Labeling Innovations from Weber

Margaret O'Leary

Recent Posts

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

Changes coming for food date coding and labeling

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Jun 6, 2016 12:12:26 PM

Sell-by-date-label.jpgConfusion over "Best By", “Use By” and "Sell By" dates has contributed to massive amounts of food waste in the US. This confusion stems from conflicting understanding of dates safety and quality meaning. Consumers are likely to throw away food that is passed the date that's labeled on the package even if it's just a sell by date and/or is perfectly safe to eat.

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Topics: Food Labels, CIJ

Label & Coding Solutions at the Craft Brewers Conference 2016

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Apr 21, 2016 8:30:00 AM

craft-brewers-2016-logo.jpgWe're excited to be exhibiting at BrewExpo America during the 2016 Craft Brewers Conference  in just a few short weeks! The conference takes place May 3 - 6 and you can visit our booth (961) during the trade show from May 4 - 6 in the Philadelphia Convention Center.  Brewers will have the chance to meet with over 800 vendors who specialize in everything you could need for your brewery from tax resources to large brewing equipment. 

For the last few of years we have enjoyed helping small breweries grow their brands with labels, labeling equipment and ink jet coders.

Here's a quick preview of the packaging solutions we're bringing to BrewExpo:



Beer-bottles-with-different-labels.jpgLabels for Craft Beer Bottles and Cans

Weber's booth will have beautiful examples of beautiful pressure-sensitive beer labels that are suitable for bottles and some that can even be applied to beer cans.

In addition to seeing the labels on rolls and applied to the products, we'll be giving away samples of our top beer label materials so you can take them back to your brewery and test them with your product.

There are many different types of label materials now available including white films, clear films, metalized films, Estate papers and and even wood! Get inspired with these designs from local breweries and our in-house Graphics Team. 



Labeling Applicators for Beer 

We've talked about our three options for craft beer labeling equipment for bottles and cans and now you'll be able to see one of those systems live in our booth!

In our BrewExpo booth #961 we'll be demoing our Model 121 Wrap-Around Label Applicator. You'll notice this unit is compact and easy to use and is adjustable so you can  apply labels to both cans and bottles. 

This all-in-one labeling system is on wheels so you can roll it to your bottling or canning line, apply labels to your batch, then roll it out of the way.


BestCode_88_system.jpgInk Jet Coding for Craft Beer Cans

Our most popular craft beer product is our BestCode ink jet system. This printer is easy to use and cleanly applies the coding you need on your cans.

The ink jet printer can be a stand alone unit with its own stand or attached to the your packaging line. The system is easy to use, requires minimum maintenance, and carries a 2 year manufacturers warranty.

See a live demo of this ink jet printer coding bottles and cans, or request a Weber expert to visit your brewery and give you an on-site demo


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Topics: Trade Show, Beer Labeling

Coding Craft Beer Cans with Continuous Ink Jet Systems

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Apr 19, 2016 3:00:46 PM

Cans are quickly becoming a popular choice among craft brewers for distributing their beer. Whether your cans are pre-printed, labeled or covered in a shrink sleeve, you'll probably need to add a code to edge or bottom of the can. 

Today we're going to talk about the coding you'll need to add to the can whether they're pre-printed, sleeved or labeled. 


Coding Craft Beer Cans and Bottles


The code on your cans should track back to two pieces of key information:

  1. Date it was packaged
  2. Lot number that refers to the specific batch in the package

This information is important for traceability through the supply chain and will be key to following up if there is a problem with your beer. If there's an issue, you'll want to be able to track exactly where the problem occurred and how much was of your batch was affected. This helps brewers address the dilemma quickly. 

Having a "born on date" also gives the customer information on the beer's freshness. 

There is flexibility in how you code your product. For instance, you don't have to put a separate date and lot code. Instead you can use one code that cross references a lot code and package date. That code can be looked up to cross reference both pieces of information for recalls.

Coding can appear in several methods:

  • Standard or Gregorian Date package date coding
  • “Best by” date
  • Unique company specific date coding
  • Julian date coding

You can also have some fun with the coding. Some breweries leave messages on the cans!  

Today there isn't a legal requirement for brewers to add this coding - yet. However, in anticipation of this change, most brewers who are expanding their distribution will be smart to set up a  traceability method with ink jet coding.

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Topics: Beer Labeling, CIJ

Choosing the right label material for High Pressure Processing (HPP)

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Nov 11, 2015 3:03:51 PM

When you work on a new label project it's important to let your label printing vendor and designer know the environment the label will have to withstand. Will it need to perform well outdoors? Will the label be stored in a freezer or damp environment? This will help them determine the best material for your application. It's especially important if your label is regulated or if your label is part of the primary packaging. A label should look great for the entire life cycle of your product. 

Today we're going to talk about selecting the right labels for High Pressure Processing or HPP. 


What is High Pressure Processing?

PureSpoon Food LabelHPP is a process of pasteurization typically used in the food, beverage and pet food markets to keep the food fresh longer. Because there is a breakdown in nutrients during heat pasteurization, it's believed that HPP maintains the integrity of the nutrients because there is no heat used in this process.

To illustrate this process, let's use our friends at  PureSpoon. PureSpoon creates organic pureed food that is sold at Whole Foods. On their label they say, "We use pressure instead of heat to pasteurize which doesn't destroy the flavor or nutrition naturally found in our nutrient-packed, steamed, organic ingredients." It's very important to this brand that they use HPP and have a quality label to help market their products.

Food and beverages that go through this process are packed and sealed before they go through the HPP system. This greatly reduces contamination. In the HPP system, the packaging and its contents are subjected to hydorstactic pressure up to 600 MPa / 87,000 pis. 

Because the food goes through this process when it's sealed, it's important to select a label material that can withstand this pressure and perform in a wet environment. This is even more important for primary package labels that need to act as branding material on the shelf. 

High pressure processing (HPP) requires specific packaging and label materials


Correct barrier properties such as OTR, MVTR and UV of the package are critical. And the design of the package is also important to prevent damage and optimize throughput through the HPP process. Also, all HPP products are in the refrigerated world so the label must stick in a cold damp place.

The three key advantages that hold true for all HPP-treated products are: food safety to inactivate pathogens such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella; added shelf life to increase distribution possibilities and decreases costs; and the ability to introduce new products, for example, clean-label foods.

What is the ideal label material for HPP?

Weber has a large catalog of vinyl/film label materials that will hold up during this process. We also recommend a laminate to ensure that your beautiful label design stays completely intact through this process and during the entire life of the product. 

These materials can be printed on one of our HP Indigo digital label presses with minimums as low as 1,000 and our high volume Mark Andy flexo presses for when you need 100,000+ labels. 

If this is a process your products go through now, or will in the future, request high pressure processing labels for testing.

Get Label Samples  


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Topics: Food Labels

The Benefits of Using Labels for Craft Beer Cans

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Jul 20, 2015 10:53:00 AM

For years craft brewers chose glass bottles to package their beer. The glass container was seen as the only viable option for small operations. Brewers were able to buy glass bottles in bulk and then label them on-site with minimal investment in packaging equipment. For many consumers, they believed the quality of the beer would be better if the beverage was stored in glass. There was also the belief that canned beer would leave a metallic taste from the aluminum.

beer-Can-labelBut a lot has changed in packaging technology.

In the last few years, the aluminum industry has found ways to make the cans more light-weight and they're squashing the flavor myth. Additionally, cans are recycled more and, because of their opaque material, they preserve the flavor longer than glass. Due to its recylability and preservation, some consumers are reaching for cans more than bottles these days. But the one drawback that still makes it difficult for craft brewers to switch to cans is the high minimums of pre-printed cans and the cost of canning machinery.

A solution to this can vs. bottle debate is to use blank cans with pressure-sensitive labels. Brewers can buy the blank cans in bulk without storing thousands of pre-printed cans may become obsolete. To manage your inventory, you can order custom labels based on the quantity you want to apply without holding onto extra materials. If you're still growing, you might not have the storage space to store all those preprinted cans.

Some breweries are moving to shrink sleeve label material for their cans. This is a great solution but you'll still need to have the volume that allows for the investment of the application equipment. It's not something that can be applied by hand.

If you're just starting out, or want to label both cans and bottles, pressure-sensitive labels will keep your look  consistent and keep the packaging cost down. The same equipment used to label your 12oz or 22oz beer bottles will also work for your cans. Plus, if you decide to want to offer crowlers at your taproom, you can apply the pressure-sensitive labels straight to the can without large labeling equipment.

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Topics: Beer Labeling

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