The labeling process can be timely, expensive, and cumbersome – but it doesn’t have to be. Like with anything, the more you understand about the labeling process, the more you can work on integrating efficiencies.
When you step back and look at your current labeling process, have you considered hidden labeling costs? Do you actually know the total cost per label? Is your operation as efficient as it could be?
Stop Wasting Unnecessary Time and Money –
understand your print costs
While it’s true an estimated print job varies technology to technology, there are variables to keep in mind when it comes to the actual ink costs, regardless of the specific technology.
- Size of the image
- Ink/color coverage breakdown- what amount of coverage are you looking for?
- Price per ink/toner cartridge – and approximate number of labels printable with a full ink cartridge
It’s important to note the type(s) of material(s) are important too and will ultimately play into the total cost per label but to keep things simpler, let’s focus on ink costs specifically.
How Are Ink Costs Calculated?
When it comes to digital printing, the process of estimating ink costs is done differently depending on the technology used – inkjet vs. toner.
Inkjet: A manual process where the label image is rendered and offers a breakdown of the amount of cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), and black (K) the image is comprised of. Based on this breakdown of colors, a cost per page (CPP) is provided along with an estimate of the expected ink costs over the lifetime of the printer.
Toner: A manual process where a PDF of the label image is loaded into a proprietary software tool which determines the percentage coverage of the area of a label for each toner cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), black (K) and white (W). A CPP is provided with a cost breakdown for each toner and other supplies such as the fuser unit and transfer belt.
It’s worth noting for either digital technology, the cost is calculated based on an average – not based on an individual label. This is because, over the lifetime of the printer, there’s bound to be extra ink consumption- from the automatic printhead cleanings and maintenance, ensuring optimal print quality to the toner particles that’ll inevitably stick to internal hardware to electrostatic charge. While these totals are typically insignificant, it’s essential to receive an average ink cost estimate to account for these things to ensure the best accuracy.
Want to get a better idea of your ink costs?
See how you could be saving money with a free ink cost calculation
For a free ink cost calculation, simply send us your label artwork and receive an accurate, complete cost per label – including ink and label materials. Stop wasting label materials, time, and money.
Learn more and find out how much you could be saving on ink costs and improve efficiencies and productivity today!
Once you’re aware of the different printing technologies and the pros and cons each one offers, here are some helpful tips for identifying which tabletop label printer fits your application needs.
If you’re unsure which print technology is right for you, you can find more detailed information on that here.
I understand the different printing technologies and their pros & cons, now how do I buy a tabletop label printer that fits my needs?
Now that you’re aware of the three key technologies available in a desktop format for printing color labels, how do you go about selecting the right printing technology and model for your unique application?
Start by looking at your product:
Consider its container size(s) and your favorite look and colors. Do you prefer your labels to have a shiny, glossy look, or perhaps a semi-gloss or a matte look is more appropriate? Will printing colors on white label substrate do the job, or does your product require you to print on clear or colored substrates of different textures? Nobody else knows your product or your branding requirements like you do, so only you can make that decision. This will ultimately help you arrive at the necessary label sizes that you’ll need and the vital elements of your label artwork.
Decide on your product packaging, transportation, and storage through its journey from the manufacturing location to the end-consumer:
Are there any special environmental conditions to consider? For example, does your product need refrigeration requiring labels that must withstand water droplets due to condensation? Will the product labels need to withstand prolonged exposure to moisture or sunlight? Do the labels need to withstand exposure to certain chemicals that perhaps makeup part of your product? In addition to helping you select the right printing technology, these choices may influence your material preference and the adhesive backing.
Estimate Print Volumes:
Based on the sales forecast of all your SKUs, estimate your daily, weekly, or monthly print volumes by label size. Also, consider what a typical print run would be like. For example, let’s say you print 1000 labels of 4×3 in four separate print jobs on almost a daily basis. That is useful information.
Consider Variable Data:
Do you need your tabletop color label printer to print variable data information on your labels, i.e., serial numbers, dates, lot codes, etc.? If so, you’ll want your vendor to provide labeling software that’ll help you meet these specific requirements.
How will you be applying labels?
Will you be applying labels to your product(s) by hand, or by using an automatic label applicator? Which is the most efficient option for your labeling and production needs?
Once you’ve given the above questions a thought, you’re ready to shop around for an appropriate label printer as an educated buyer. Some tips as you browse websites for printer specifications and contact label printer manufacturers or distributors:
Do they carry printers based on a single technology or different technologies?
Printer manufacturers/distributors who only carry one printing technology are more likely to push for their technology/product than look out for your needs.
Do they offer a total solution, for instance, label material supplies, software, and technical support along with the printers and ink?
If they do, they are more likely to ensure that the right printer is selected for your needs, and is functional so they can earn revenues from inks and materials. Like document printers, label printers are a very competitive segment, and hardware sales are typically made at very thin margins. By ensuring the printers, the inks, and the labels are engineered and tested for compatibility will ensure a longer lifetime of your investment.
Do they offer free remote web-based support?
Think of your label printer as a production machine that will invariably require some periodic maintenance and upkeep. Search for available support videos on the company’s website or YouTube channel, or sometimes it may be easier to call, email, chat, or have a live web-based conference call. Do they offer the kind of support you’re looking for?
Does the printer company provide labeling software as well?
If you have any special or unique software requirements now or in the future, consider how much easier it’ll be for you to deal with a single vendor to ensure software and hardware are compatible.
Questions? Let us know, we’re here to help!
At AstroNova, we offer a total labeling solution. We provide the tools you need to integrate production efficiencies into your business and keep up with industry demands from a wide variety of label printers, materials, technical support, training, and a library of support videos. Contact us to schedule a free, web-based demonstration and to speak with one of our specialists!
New to Printing In-House, Or Considering Making the Change for Your Business? It’s Important to Understand the Key Differences in Printing Technologies
While no single printing technology is perfect for all applications, it’s important to understand your specific application and the unique challenges it presents. From there, you can find the best printing solution specific to your needs.
There are a variety of printing technologies on the market today, but which one is the best fit for your business or personal needs?
What are the different fundamental printing technologies used in desktop color label printers?
There are three fundamental printing technologies used in desktop label printing: Water Based Inkjet (WBIJ), Electrophotographic (EP), and Thermal Transfer (TT). Let’s take a deeper dive into each one and examine the attributes that make each of them unique in the world of printing:
Originally a photocopying technique, EP technology (also called laser or LED printing) provided a way to do higher volume document printing at faster speeds and lower maintenance frequency. Instead of using light reflected from an original document as in the old photocopiers, a laser (sometimes an LED) was used to translate computer data into light pulses that would expose a light-sensitive, photo-conducting drum or belt. The coloring agents used in electrophotographic systems are called toners. They come in two forms – dry and liquid. Dry toners are used in all desktop and office printer/copier systems. Both dry and liquid toner systems are used in electrophotographic digital presses. Dry toners consist of pigments or dyes embedded inside polymer beads. The fusing process melts the polymer beads to the surface of the paper. In addition to the colorants within the polymer beads are “charge agents” that allow the toner to be charged opposite to that of the photo conducting drum. EP technology provides a unique capability- EP allows you to print with White ink (toner) along with traditional CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black), so these printers can offer a 5-color format – CMYK + White. With water-based inkjet (WBIJ) printers, you’re largely limited to printing on white substrates using just CMYK coloring. However, the availability of using white toner with EP printers opens a huge world of possibilities in label printing, especially on colored and clear substrates. The black matte Castle Vineyards label shown here displays the branding possibilities using white toner provides.
Water-Based Inkjet (WBIJ):
While this technology has been powering our small home and office printers for a long time now, it has matured and become robust enough for the desktop label printing segment in just the last decade. It revolutionized this segment by allowing people to rethink how to best fulfill their needs for short-run prime labels without the constraints of hiring a third party, where long lead times, high minimum order quantity, and outrageous label costs are typically the norm. As this technology continues to improve and advance, its appeal continues to attract new customers in different segments. An inkjet printer creates an image by firing tiny droplets of ink onto the paper. The complete image is built up from many small dots and it’s important to note the quality of an image is determined by the number of dots per inch (DPI) and the range of colors possible. A few different colors of ink can be combined to produce virtually any color (except for white). Cyan (C), Magenta(M), Yellow(Y) & Black(K) are commonly used colors, referred to in the industry as CMYK. The liquid portion of the inks used in these printers is predominantly water, hence “water-based inkjet”.
These water-based inks have color components that can be either dye-based or pigment-based, the ink chemistry and properties differ accordingly. In dye-based inkjet inks, the colored dyes are chemically bonded to the liquid portion of the ink, forming a “solution.” In contrast, pigmented inks are “suspensions.” That is, particles of coloration are suspended within a liquid and held between water molecules. Dyes seep into the paper substrate more easily than pigments, which primarily sit up on the surface of the paper. Ultimately, dye-based inks are brighter and have a wider color range than pigmented inks. Also, they can typically print on a wider variety of label substrates.
Pigmented inks have a longer life span and are more color-fast than dyes. If prolonged exposure to sunlight or other elements of nature is expected, dye-based inks will need some protection like lamination or varnish to prevent color fading over time while pigmented inks can withstand the elements for longer without fading. There are important niches like chemicals or even other consumer labels or packaging applications for which printed labels must withstand exposure to sunlight or moisture for extended periods of time. However, protection may still be required for pigment inks if continuous outdoor exposure over several weeks or months without any color shift is expected.
Thermal Transfer Printing is the oldest print technology around, the printers based on this technology are ubiquitous in space of monochrome or one-color printing. These printers are fast, economical, easy to maintain, and generally do a good job when the objective is to put on simple information like product manufacturing/expiry dates or bar-codes near the point of sale. At resolutions of 300 or 600 dpi, the labels out of thermal transfer printers are generally not suitable for most prime label applications. However, there are a few niche labeling applications that still favor thermal transfer technology over competing technologies, which is why you’ll still find some manufacturers making 4-color thermal transfer printing systems. There are niche labeling applications that still favor thermal transfer technology, which is why AstroNova still manufactures its QLS 4100Xe printer. A few advantages of Thermal Transfer Printing technology include:
- Availability of CMYK process AND spot color ribbons such as metallic gold, silver, white, signal red or blue, and many more
- Ability to print on low-cost substrates of varying thicknesses with a very high level of durability and resistance to solvents, moisture and UV exposure
- Low maintenance requirements & can easily handle dusty, dirty, manufacturing environments
There are several unique applications calling for thermal transfer technology. For example, many electronic applications require that the labels applied are UL recognized, which means they have been tested and proven to withstand a battery of tests as detailed in the UL 969 standard (for example). Or perhaps you’re looking to produce multi-layer flexible electronic circuits in short runs on high-temperature PET substrates. Thermal Transfer is the technology of choice for such demanding applications.
Now that you’re aware of the three key technologies available in a desktop format for printing color labels, you can start identifying the right printer and label materials that fit your needs. When buying a label printer for the first time, it’s advised to consider professional installation and a training package. This is not only to ensure the label printer is installed and works properly but to also ensure that you or any employees who will be using the printer are trained to use it properly and perform essential maintenance on a periodic or as-needed basis.
Have any questions on which label printer, inks, or materials will best suit your business and printing needs? Contact us today, we’re here to help!
It’s no secret that printing labels in-house offers businesses a breadth of benefits and has become an integral part of a company’s packaging production process. Today, thousands of manufacturers, processors, and retailers around the world are increasing their sales revenue and profit margins by producing their own color labels in their factories and offices.
Printing labels on-demand provides benefits, like:
Benefit #1: Private Labeling
Private labeling has exploded over the last decade, especially in the food, beverage, cosmetic, chemical, medical, CBD, and dietary supplement industries. Studies have shown most consumers prefer to buy private label or store brand labeled goods because of the higher perceived quality or value that the product provides. Manufacturers who use in-house color label printers are able to command a competitive edge in the marketplace and a greater market share serving more customers with privately labeled products that are quickly customized in affordable, short-run label quantities.
Benefit #2: Produce Labels Instantly
Having the ability to print the exact number of labels you want, anytime you need them, affects more than product marketing, it’s also a tool to increase productivity by making labels on-demand. Even the best forecasting and purchasing practices can leave the packaging department hunting for labels at the last minute. For manufacturers with a family of multiple products, having the right label in inventory at the right time for the right product is often a challenge – easily fixed with in-house printing. With an in-house color label printer, manufacturers have the flexibility to print labels instantly, changeover packaging lines in minutes, and immediately start labeling new products.
Benefit #3: Cut Costs & Reduce Inventory
In-house label printing cuts costs for short-run, small quantity labels and simultaneously allows businesses to replace inventories with lean, just-in-time production practices.
Even with the best inventory management practices, it is difficult to predict how many labels will actually be used before products or label designs change. Additionally, the economics of traditional label printing requires print houses to ask to purchase large quantities of labels, usually more than you need at the current time. As a result, rolls of purchased labels perpetually remain in inventory. After a long period of storage, labels may become dirty, damaged, or yellowed and can lose adhesive properties. The labels, or even the products to which the labels
will be applied, may also become obsolete before they are used.
Benefit #4: Gain Production Flexibility – Label Any Product, Any Time
Traditionally, full-color primary display labels were printed off-site by a commercial label print house, while “back panel” labels with product-specific text and barcodes were printed in-house on a simple barcode label printer. Today, QuickLabel printers have changed the label printing workflow by bringing it entirely in-house. For example, with QuickLabel, both the primary display “front panel” full-color label and the product-specific text and barcode “back panel” label can be printed simultaneously, in a single print pass.
The traditional labeling process:
The QuickLabel labeling process:
Benefit #5: Maintain In-House Quality Control
For companies in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, hazardous chemicals, and increasingly, dietary supplements and foods, it’s critical for the packaging process to meet quality standards established by third-party auditors and maintained by in-house quality management systems. With a QuickLabel printer, it costs nothing to add or remove label content, a benefit to companies in regulated industries where required label changes are a costly fact of life. Country of Origin labeling legislation, more stringent labeling disclosures and new GHS chemical hazard labeling requirements are recent examples of governmental labeling standards that have caused companies to completely revamp their labels. Creating color labels on-demand with an in-house QuickLabel printer allows your company to ensure that it maintains strict control over labels so that your production operation is always able to label the right product, for the right customer, at the right time.
Benefit #6: One Pass Label Printing – including dates, barcodes, and serialization
Quality Control managers are relieved of many of the stringent regulatory burdens that apply to labels because all information can be printed on the fly, including serializing
barcodes, lot codes, batch codes, and expiration dates. Labels can be printed physically close to the product receiving the label, reducing the possibility of human error in the labeling process and eliminating the need to stock printed labels in inventory, and to quarantine and discard obsolete labels.
Benefit #7: Reduce Delivery Time to Market
Now more than ever, customer convenience and keeping up with demand are high priorities for most companies. Consumers not only expect things faster, but product demands have never been higher, especially for industries like medical, pharmaceutical, sanitation, and food and beverage. With an in-house label printer, print labels on-demand and get shipments out the door to retailers and customers faster, easier, and more efficiently, reducing lengthy and unnecessary downtimes.
Benefit #8: Be Ready to Ship Labeled Products at Any Time
At one time or another, production managers have been in the predicament of not being able to ship products to a waiting customer. The result is often missed deadlines, costly expedited shipments, backorders, reduced profitability, and lost revenue. In these cases, awaiting customers may decide to choose an alternate vendor rather than wait to receive a late shipment.
Owning an in-house label printer takes the unpredictability out of label availability. As long as managers maintain a stock of printing supplies, they are always ready to print the labels they need.
Benefit #9: Produce Short-Runs
There are a variety of perks attributed to producing short-runs. Some which include providing consumers with limited-time offerings like seasonal flavorings for holidays, producing customized products for customers, eliminating unnecessary waste by not printing more than you need, or simply the flexibility of running a small, limited batch of labels for any variety of reasons. One instance we’ve seen of this is companies switching their production process to meet the needs of their community by producing sanitation or protection supplies in difficult times like COVID-19.
Benefit #10: Offer Contract Labeling
Contract packagers provide custom labeling services to businesses that want to outsource packaging services, both to control quality and costs. If you are a professional contract packager, you already understand the revenue-producing value of flexible, in-house label printing. If you’re a company considering the purchase of a color label printer for your own use, you may also be able to benefit by providing labeling services to other companies in your geographic area or industry. The flexibility of owning a color label printer allows owners to act as contract packagers, making labels in any size, shape, or design, satisfying the branding requirements and technical requirements of customers. Printing labels as a service will allow you to increase revenue and profit while also absorbing excess production capacity.
Have any questions on how QuickLabel can help or more specifically how owning an in-house label printer can breathe new life into your business? Contact us for more information or a free consultation today!
At AstroNova, we understand right now with current events, depending on the industry, keeping up with demands may be more critical than ever. As part of AstroNova’s commitment to our customers in maintaining a safe and hygienic workplace, we’ve provided an outline that includes recommended disinfection materials and procedures you may find helpful when cleaning your printer. Studies show that frequently disinfecting commonly used surfaces is essential in preventing the spread of germs and viruses, which may remain viable for days on a variety of surfaces. Whether you own a QuickLabel or TrojanLabel printer or not, we hope you find this information helpful.
Recommended Procedure for Disinfecting and Cleaning Your Printer
The CDC recommends the following disinfecting products:
- Diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water)
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
- Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective
- Disposable gloves
- Disinfectant solution
- Cleaning cloth/towel
- Wear disposable gloves and ensure disposal of them after completion of this procedure
- Turn your printer Off
- Clean the exterior of the printer
- Apply disinfection solution on the cleaning cloth ( Do not apply the solution directly on the printer)
- Thoroughly wipe the exterior of the printer and the most commonly touched surfaces, such as media guides, ink doors, and handles
- Wipe the surrounding area where the printer is installed
- Wipe the shelves where your label material is stored
- After completion dispose of the gloves and cleaning wipe
- Wait for the surface of the printer to dry then turn it ON
- Repeat this procedure at the start and end of your shift
In conclusion, preventative actions like these are necessary to stop the spread of any type of viruses to protect your health. Ensure taking your time when following this procedure and repeat it as often as needed.
If you have any printer or printer supply-related questions, feel free to contact us. From medical device to chemical, sanitation, nutraceutical, food and beverage, and everything in between, AstroNova has all your hardware, software, and material needs for labeling.
During a trip to Denmark, AstroNova met with luxury licorice company Lakrids by Bülow to see how they use their QuickLabel QL-300 to print quality, high-end labels to complement their brand.
Now a luxury licorice brand with global reach, Lakrids by Bülow got its start in 2007 when the first shop was opened in Svaneke, Denmark. The shop was an instant hit with locals, and the product seemed to be so popular, keeping up the demand was a challenge. But, just a year later, in 2008, they scaled production to meet the demand, opened their first factory, and installed a licorice machine. From there, the operation only grew bigger. Especially once Lakrids did what was said couldn’t be done – coat the licorice with chocolate.
Over a decade later, with a vision to spread the love for licorice around the globe, Lakrids has built itself into a high-end, luxury brand with fans around the world. Making their products all on-site with raw materials, Lakrids prides itself on not being your average licorice. Now, with over 25 locations globally, operations have understandably expanded to meet demands, and Lakrids has added the QuickLabel QL-300 to its production line and uses it to print its high-end labels on the tops of their product jars.
The Power of CMYK + WHITE to Create High-End Labels
While QuickLabel was there, Lakrids expressed their appreciation and excitement about the quality of the white color, which influenced their decision to purchase the QL-300. With a desire to truly create something special, quality and branding are of utmost importance.
So, when Lakrids was searching for a labeling solution, they were looking for a solution that would heighten their brand and, ultimately, add value to it. Lakrids wanted to print brilliantly beautiful labels to match the aesthetic of the brand, which is where QuickLabel came in.
Tage Kusk, Technical Director at Lakrids by Bülow, said, “The QL-300 prints extra-wide like we needed to have the right background for our labels. The labels printed on the QL-300 look magnificent.”
Kusk continued, “We get the labels on the same day, and we can change the design if we’re not satisfied since we have the flexibility to do so.” “Having the capability of printing with the white toner gave us a perfect look. The QL-300 can do so much more than you expect.”
It’s All in the Packaging
Lakrids by Büllow takes pride in not just selling a product but selling a design item. They’ve found their customers enjoy the look of the product, and for this, Lakrids has become an icon.
“The thing our customers should know about Lakrids by Büllow is that its quality and we care about every little part; not just the core part that you eat, but also about the packaging and labeling.”, said Kusk.
“We make the world love licorice!“
Looking to Print Labels In-House?
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can print dynamic, luxury labels on-demand, feel free to contact us to schedule a virtual demonstration or speak with one of our specialists!
QuickLabel traveled to Kennesaw, Georgia to see how Dry County Brewing Company uses their Kiaro! D digital tabletop label printer to print beer labels right in their own facility.
After first tasting a locally brewed pale ale from his college town brewery, Trey Sinclair, President & Co-Founder, was compelled to recreate that experience for other entry-level beer drinkers.
Sinclair explains, “At Dry County, we really try to emulate that experience – making really good, world-class craft beer for folks who are trying beer for the first time.”
Today, Dry County brews a variety of IPA’s, ales, stouts, and lagers at their facility in Kennesaw, Georgia. Finding a more cost-effective and flexible labeling solution in QuickLabel’s Kiaro! D, they are now able to easily print beer labels on-demand, such as custom orders and seasonal brews, as well as labels for their taps, kegs, and more.
Trouble-Free Label Compliance
Because of the Kiaro! D was designed to produce labels that withstand multiple environments and contain all required FDA and TTB information, it became very simple for Dry County to stay on top of labeling regulations.
“That’s where the Kiaro! D comes in handy – allowing us to produce high-quality packaging on a small scale. Without that type of technology, we wouldn’t be able to do so.”
– Trey Sinclair, President & Co-Founder
From hand sanitizer to water-submersion, ice resistance, and more, the label materials used with the Kiaro! D is ideal for beer labeling applications. These label materials, all manufactured in-house, are refrigerator-friendly and can even be applied while wet or removed to recycle their bottles.
Using the Kiaro! D label printer and QuickLabel’s label design software, Dry County is also able to print alcohol percentages, nutrition facts, ingredients, volume, government warnings, and other requirements regardless of the bottle or can shape.
Small Batches and Seasonal SKUs
One of the greatest benefits the Kiaro! D provided Dry County was the ability to cost-effectively expand its product line and print custom orders. This includes producing seasonal products and variations such as summer ales, winter lagers, and holiday products in small batches.
“We’re able to label seasonal beers, very small quantity beers, and even specialty beers without worrying about minimum order quantities.”
– Trey Sinclair, President & Co-Founder
Dry County also took advantage of introducing multiple SKUs and product sizes from bottles, to cans, to growlers and more.
Without having to worry about minimum order quantities and overstock, the Kiaro! D has allowed Dry County Brewing to save time, reduce their cost-per-label and eliminate minimum order quantities.
Leveraging the Brand with Labels
In such a competitive industry, it takes more than the quality of the product to stand out on the shelves.
Sinclair reveals, “The craft beer space is a really crowded one. I’d like to think we make great beer here at Dry County, but there are a lot of local and national breweries that make great beer as well.”
Sinclair continues, “You have to have the whole package…literally. The label we put on it, the can we put it in, it’s all very important to the brand and the brewery.”
With the help of the Kiaro! D, Dry County quickly obtained full control over their labeling process and prints their professional, consistently branded labels as needed.
“We can print one-off stickers to hand out to people at festivals or tap stickers for our handles. We really leverage the Kiaro! D across a lot of different realms of packaging.”
– Trey Sinclair, President & Co-Founder
Taking advantage of its flexibility, for instance, Dry County even began using the Kiaro! D to create labels for their beer taps, kegs and promotional materials like bumper stickers! This allowed them to creatively get their logo out there and generate brand awareness in more ways than one.
Sinclair concludes, “The Kiaro! D has helped to both cut costs and save time here at Dry County Brewing. It’s really important for us to be able to have the labels on-hand when we need them, and the Kiaro! D allows us to do just that.”
Looking to Print Beer Labels In-House?
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can print beer labels on-demand, feel free to contact us to schedule a free demonstration or speak with one of our specialists!
About Dry County Brewing Company
Dry County Brewing Co., located in Kennesaw, GA, produces a wide variety of craft beer and hosts regular events such as Friday Flight Nights, Sunday Yappy Hour, Tuesday Trivia, and seasonal events like “Boos and Brews.” To learn more about Dry County Brewing, visit them on their website at www.drycountybrewco.com or follow them on social media @drycountybrewco.
Stanley Black & Decker’s East Longmeadow, Massachusetts facility specializes in manufacturing the strongest, fastest, and most durable band saw, jigsaw, and hacksaw blades on the market. QuickLabel traveled to their facility to see how they use their Kiaro! K-100 label printers to ensure their labels reflect the quality of their product as well as advance their production line.
Watch our video to see how one of the country’s leading tool brands benefits from printing labels in-house and on-demand.
Kiaro! K-100: The Ideal Hardware Labeling Solution
“From what we were getting when we printed our previous labels to what we’re printing now – I was just blown away.”
– Sean Wylie, Team Leader, Paint/Print/Pack Department
Stanley Black & Decker produces a wide variety of industrial tools, fasteners, and security products for well-known brands such as DeWalt, Craftsman, Lenox, and more.
Within their East Longmeadow, MA facility, Stanley Black & Decker creates professional hardware labels using their three Kiaro! K-100 label printers, which include specific text, barcodes, color codes, and photo images. These labels are applied directly onto saw blades and other product carton labels sold to businesses such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and ACE Hardware.
For these labels to be accepted and placed in-stores, they are required to meet stringent retail regulations. An easy, in-house labeling solution, QuickLabel allows Stanley Black & Decker to produce not only compliant but professional hardware labels that stand out on the shelves.
Sean Wylie, Team Leader, Paint/Print/Pack Department, states, “I believe product packaging is very important here. We have blades that are for metal cutting, wood cutting, blades that cut different thicknesses of metal – all of that needs to be represented on our labels. Anything we put our product in, we want it to stand out.”
Stanley Black & Decker uses a global SAP software system to manage data across multiple product lines and business departments.
The Kiaro! K-100 label printers were able to seamlessly integrate with their SAP system through a custom-developed manufacturing floor application, allowing product images, branding, and other product data to be accurately printed on all their product labels.
This allowed them to easily update labels as needed, in the quantity they needed, without hassle.
Working with the Kiaro! K-100’s as an IT developer for their SAP system, Anatoli Vishnyakov, states, “Now, we don’t have to keep a pre-printed stock of labels, so we print-on-demand as many labels as we need at that specific time.”
Wylie adds, “My favorite trait of the Kiaro! is the ease-of-use. It’s pretty simple – when I need it, I can print it.”
The Benefits of Printing Professional Hardware Labels In-House
“My favorite trait of the Kiaro! is the ease-of-use. It’s pretty simple – when I need it, I can print it.”
– Sean Wylie, Team Leader, Paint/Print/Pack Department
By integrating QuickLabel Kiaro! K-100 label printers into their business, Stanley Black & Decker saw an increase in time, flexibility, and speed of production, as well as higher durability and quality of their labels.
About Stanley Black & Decker
Stanley Black & Decker is a leading tool brand company, producing a wide variety of industrial tools, fasteners, and security products for well-known brands such as DeWalt, Stanley, Craftsman, Lenox, etc. Their East Longmeadow, Massachusetts facility specializes in manufacturing the strongest, fastest, and most durable band saw, jigsaw, and hacksaw blades on the market. More information about Stanley Black & Decker can be found at www.stanleyblackanddecker.com.
Many companies outsource their product labels to save on costs and maintain production efficiency. But when you break it down, is outsourcing really the most efficient route? Depending on your business size and needs, it could be more beneficial printing prepared food labels in-house.
Here are the top four reasons why taking label production in-house can be the better option:
1. Outsourced Printing Comes at a Price
While using another facility to produce your prepared food labels might seem like a giant weight off your shoulders, it may not necessarily be the case. Outsourcing can end up severely delaying your labeling process, costing your business valuable time and money.
For example, if an outsourced label shipment becomes delayed, so will the orders your company was scheduled to have in stock and on the shelves. These delays will happen, as do errors.
Misprints can cause setbacks and affect the use by/sell by dates on your products. This is especially true for made to order businesses and prepared foods.
On implementing short-run digital label printers in-house, Impression Technology Europe reveals, “Not only is the initial investment much more affordable but the cost per print is extremely low. After doing the math, most clients will find it will be much more cost-effective than outsourcing, and based on the output.”
Our main alternative to outsourcing, investing in an in-house digital label printer will not only save you time but also reduce cost-per-label.
2. NOT ALL ENVIRONMENTS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Printing prepared food labels in-house have its benefits when varying environmental requirements come into play.
Just because some prepared foods need to be frozen, doesn’t mean the quality and appearance of your packaging should suffer. Your store’s frozen foods need to remain cohesive with the rest of your prepared food line. After all, it is your brand. However, using the wrong label for the products environment can lead to wrinkles due to condensation, fading due to exposure or loss of adhesion, and labels falling off.
If your business is using regular pre-printed labels, chances are, the labels won’t hold up in your storage environment.
Ultimately, finding the correct label material is just as important to your printed results as your design. AstroNova has developed special materials that are capable of absorbing the inks so that printed labels do not smear and reproduce the most accurate colors possible.
The ability to maintain complete control over your label materials and printing process will allow your business to have a streamlined, efficient process with branded labels that look the part.
One example of an easy in-house printing solution is the QuickLabel QL-120X, or wide-format QL-850 inkjet label printers. These printers are known for printing frozen food labels that are extremely durable. With the right in-house printer, you’ll have professional frozen food or beverage labels printed instantly and can be applied to products that are already frozen, or before they go into the freezer.
3. It’s Not Easy to Keep Up with FDA Regulations & Demands
Keeping up with the FDA’s changing regulations and formats can greatly affect your product labels. If standards are not met, your entire product line could suffer from massive recalls.
This intimidating process includes font restrictions, mandatory statements, allergen alerts, and stringent calculations for daily values.
As a food manufacturer or grocer, you want to spend your energy on your recipes, production, branding, and sales – not on interpreting FDA labeling mandates.
While it is absolutely necessary to adhere to FDA regulations to avoid recalls and present your customers with the quality and transparency they deserve, you can make it easier on your business.
This is where an in-house label printer truly shines. For every change in date, rule, format, etc., you can immediately customize your labels on the spot.
Printing prepared food labels in-house give you the ability to print the exact number of labels you need on-demand. Meaning no more wasted labels, no more overstock, and no more falling short. This gives you more flexibility in your printing process, as well as introducing the option for seasonal or promotional packaging.
4. Things Are Better When You’re in Control
Your labels are the face of your brand, so you always want to maintain professionalism and put your best foot forward. If you want to be in control of your business and remove exterior dilemmas, it may be time to consider printing prepared food labels in-house.
Looking to Print Food Labels In-House?
If you’re interested in high-quality, short-run label printing in-house, feel free to compare our line of complete labeling solutions, including software, media, and a wide range of digital label printers from monochrome barcode printers to photographic inkjet color labeling systems and presses.
Or, if you’d like to speak with one of our field sales engineers or media specialists, feel free to contact us for more information! They would be happy to work with you to find the right solution for your application.
In the cosmetics industry, looks matter. There’s a lot of pressure for product packaging to portray the end results –even when working with small surfaces. But while trying to catch the consumer’s eye, there are still regulations products must follow. So how can you make your custom cosmetic labels both attractive and effective?
First Things First: Product Requirements
Regardless of your product line, you need to be aware of the industry requirements for cosmetics labels. What are the most common rules and regulations for labeling in the cosmetics industry?
According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it is prohibited to market cosmetics that are adulterated or misbranded as well as while in interstate commerce. FDA regulations are required for any product, except soap, intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.
A cosmetics label is considered misbranded if:
- labeling is false or misleading
- the label does not state the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor or the net quantity of contents
- the required information is not stated prominently, with conspicuousness, and in terms that it is read and understood by consumers under customary conditions of purchase and use the container or its fill is misleading
Read the full list of FDA cosmetics labeling standards here.
Make Compliance Easier
Ensure products meet all FDA regulations and easily maintain labels with an in-house label printer – this includes overseas, certifying compliance within each country.
Meanwhile, printing in-house also offers a much more affordable option compared to outsourced printing. By printing in your facility, you have the ability to produce large or short runs of labels as needed with expiration dates, ingredients lists, allergen warnings, barcodes, organic and natural certifications.
Make Sure Your Products Have What They Need
In addition to FDA requirements, environmental exposure can require a higher need for durability.
If you offer lotion, body wash, or facial cleansers, you may want to consider a printer that applies water-resistant labels. This will help protect your labels from fading or peeling. Utilizing these resistant labels will bring your products to another level of professionalism. By adhering to both FDA standards and product needs, your cosmetics will perform effectively.
Watch how CJ’s Unique Boutique uses their durable QuickLabel printer to label all of their lotions and creams:
Stand Out On The Shelves!
Looks matter in this industry.
Makers of cosmetics and personal care products don’t just need a lot of labels – they need a lot of different labels. One body lotion alone can be available in dozens of different scents, an array of bottles, tubs, and more. Your product packaging is what makes you stand out from the competition. What catches eyes on the shelves can be the difference between the purchase of your brand over competitors.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to enhance your cosmetics label designs, an in-house label printer is the best solution. For instance, not only will printing cosmetics labels in-house save money, but it is perfect for short-runs of seasonal products, new scents, sizes, and formulations – especially when it comes to the design process.
Using your own label printer will allow you to control your label from start to finish – making sure it showcases your product as envisioned.
Make Your Custom Cosmetics Labels Attractive and Effective With QuickLabel!
If you’re looking for a photo-quality, colorfast label printer with high-production rates, we recommend the QuickLabel color label printer.
The QuickLabel printer is an extraordinarily fast printer with the ability to produce beautiful, vibrant color labels in an astounding 1200 dpi.
“It’s a cost-effective time-saving printer. It creates excellent quality labels for our packaging, and I couldn’t be happier.”
– Ryan Flynt, CJ’s Unique Boutique
By acknowledging your product packaging design, the durability of labels, and FDA standards, custom cosmetics labels are able to function effectively while attracting consumers to your products.
Looking to Print Cosmetic or Beauty Labels In-House?
If you’re interested in learning more about creating eye-catching labels in your own facility, feel free to contact us to schedule a free demonstration or speak with one of our specialists!