anniversary in business, Deb and co-founder Jill Pavlak have been slowly building their brewery through quality products and local participation. Urban Growler (www.urbangrowlerbrewing.com) was opened in July 2014 when Deb and Jill combined their talents and passion to create outstanding beer, food and a welcoming space for the community.

And their brand tag line says it all: “We’re Beer For You!”

As Minnesota’s first female-owned brewery, they had many challenges getting their vision in place. But with the help of friends, family and even total strangers, Urban Growler became a reality. Their patrons believed in the founders vision and their support helped get one of the hottest new breweries off the ground. Now that spirit is being repaid with a company that is there for the community.

The brewery, located at 2325 Endicott St. in St. Paul, Minnesota, features a warm, welcoming taproom, on-location kitchen and an outdoor beer garden. There are also indoor retail spaces that can be rented for hosting meetings, weddings, and local social gatherings.

But one of the most interesting things about Urban Growler is the building itself. This century-old brick and timber space was once home to the St. Paul Police horse stables back in the late 1800’s. After that tenure, it became a manufacturing facility for wooden skis and hockey sticks (after all, this IS Minnesota) as well as other warehousing in later years. The designers for Urban Growler did an awesome job of resurrecting the true character of the old building while adding a few modern updates for comfort and accessibility.

The brewery is looking to output 2000 barrels this year, up from about 1250 last year. Their flagship brews include traditional beers like their CowBell Cream Ale, Midwest IPA and their De-Lovely Porter. They also brew an interesting Kentucky Uncommon Ale and a “West-Coast-hops-meets-East-Coast-maltiness” Golden Hammer IPA. All Urban Growler flagship beers are lovingly handcrafted in 10-barrel batches under the close supervision of Master Brewer Deb.

But one of the best things about being a small brewery is that you can brew small batches and experiment with limited releases. Last year, Urban Growler brewed over 40 different beers, some as small as half-barrel experiments! Most of these end up in the taproom where their popularity is voted on by their customers’ consumption. The more popular winners then might end up as a seasonal or limited release for distribution in cans.

Lately much of their focus has been on a concept that they call “Plow to Pint®”. They have found that people would rather drink locally and that they appreciate locally sourced products. For this endeavor, Urban Growler uses ingredients harvested from farmers in the area to create unique beers with a distinct twist. Some of the recent favorites include Blueberry Wheat featuring blueberries harvested from a family-owned farm in Princeton, MN, and an Oak Aged Imperial Ale with Frontenac Grapes that used classic oak barrels and Frontenac grapes gown outside Red Wing, MN. They are currently working with the Rainforest Alliance in Guatemala and the University of Minnesota to create a collaboration brew using the sustainable ramon nut. Not your ordinary Stout.

While most of the flagship beers at Urban Growler are filled by a Wild Goose system into preprinted cans bought in bulk, these new small batch creations are getting canned and labeled using pressure-sensitive custom-designed labels. This allows the brewery to be more flexibile while doing a small batch economically and using eye-catching designs for their new brews.

Urban Growler has been canning approximately 150 cases of their small batch seasonals every few months. But because of their success, they are now looking to ramp things up to 250-case batches of their special beers once a month. To do this, the brewery had to invest in a new automated labeling system.

After much research and a few false starts, they happened to find Weber Packaging Solutions online. They contacted Weber whose local rep came out to see what the best solution would be for Urban Growler. The brewery was growing and would need to be able to scale up to the larger brew runs at higher speeds in the future. Reliability was key to a new system and it had to be easy for the staff to operate.

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Topics: Label Applicators, Labeling Systems, beer labeling system, craft beer label ebook, craft beer label materials, craft beer labels, craft beer can labels, beer can labeling system


Peel & Redeem Coupon Labels

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jul 18, 2018 2:36:05 PM

 

You see them everywhere. Small labels attached to your products at the grocery store, Walmart or big box store that allow you to peel them off and save money at check out.

Weber prints many of these type of labels and in this blog we will feature two examples of "Point of Purchase Coupon" labels.

These labels are perfect for adding to packages like boxes, clamshells, bottles, and bags to give your customer a discount or rebate buying incentive. It's a good way to get your product noticed or to entice a potential buyer into trying your brand for the first time.

Two of the most common types of coupon labels are the  extended-content, multi-panel construction label that works best for mail in rebates that requires more space for text and the  simple peel off coupon with deadened adhesive on the back. The peel-off coupons are usually collected at check out and the savings are immediate. 

How to Apply Coupon Labels

There are two basic ways to apply your new coupon labels. The method you use is dependent on whether your products are on the manufacturing line or already offline or in-store. 

• Towa Hand-Held Labeler

When your products are already at the store or at the warehouse, you can apply the labels by hand (labor-intensive!) using an affordable hand-held labeling tool. We would recommend something like the Towa hand-held labeler. Available in six different sizes, the Towa is perfect for small labeling jobs and on-demand labeling.

If you plan to use a hand-held labeler to apply your coupon labels, remember that your labels need to be wound on a 1" core and the roll has to be no more than about 5" in diameter.

This method is labor intensive because you have to swipe the labeler on each product, one at a time. If you have a lot of items to label, this could take a while!

 

•  Automated Label Applicators

If you plan ahead and can label your products while still being manufactured on a conveyor line, you can use one of the many labeling systems on the market.

We would recommend either a PackLeader labeling system or a Weber Alpha Compact label applicator. Automated labeling methods like this are meant for high-volume labeling that also requires close accuracy (like your coupon label).

Depending on the shape of your product and the speed of the line, you can choose from a range of systems including the PackLeader 501 for round containers like beverages or the Weber Alpha Compact which is perfect for applying labels to the top or sides of a product.

Both systems are economical yet full of advanced features like rugged die-cast aluminum construction, single-key calibration, automatic recognition of missing labels, in-production speed adjustment, and more.

An example of a tricky application is this coupon label applied to a clamshell plastic container filled with trail mix. The clamshell lid is recessed so the label needs to be blow onto the top of the clamshell using a Alpha Tamp-Blow labeling system. The label is brought to within a 1/4" of the product (clearing the lip) and is then blown onto the lid. 

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Topics: Label Applicators, Labels, Digital Labels, Food Labels, coupon labels


A Cannabis Surge in the Packaging Industry

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jun 21, 2018 10:00:46 AM

I can honestly say that, in more than 35  years in the packaging industry, I have never seen such a diverse and rapidly growing market as the current surge in cannabis sales.

As more and more states legalize the sale of both medical and recreational marijuana, the marketplace has exploded with  new products covering just about every vertical market. There are cannabis beverages, edibles of all sorts, oils, lotions, candles, clothing, and, of course, the dried flowers for smoking.

The cannabis industry is exponentially growing with a forecast of $24.5 billion in sales by 2020. That's just a year and half away. As an example of state income, Colorado sales for combined recreational and medical for April 2018 was $124 million dollars. Just a one month total in a state of 5.6 million people.

The packaging requirements are varied by state and often can conflict with each other. Child-proof packaging is required in most states, for example, and Colorado allows child-proof resealable zipper bags but Washington state does not. Some states require single-use packaging even for large quantity items. And edible food products that might be mistaken for non-cannabis products need to have the THC symbol coded onto the product with edible ink in Colorado. These are just a few examples of the range of hoops that manufacturers have to jump through.

Branding has become a focus of the cannabis packaging, especially with products that are trying to attract more affluent buyers willing to pay a premium for products. Up-scale packaging designs are appearing to improve the reputation of cannabis products.  But the US Trademark Office (federal government) denies trademark protection to cannabis brands making it difficult to clearly protect your identity. 

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Topics: Label Applicators, Labeling Systems, cannabis labels, cannabis labeling


A Shining Example in the Automotive Care Industry

Posted by Chris Erbach

Apr 30, 2018 9:53:38 AM

3D International started as a humble car wash in the Van Nuys, California area back in 1980 and soon after began manufacturing their own brand of soap, degreasers and tire dressings.  As word spread, they needed to expand the production of their quality automotive products and dedicate themselves to just manufacturing.

With over two decades of research and development, 3D has established a solid name in the car care products industry for car washes, detailers, and car dealerships.

In 2014, 3D built a new facility in Santa Clarita where they moved into creating new  polishing compounds and car-care soaps along with their degreasers and tire dressings. As their fame continued to grow, they expanded, adding new filling and packaging lines to keep up with demand. The 3D International factory headquarters includes a 70,000 square-foot warehouse with computerized mixing, high-speed production and strict quality control.

The company’s Production Manager, Genaro Levy, took some time to tell us about the growth at 3D International and how they are handling their success.

“We were famous for our soaps, tire dressings and degreasers, but since 2010, we have pursued the development of polishing compounds for automotive finishes,” said Gernaro. “3D now has compounds that are unmatched in how fast they polish. This one-step compound polishes (removes swirl marks), protects (adds a protective film), and leaves a great shine.”

The company now produces about 150 different products in a range of containers including 2 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., 24 oz., 32 oz., 1 gallon, 5 gallons, 55 gallons, and 275 gallon totes! Over 95% of their products are biodegradable and/or green with 100% VOC compliance.

Because of the increase in their compound sales, 3D needed to build a new packaging line for their 16 oz. and 32 oz. bottles. One of the components of the new production line would be a wrap-around labeling system that could keep up with manufacturing and have day-to-day reliability.

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Topics: Label Applicators, Labeling Systems


Alpha HSM: A High-Speed Labeling Applicator in a Modular Design

Posted by Linda Roser

Apr 19, 2018 11:50:29 AM

No two packaging lines are the same these days, with many companies demanding more flexibility for new automated labeling equipment to fit their existing production lines.

So Weber has come up with a solution – a new label applicator that can be configured to fit just about any packaging line.

The Alpha HSM (High-Speed-Modular) label applicator is our new modular design that is based on various components that can be combined into the right system to meet your requirements. 

The modules consist of a drive module, a label detection module, a dispensing module, an unwinder module, a rewinder module and an adapter module. These can be assembled according to a customers specifications using our configurator to create the perfect label applicator for their product line.

With the packaging industry asking for higher labeling speeds and more flexibility,  the Alpha HSM high-speed labeling systems can be configured in a variety of models that can handle multiple speeds and label sizes.

Weber engineered the modular Alpha HSM so that it can be ordered in ten different versions to fit just about any labeling application. Available in right- or left-hand versions, the Alpha HSM can be built with 5.3” (135mm), 7.8” (200mm), 9.8” (250mm) and 12.6” (320mm) label widths.

The system can keep up with line speeds up to 500 feet/minute with a labeling accuracy of ±0.01" (with controlled product handling). 

The Alpha HSM is IP65 rated for wash down applications.

All the systems feature multiple interfaces allowing connections for HMI display, product detector, rotary encoder, I/O signal, Ethernet network, and an aux in and aux out for sensor attachment. 

The standard mechanical label unwinder and rewinder can be upgraded to a motorized servo-controlled system for higher labeling throughput speeds. Label application modules for the HSM include a fixed peeler plate, a swiveling peeler plate, a pneumatic peeler plate, and adjustable peeler plate or a pneumatic applicator. Label sensors can handle standard and transparent labels.

Three different user interfaces are available including OLED display, external PLC module or a web-based control. And the system is IP65 certified for dust and water spray protection and is constructed of durable aluminum with high rigidity for all working label widths.

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Topics: Label Applicators, Labeling Systems


Get Your FREE Registration To MODEX 2018 In Atlanta!

Posted by Chris Erbach

Mar 13, 2018 7:42:00 AM

 

 

 
You're invited to attend MODEX 2018 next month in Atlanta, GA!  Register for a free pass to MODEX 2018 and see the latest innovations in automated packaging systems and materials. 


Weber Packaging Solutions will be exhibiting in Booth #1957 and we would love to have you stop by. We will be showcasing new high-speed label applicators, variable-height  printer-applicators, continuous ink jet coders and, of course, thousands of labels. 
 
In our booth we will have the Weber Model LA-6000, our variable-height, high-speed label printer-applicator built for distribution centers. 
Watch the LA-6000 label printer applicator video

We will also feature a couple of other systems in our booth:

Be sure to send me an email if you'd like a private tour of our new system at the show. 

So sign up now to get your free registration for MODEX 2018. Hope to see you there!


Watch a video about the Weber LA-2050 label printer-applicator featuring a Sato CLNX label printer.  

Weber LA-2050 Label Printer Applicator

 

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Topics: Label printer applicator, LA-2050, Variable-height labeling, label printer applicators, Trade Show, Label Applicators, Labels, Labeling Systems