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

Linda Roser

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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


6 Reasons Digital Labels Are Right For Your Product

Posted by Linda Roser

Feb 27, 2018 2:55:49 PM

Digital printing is quickly becoming a popular choice for printing product labels and stickers.  And there are plenty of good reasons for this including reduced cost, high-quality, quick turn-around and small batch capabilities.

At Weber Packaging, we have been using HP Indigo digital presses to produce stunning product labels for food packaging, lotion bottles, chemical warning labels and so much more. As you plan your new label designs, you should consider all the advantages of digitally printed pressure-sensitive labels.  

What is digital printing?

Digital label printing takes a digital file of your design and prints the image directly on to a selected label material on press. Unlike flexographic printing, all colors and images are produced in one step. These presses run slower than flexographic presses so they are ideal for smaller order quantities. Because of the superior printing technology of the HP Indigo press, colorful product packaging labels are produced beautifully. 

Common Features of a Digital Label Project

Decorative or Prime Label Printing 

Digital printing is ideal for labels that require at least 4 colors. If you want your label to help sell your product and speak for your brand, the print quality is key. Color consistency, image registration and color vibrancy are all addressed with digital labels. Most of the labels we print on our HP Indigo presses are the primary product label. For instance, beverage labels, food pouch labels, and private label brands are frequently running in our digital room. If your label will be used for branding then chances are it'll be a good fit for digital. 

Short Run Orders

Digital printing allows for a much lower minimum than flexographic printing. If you'll need 500-25,000 colorful labels per product then there's a good chance digital labels are a good fit for your product. With short runs you won't need to hold on to inventory you don't need. 

 Variable Print On Press

Variable data printing is a form of digital printing, including on-demand printing, in which elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed to piece to the next without stopping or slowing down the printing process.  VDP uses information from a database or external file.

Flexo printing requires plates for each unique image and color so variable printing on on a flexographic press is impossible. Digital presses can print consecutive numbers, variable data and almost any other label-to-label difference.  

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Topics: Digital Labels


Get a Free Pass To The 2018 WestPack Trade Show in Anaheim, CA  

Posted by Linda Roser

Jan 24, 2018 9:08:00 AM

We're packing up and getting ready to head out to Anaheim, CA for WestPack 2018.

westpack-weber-2018-logo1.jpg

WestPack offers serious professionals three days of  immersion to explore the region's largest industry expo delivering the latest in packaging design, flexible packaging, and more. 

Trade shows are still one of the most valuable ways for you to network and discover solutions that help your business.  Even though most of us do our initial research online, these traditional events still provide a lot that a website or videos can't accomplish. 

Here is what you will find in booth 5411:

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Topics: Label Applicators, Labeling Systems, Trade Show, Label Printers


Weber Attains ISO 9001: 2015 Certification

Posted by Linda Roser

Jan 15, 2018 12:16:26 PM

Weber Packaging Solutions is proud to announce we are now ISO 9001: 2015 certified.  

ISO 9001 is an international standard that defines requirements for establishing a Quality Management System (QMS) in any organization. Weber has been certified for the last 19 years (since 1998) to ISO 9001: 2008.

Changes to ISO 9001:2015 include the introduction of new terminologies for restructuring some of the information, emphasis on risk-based thinking to enhance the process approach, increased leadership requirements and improved applicability for services.

Achieving ISO 9001: 2015 certification is a benchmark for measuring the maturity of the organization’s QMS. Everyone at Weber has been working diligently to put procedures in place to meet the strict requirements of ISO 9001: 2015. Emphasis was placed on consistency in our manufacturing processes so that Weber will reliably print labels with the same high quality standards every time.

ISO 900: 2015 helps companies demonstrate to customers that they can offer products and services of consistently good quality.  It is less prescriptive than its predecessor, focusing instead on performance. The change is achieved by combining the process approach with risk-based thinking, and employing the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” cycle at all levels in the organization.

Weber's Quality Assurance Manager, Derek Podejko states "It’s important because it continues to provide trust between Weber and our customers. The certification provides evidence that Weber is committed to meet customer requirements, which can be accomplished with our quality management system. By identifying and defining our processes to meet ISO 9001:2015 standards, it allows us to stay consistent within our operations. The commitment from upper management allowed us to be certified to the new ISO 9001:2015 quickly and in a professional manner".

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Topics: ISO certification, ISO certified company


5 Questions To Better Pressure-Sensitive Bottle Labeling

Posted by Linda Roser

Jan 8, 2018 10:41:20 AM

With the success of craft beer, cold-pressed juices, kombuchas and other beverages these days, it's easy to see that a wide range of labeling systems are required to meet the demands of these very different manufacturers.  Bottles for these beverages include regular round 12 ounce and 16 ounce versions, square-sided bottles in glass or plastic, and sometimes irregular shapes like ovals and octagons. 

How can you be sure that you are buying the best labeling system for your application? 

Well, let's take the craft beer industry for example.  Companies range from start-ups of 2-3 people putting out a few barrels a week to huge corporations with multiple locations supplying thousand of barrels a week or more. Each has a specific need for their bottle labeling.  And whatever the solution, it has to work reliably and fit into their production seamlessly. 

So here are a few questions on what to ask when choosing a bottle labeling system for your beverage company. 

1) How many bottles do you need to label per hour?

Wrap-Around Label Applications come in many styles and sizes, all depending on the speed of the production line.  Are you labeling 100 bottles an hour or 100 per minute?  A small craft brewery or juice company might be doing a special seasonal run of a particular style and may only need to hand label 1,000 bottles for a specific run.  For this application, an automated hand-labeling system would work well.

These hand-fed labelers are economical and fairly simple to use.  A couple of different manufacturers make these, such as Dispensa-Matic's Bottle-Matic hand-fed labelers that can label 500-1,000 bottles per hour with average dexterity.

With this labeler, a bottle is placed on the machine and the operator presses a button to dispense the label.  The label is then applied as the bottle spins on the rollers - simple.  The labels are applied straight every time unlike hand-labeling.  And the systems are usually less than $1,500.

If your company uses a front and back label combination for your products, the dual-label version will apply equally-spaced front/back labels fast and straight.  Operators just need to be sure to order the labels with the labels alternating correctly.

For medium-sized companies, these might need to add a system into their automated production line, such as the PackLeader Elf 50 bottle wrap system.  A self-contained platform, the machine can be placed in a production line where bottles are fed onto its conveyor.  As the bottle moves down the conveyor belt, the bottle is spun and the label is wrapped around the bottle before it is sent to the next production station.  

These systems are obviously more expensive but are fully adjustable for different size bottles.  They are also hands-free so once set-up, production can be completely automated.  Some systems are mobile and can be rolled into place when labeling is needed, then rolled away when space is required for another operation.  This is handy for start-ups where space is at a premium. 

For a large company looking for high-speed labeling, there are label applicators that can apply hundreds of labels per minute.  These are available from many different manufacturers including Weber, PackLeader, Tronics, Krones and more.  Usually these machines are custom designed to fit existing production lines and timed to precisely match the speed of the production line.  

A high-speed system is expensive but necessary if you are trying to ramp up your company's growing manufacturing and sales.  These labelers have optical sensors, PLCs and on-board electronics that allow all the machines in the production line to talk to each other and time their label application.  Sensors trigger label application and can even detect missing/faulty labels.  These are complex systems that require planning and are most times custom-designed to blend into a production line. 

2) Are you using a wrap-around label or front and back labels?

Not everyone uses wrap-around labels.  Many manufacturers like to have nice-looking brand label on the front and an ingredients/nutrition label on the back. 

Many labeling systems can be set up to do front/back labeling, but check and be sure before buying a system.  You should be able to adjust the spacing so the labels are centered directly across the bottle from each other. 

Again, you also have to make sure that the front and back labels on the rolls are alternated so they will distribute correctly in the applicator. 

3) Are your bottles round, square or something more exotic?

Some new juice companies are using square bottles to set themselves apart from their competition on the store shelf.  Labeling these bottles often requires special systems with a label applicator on either side of the production line.  To date, there are solutions that allow labels to be applied to both sides of a bottle at the same time, or others that have high-speed versions that can also handle horizontally-tapered bottles for two-sided labeling. 

The size and shape of your label can also determine what type of system you need.  Large oversize beverage labels for five-gallon pails and drums need very specialized labeling equipment.  Most labeling systems can handle average size labels but always ask for a test.  Make sure you check that the label applicator is adjustable for height of the bottle in case you are running different sized products or change your label design in the future.

4) How much floor space do you have for your labeler?

A big issue when shopping for a labeling system is how and where will it fit into the production parade.  Some companies have lots of room so they are just designing/building their new lines. But other companies are replacing old equipment or have limited space into which they have to insert the new label applicator.

After you determine what type of label applicator you need and how fast you need to go, the next step is to check the machine's footprint.  Does it have the ability to match your conveyor system's height and handle the product safely and accurately?  Can the sensors talk to your system to ensure accuracy and speed of the labeling?  Do you need to remove the labeler when it is not being used?

Other questions might include checking if your product would require being put at temperatures other than the room temperature.  Does it contain a heated or frozen product that might not accept regular label material?  There are specific label materials that work well with cold, wet or heated products.  Check with your label manufacturer to be sure.  It is always best to investigate these details and see which manufacturers can meet your requirements.

5) What is your budget? 

And finally, how much do you have budgeted for your beverage labeling project?  This is always a tough but necessary question.  You do not want your production line to suffer poor performance or breakdown due to a bargain brand not performing.  Do your homework here and try to match your requirements and future growth to the best product for your application.  Look at the number of hours that this label applicator will be working over the next few years and you can see what the likely ROI (return on investment) will be.  Most times a well-built labeling system will last 10-20 years with regular maintenance and a little tender loving care. 

Be sure to look at the manufacturer's track record for reliability and service. See if the system is modular and can grow along with your business.  Read up on product reviews and talk to others in your industry to see who can deliver a label applicator that will last. Annual trade shows are specifically designed for customers to physically witness packaging equipment working live.  They are a perfect place to shop for a system and get all your questions answered by sales engineers and marketing staff who know the equipment best. 

 

 Bottle Labeling Systems from Weber

 

www.weberpackaging.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: wrap-around bottle labelers, bottle labeling systems, bottle labeling, labels for bottles


How To Automate Your Package Labeling With Weber's Economical LA-2050 Label Printer-Applicator

Posted by Linda Roser

Nov 13, 2017 9:52:11 AM

So you have a variety of box sizes to ship and are looking for a way to automatically print and apply labels without breaking the bank?  Well, now there is a solution.  

Weber's economical LA-2050 label printer-applicators offer maximum performance in a small compact footprint, using a highly-efficient low-energy tamp-blow applicator for contactless labeling.  Label placement accuracy is  ±0.05 inches. 

The LA-2050 uses a Sato CLNX thermal-transfer label printer (203, 300 or 600 dpi) that can print thermal-transfer or direct thermal labels as small as 1.1” x  1.5” and up to 4.7” x 6.2” (ideal for 4”x 6” shipping labels).

The LA-2050 print apply systems handle larger label rolls than normal, with an outer diameter of 8.60”,  that allow you to apply an average of 20 percent more labels between roll change over.  Likewise, the longer thermal transfer ribbon footage of 1,968’ allows for continuous label printing over a longer timeframe. And when the ribbon or labels need to be changed, it can be accomplished quickly due to the design and ease of access to the printer mechanism.

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Topics: LA-2050, Label printer applicator, economical print apply system


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