Weber Packaging Solutions, Inc.

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

4 Reasons to Automate Your Labeling Process

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Jun 22, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Labeling products by hand can be a suitable process for small applications. However, as a business grows and the packaging demands increase, automation can make a big impact on your efficiency and become a valuable investment.

I recently met with Mike Soloway to discuss the benefits of automating the label application process. Check out this video we shot where Mike breaks down his top four benefits of labeling automation or read the list below.


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Topics: Labeling Systems, CIJ

Walmart Introduces New Case Labeling Requirements

Posted by Chris Erbach

Apr 13, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Can Labels Be The Solution for Walmart Cases?

Much has been made recently about Walmart's case labeling requirements and how it will effect their supply chain. Walmart is the dominant retailer with long supply chain roots throughout the world.

It takes extreme organizational skills to move massive amounts of products from manufacturer to the store shelves. Any weak link in that system can lead to confusion and financial losses. So when Walmart wants to upgrade the efficiency and accuracy of the shipping cases they receive at their stores, thousands of companies must take notice.

Apparently most companies use ink jet coding to print variable information on their cartons. Walmart requires Interleaved 2 of 5 GTIN14 bar codes on every case shipped to their vast array of distribution centers and stores. But when these boxes are stacked in the store stockrooms, it can be hard for employees to find what they need in a timely manner due to the current labeling.

Walmart is trying to solve this issue by requiring suppliers to have the GTIN14 bar code on all four sides of the carton so that, no matter how the boxes are stacked, a readable bar code is presented.

But here is where we start scratching our heads. According to what we have read from a few sources, including Pat Reynolds' Packaging World article, some of Walmart’s new rules are going to cause a few headaches with dry grocery and food item manufacturers (excluding fresh meat, fish, poultry, and produce).


Walmart’s New Requirements

As we mentioned, each master case must have a GTIN14 bar code on each of the four main sides of the carton and on the top.

  • Each case must also include the brand name and sub-brand name, best with the brand logo. This information also needs to be on all four sides plus the top of the case. Visuals like logos help store employees recognize the brand and find what they need faster.
  • Initial case quantity must be on all four sides of the carton along with a blank square where employees can update the quantity of the case with a marker as it is emptied.
  • A vendor stock number must appear on at least one side.
  • Walmart wants indication of the type of case printed on the top: Single Stock, Shelf Ready/PDQ or Case Cut Capable.
  • There must be a statement of temperature requirements on the top for refrigerated or frozen products.
  • And the case must have a Lot Number and Best-By Date on all fours sides for refrigerated products, and on at least one side for other products. Date format is to be MM/DD/YYYY.
  • For shrink-wrapped trays, Walmart wants the GTIN14 printed on each of the four sides of the tray and will allow the rest of the required information to be printed on the tray or on a pressure-sensitive label that is applied to the film wrapping.

These new Walmart requirements will provide important information that should be readily available to store associates whose job it is to organize, inventory and restock their stores.


A Case for Case Labeling 

We all agree that Walmart needs this information on each case to maintain or improve their store efficiencies. But we are not sure that preprinting cartons will make sense in the long run. Isn’t that what companies used to do 20 years ago and we moved away from it?

Flexographic printing of required information on cartons and cases would increase costs for manufacturers. Instead of being able to use the same carton for a wide range of products and imprinting the variable information, a company would have to have a pre-printed carton for each product. 

Let’s say you are a manufacturer of flavored drinks.You would like to use one generic carton for everything and just imprint the variable info via ink jet or labels. If you have 5 different flavors, you would now need cases for each flavor. That’s five times the cost of using generic cartons, five times the warehouse space for the empty cartons, and, when you no longer produce one of the flavors, those obsolete cartons end up in a landfill. This seems inefficient, wasteful and not very environmentally sound.

We believe there are more options for efficient case labeling. Contrary to what Walmart believes, high-resolution ink jet coding can produce bar codes that are ANSI/GS1 compliant. When used correctly, they can produce legible bar codes, logos and other variable data that would meet the requirements of the new Walmart mandate.

Perhaps the reason Walmart wants to move away from high resolution ink jet coding is that many times production lines will not get the maintenance or oversight needed to keep these ink jet systems working in top form. Often the marking can be less than perfect if the manufacturer does not maintain their production line. But simple bar code scanners could reject non-compliant coding before it gets shipped, allowing only compliant labeling to be delivered to Walmart.

Using pressure-sensitive labels is an even more reliable way to ensure that the correct information is added to every case. Variable information can be printed onto a variety of label sizes and applied to each of the sides of a carton. All of the Walmart required data can be printed on either blank white or custom printed label media that contains a company’s logo and other non-variable information.

Label printer-applicators are available that can either apply labels to two adjacent sides or apply one long label that wraps around the corner of two adjacent sides. Two of these systems would be required per line, but the ROI on this investment vs. flexographically printing cartons would be fast. Changes to product descriptions and bar codes could be made quickly.

Walmart already has a mandate in place for frozen baked goods that requires the variable information be printed on a white corner-wrap label that is applied to two opposite corners of a carton. This allows the information to be seen on all four sides clearly with excellent bar code scannability.

Weber Packaging Solutions has two reliable, field-proven systems that can help you get you cases labeled on all four sides: The Model 5300 Twin-Tamp and the Model 5300 Corner-Wrap. Both of these systems could make it easy for a company to comply with 4-sided carton labeling requirements.

Walmart should allow for case labeling, a proven solution, to ease the burden and still solve the problem they’re encountering. If you would like to see examples of these systems in action, visit our 5300 Series Label Printer-Applicator pages. If you have questions about Walmart case labeling, talk to one of our labeling experts.

Get a free labeling site analysis


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Topics: Labeling Systems, Walmart Case Labeling Requirements, 4-sided carton labeling

New Solutions for Automatic Bottle Labeling

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Mar 19, 2015 10:00:00 AM


Whether you're in food, beverage or healthcare packaging, you will probably have to label a product in a bottle or tube at some point. As we mentioned in the craft beer labeling blog, it's not feasible to hand label bottles so we have a few options to speed up the labeling process and ensure an accurately placed label. 

Let's breakdown the two new labeling solutions for bottles.

Weber Model 121 Wrap-Around Label Applicator 

If you're currently labeling by hand or using a semi-automatic labeler, this is a great next step into automated the process. The system comes with a conveyor and can be adjusted to match the height of your bottle. The Model 121 can label straight-walled bottles as short as 1.2" and as tall as 12" at up to 25 products per minute.  With a small footprint and a economical price, the Model 121 can really boost your packaging efficiency.

This system is perfect for small volume craft breweries, organic juice bottlers and nutraceutical co-packers who need a small system that can be added to their production line.

Learn more about the specs of the Model 121 wrap-around labeling system here. 

Check out a demo: 

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Topics: Labeling Systems

Pack Expo 2013: Innovations in Labels and Packaging

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Oct 7, 2013 8:45:00 AM

Wow! What an amazing Pack Expo show. With general show attendance up about 7% this year, our booth was buzzing with start ups, big businesses and future packaging engineers.

At this show we debuted our new larger booth layout, a couple of new products, and a very large assortment of labels manufactured by Weber.


Here were the highlights:


Decorative Custom Labels

Our booth featured two large label racks and lots of shelves that showed label rolls from dozens of industries.

We loved having the opportunity to share the print technology of our HP Indigo digital label presses, showing off a variety of label materials and the outstanding creativity of our Graphics department.

A popular topic that came up often in our booth was customers asking about updating their packaging with new label designs or materials. The major label trend in our booth was clear label material on clear packaging. Whether it was for wine, juice or sandwich packaging, people liked the high-end look of a clear label on their glass or plastic containers.


QuadraColor Inkjet Label Printer

As it has been at our last couple of shows, the QuadraColor inkjet label printer was a big hit!

Many visitors to our booth were looking for in-house label printing options or an alternative to the label printer they currently use. They were impressed with the high-resolution quality of the labels and how easy it is to operate the QuadraColor.

We found that food companies who have multiple SKUs want the flexibility to print the labels for their flavor varieties on-demand.

Visitors were also impressed that the QuadraColor label printer holds up to 250 different label designs in its memory, making it easy to pull up label designs on-demand.


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Topics: Label Applicators, Labels, Weber News, Labeling Systems, Digital Labels, Trade Show, Label Printers

Weber Packaging Solutions is Headed to Pack Expo 2013

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Sep 19, 2013 6:27:00 AM

Our bags are packed, our crates are shipped and we're off to sunny Las Vegas for Pack Expo 2013.

This year we're bringing more eye-catching, decorative labels to our booth than ever before! We'll be showcasing craft beer labels, clear wine labels, medical device labels, food labels, and more.


New Color Label Printers


A recent addition to Weber's product line is the QuadraColor inkjet label printer. This printer utilizes the latest inkjet technology to print stunning color images on label material. While our HP Indigo digital press allows for very low minimums, this printer is a solution for in-house, on-demand label printer with no inventory or minimum requirement.


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Topics: Label Applicators, GHS Labeling, Labeling Systems, Digital Labels, Trade Show

Weber's Top Tweets on Labeling and Packaging Design

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Aug 28, 2013 8:35:00 AM

Here are a few Tweets that we thought might be helpful in designing labels and selecting the label application method that is right for you.

Follow all our Tweets at @WeberPackaging



Tips for picking the right printing and labeling system

This article covers the challenges that distribution centers face with their labeling processes. Like any industry that regularly requires labeling, distributors must determine if they should continue to manually label or upgrade to automated labeling.

To discuss your labeling options, contact us at or visit us at one of our upcoming shows:

  • Automation Technology Expo/Pack Zone at McCormick Place in Chicago, September 10-12, Booth 1053
  • Pack Expo 2013 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, September 23-25, Booth C-919


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Topics: Label Applicators, Labels, Weber News, Labeling Systems, Trade Show, Label Printers