Labeling Innovations from Weber

Asset tracking RPCs with RFID labels

Posted by Chris Erbach

Mar 2, 2017 2:45:47 PM

Mission Impossible to Mission Accomplished!

RFID-Label-with-inlay.pngWe have all seen RFID labels and tags on products in stores. Usually they are on more expensive items that are small and are often targets of shoplifting. `

When you check out, the cashier rubs the RFID tag on a deactivation device that kills or zeroes the encoding. This allows the customer to walk out the door without alarms going off at the door.

How many times has a cashier missed a tag of yours and you set off the alarm on your way out of a store? Awkward to say the least!

But there are other ways that RFID labels are being used in manufacturing and distribution these days.

RFID Label Diagram.jpgRFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an automatic identification method that stores and remotely retrieves data via an RFID inlay embedded in a label or tag. The components of an RFID label include:

  • a  protective/printable face stock
  • a layer of adhesive
  • the RFID inlay
  • another layer of adhesive
  • a removable release liner

Here is an industrial application that came up recently. Weber had a customer that was having trouble with missing shipping containers and asked us to help with the project.

Texas-based Mission Foods, one of the world’s largest producers of corn flour & tortilla products, was losing thousands of returnable plastic trays annually. This resulted in millions of dollars lost in revenue each year.

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Topics: RFID, Food Labels, Label Printers


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


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


Make Your Food Labels Shine with Metallic Materials

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Mar 26, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Our featured label this month is the series of deli food labels we printed for a local food importer, R&F Imports. These labels were designed by our Graphics manager, Joe Lozano, and printed on a WS6000 HP Indigo digital printing press. 

 

RFImportsCanadianBaconLabel-1The Label's Story

The deli counter is a highly competitive area of any grocery store, so if you're a small brand competing for consumer attention, then you need to maximize your packaging with brand storytelling. This is a challenge we often talk about with craft beer labels and other products at small businesses. You have a limited budget, a small shelf space to promote your brand and you're lacking name recognition with consumers.

R&F Imports needed help and decided to rebrand their label with the help of our Graphics manager and marketing team. A beautiful rustic farm scene was designed and printed on a metalized silver label material. To enhance certain parts of the design, Joe Lozano used a matte laminate to soften areas of the design and while allowing other areas to shine. It also gave the overall texture and a soft, high-end feel. 

 

Weber's Digital Edge Solution 

Initially R&F was looking for an in-house label printing solution. However, the limitations in print quality and material would make for an undesirable finished product. To create the quality labels R&F wanted and at the quantity they needed, they decided to have Weber print these labels using our HP Indigo digital press.

The labels that were printed were for a variety of deli meats and each required a low volume of printed labels (under 10,000). Not only is the digital press able to produce crisp vibrant images but it also doesn't require printing plates, so producing a series of labels with different images is quick and easy. It also means R&F has the flexibility to change their artwork and print new labels without investing in new plates or dies for different shapes and colors.

 

Gold Ink Award 

Joe--Todd-with-Gold-Ink-AwardNeedless to say, the R&F Imports labels were a big hit. We're proud to announce that this series of labels was recognized with a Gold Ink Award in the Commercial Printing category under "Digital Printing, Labels & Flexible Packaging." The label was judged based on the quality and technical difficulty in printing the label.  

In its 28th year, the Gold Ink Awards from Printing Impressions magazine is a celebration of the best in printed products. They receive thousands of entries each year from printers around the world who are looking to be recognized by their customers, prospects and industry peers for their superior craftsmanship.

Congrats to our Marketing, Graphics and Manufacturing teams for putting together a great product. Pictured above (l to r) is Graphics manager Joe Lozano and Label Production manager Todd Peterson.


Want to see them shine in person? Request metalized label samples from Weber. 

Get free label samples  

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Topics: Digital Labels, Food Labels


Improve your food labels with a color label printer

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Jun 26, 2014 1:47:49 PM

Honey_Bee_farms_Label-1It's Farmers Market season! Each weekend in my neighborhood local artisans and farmers come to the park to sell baked goods, cheeses, jams, sauces and so much more. For many of these small businesses this is the first step in their retail journey, with the ultimate goal of selling their product in gourmet shops or grocery stores.

Because of cost, packaging is usually just for protection and not marketing. And while the packaging at a Farmers Market might not be as important as a traditional store, it still can make a big impact.

Many people use small address labels from the local Office Max that are either hand-printed or run through a cheap home printer. That doesn't do much for your product. A simple way to upgrade your brand is to add a colorful label applied to the plain packaging. your label can include contact information, nutrition facts, and a fun colorful logo to draw in customers.

A big reason that some small food brands steer away from using color labels is the cost. If you only need a few hundred labels a season or need to make changes frequently to the label, getting your labels pre-printed might be a challenge. But there is hope.

If you're looking for really low quantities but want good looking color labels, we recommend an on-demand printer like the Epson Colorworks C3500. You can print the labels as you need them so if you want to test a new product or need to make changes to the label quickly you can do that with little investment in time and money.

This printer is perfect for food labels like cupcakes, breads, hot sauce bottle labels or artisan soaps.

Take a tour of the Epson ColorWorks C3500 with our Vertical Markets Manager, Paul Johnson, and see how compact and easy it is to use.

 

 

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Topics: Food Labels, Label Printers


Avoid These Food Label Design Mistakes - Part II

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

May 19, 2014 1:53:00 PM

 

Whether you're having a label manufacturer print your labels or you're printing them yourself in-house with an Epson or QuadraColor label printer, you'll need a good label design.

In the first part of this series we covered typical font mistakes in food label designs. In part two we're focusing on the layout and colors of the design. Our label example for what not to do is a bit far fetched, but we have actually seen some pretty bad label designs that would surprise you.

 Cupcake-label-example-2

Part II: Layout and Color

Clashing Colors

There is a difference between having an out-standing label and a label that just stands out (usually not in a good way).

When designing a label, it's important to pick colors that complement each other and don't distract from the message your label is trying to show. In this example, the bright green color clashes with the 4th of July cupcake theme, making it hard to read the text and giving the viewer an uncomfortable feeling when looking at the label. It also makes the cupcakes look unappetizing.

Crowded Images

Too many images on your label will make it hard to focus on what you're trying to sell. In this label example there are multiple cupcakes that keep you from seeing a clean, clear vision of what the product looks like. The text is crammed together, making both the headline and the title above the ingredients hard to read. Finally the UPC bar code doesn't have enough clear white area around it to ensure a good "read" at the checkout.

Mixed Messaging 

When you are selling food, you want your label message to be delicious, healthy, and clean. It literally has to look good enough to eat. The forklift in the example above is a totally unnecessary pun that doesn't work with the company name. Plus a greasy forklift might be the last thing you want to see related to a cupcake. 

 

These are just some best-practices for designing a typical food label. A label for your product may have different requirements. Just remember that just about all labels need to have a clean, clear design so they are readable from a distance, convey your message, and look professional. Your label is your brand and a reflection of your company.

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Topics: Food Labels


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