Labeling Innovations from Weber

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

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

A Labeling Solution that was as Easy as….Pie.

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Jul 29, 2013 8:42:00 AM

Learn How the Julian Pie Company Automated Its Food Labeling Process

Back in 2005, when the Julian Pie Company was experiencing phenomenal growth, the company realized that it needed to add automation to an awkward, labor-intensive operation of labeling and sealing its boxes of freshly-baked fruit pies.

Now, after over eight years on the production line, the company knows it made the right decision when it chose labels and a custom system from Weber Packaging Solutions to solve its dilemma.

Recently, while exhibiting at a trade show in the area, a few members of our Marketing team decided to swing by Julian Pie Company's bakery to see how things are going now that they've automated their labeling process.


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Topics: Labels, Labeling Systems, Food Labels, Trade Show

Here's the Dish on Labeling Fish: 3 Solutions for Seafood Traceability

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Mar 28, 2013 8:39:00 AM

Seafood consumers were surprised by the recent report from Oceana about seafood labeling, which uncovered widespread mislabeling of seafood nationwide, including the fact that nearly 40 percent of the fish tested from restaurant menus were mislabeled.

The report highlighted the weaknesses in current seafood labeling regulations and enforcement of rules. Because of this, the U.S. Congress is working on two bills, HR 1012 and S 520.

However, at this time it is unclear this early on if the bills will gain traction.

To learn more about this, I sat down with our Vertical Markets manager, Paul Johnson. Paul has been researching the labeling issues facing the seafood industries and how we can help them.

He explained to me that ultimately the problem comes down to the lack of specificity in documentation during seafood business transactions.

The more information these seafood companies can provide on their packaging or label, the better.

It is important that seafood packaging includes:

  • Harvest location, Date and Method (wild or farmed)
  • Expiration Date
  • Species, including market name and scientific name
  • Product count and weight

Seafood companies are working with several companies and organizations to ensure that the information on the package is accurate.


Here are three options seafood companies are using for traceability


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Topics: Traceability Labels, Labels, Labeling Systems, Food Labels

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