How V-Shapes Uses AstroNova’s TrojanLabel® T2 Press

CASE STUDY: How V-Shapes® Uses AstroNova’s TrojanLabel® T2 Press to Meet Production Demands for New Single-Use Portion Packet Technology

The Challenge

V-Shapes® is the creator of innovative unit-dose packaging sachets and the machinery to produce them. V-Shapes sachets are a brand-new way to safely, affordably, and sustainably pack products in unique single-dose packaging that can be opened in a single gesture using one hand, ranging from hand sanitizer to honey and more. The company, which specializes in developing innovative solutions for the world of packaging, strives to make life easier for consumers and improve their experience with the products they use through their packaging innovations. They invented and patented a new idea for single-portion packaging that could be opened with just one hand, making the packaging more user-friendly and more efficient than the traditional single-portion packets on the market.

With the constant activity of the Research & Development team, the company’s sales and production quickly increased. The rapid growth V-Shapes experienced was a testament to the market’s need for and satisfaction with the product. The patented opening system technology is the first way to extract up to 99% of a product without waste and spillage, making it ideal for a wide range of applications such as foods, cosmetics, medical and pharmaceutical products, and chemicals, for either liquid or semi-solid contents. Additionally, the compact shape of the packets makes storage more efficient, cutting logistics costs and reducing bulk.

The advantages for both the consumer and the client are vast, and V-Shapes sought a solution to meet their scalability and customization needs. V-Shapes wanted to offer clients the opportunity to decide the size, type of aperture, and graphic layout, to meet any need, from attracting new clients to increasing brand loyalty or just repackaging a product they already know and love. This would require a specific, highly technical piece of equipment like nothing they had yet seen on the market.

The Solution

V-Shapes partnered with AstroNova to integrate the TrojanLabel® T2 high-volume digital inkjet press into its V-Shapes PRIME packaging machine. The PRIME applies a V-Shapes patented pre-cut on the 100% recyclable polypropylene semi-ridge lower layer, followed by exact product dosing then sealing and cutting to form customized filled sachets at up to 2,100 units per hour. The integration of the T2 delivers high-quality 1600 dpi printing in-line on sachets using designed-for-recycling materials developed by V-Shapes and partners that can be printed using digital inkjet technology. The compact footprint of the equipment makes it a convenient solution for relatively small spaces, requiring only a single operator. It delivers a robust return on investment for packaging converters/fillers and their brand owner clients.

Results

By placing the TrojanLabel T2 digital inkjet printer in line with the V-Shapes PRIME packaging line, manufacturing of V-Shapes sachets is even more productive, eliminating the need for a pre-print phase and delivering the fast turn times that today’s brands are looking for.

About V-Shapes

Founded in 2018, V-Shapes is the leading provider of products and services designed to produce and fill single-unit dose packaging that enables products to be dispensed using one hand. Located in Bologna, Italy, V-Shapes manufactures, sells, and services innovative vertically integrated systems for single-dose packaging that minimize waste, shorten time to market, offer a more sustainable packaging solution, and are a unique and safe means for consumers to dispense single-unit measures of liquid and powdered products. The company partners with packaging converters/fillers around the globe to offer these unique services to brands in a wide range of industries, from food and cosmetics to hand sanitizer and industrial products that are efficiently served up in single-unit doses, producing packaging on-demand in small or large quantities.

Effortlessly Design, Manage, and Print Your Labels In-House

…. All with CQL Pro Labeling Software

In the labeling industry, it’s no secret that having in-house labeling software can improve efficiency, saving time and money by effortlessly managing the combination of artwork and data that make up a label file.

With the help of professional labeling software, like CQL Pro, artwork can exist in various image types like png, jpg, pdf, tiff, etc.  Data can come from multiple data sources such as your company’s ERP or another external database.  Additionally, enjoy the ability to add other common label elements, such as barcodes, QR codes, date of manufacture, expiration dates, lot codes, etc.

Label Image Types

If you’re looking to print high-quality labels, it requires a suitable, high-quality printing file.  Here’s a brief outline for anyone who may be newer to the industry:

Vector: vector graphics are mathematically drawn points, lines, curves, and shapes. When scaling a vector image file, as it’s not low resolution, there’s no loss of quality, so it can be sized to your desired scale.  Vectors are widely used for logos, line art, 3-D renderings,  text, and variable data like barcodes.

Raster: raster graphics consist of individual, colored pixels that compose a single image.  While great for photographic elements and textures, these files can be sized smaller but not larger as it’ll compromise the resolution quality.  A sufficient resolution of at least 300dpi is recommended for these to avoid poor print quality. ( jpg, png, and tiffs are common raster image types)

PDF: As PDFs can use both vector and raster graphics, they’re typically the optimal choice for label designs.

How Can CQL Pro Labeling Software Help?

First, what exactly is CQL Pro? Compatible with any label printer in the market with a Windows® driver, CQL Pro is AstroNova’s advanced labeling software that allows users to easily design and print custom labels for color and monochrome label printers. Complete with Label Designer and Print Manager, users can create and edit label designs, design printer profiles, and easily monitor or create print jobs across any label printer model.

With an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, this software makes creating and accessing your label files simple and allows users to quickly print multiple jobs with differing designs and varying quantities, all without interruption.

Additional features include a label converter for easy conversion, job monitoring for in-process print jobs, and an easy-access launcher with shortcuts to your recent designs, print manager, print jobs, and more.

Learn more about CQL Pro labeling software and how integrating it can help you design, manage, and print your labels in-house.

Special Offer!

Download CQL Pro today for a FREE, full-featured 30-day trial!

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!

Best Practices for Cleaning Your Printer

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:

  1. Diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water)
  2. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
  3. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective
Materials Required
  1. Disposable gloves
  2. Disinfectant solution
  3. Cleaning cloth/towel
Procedure
  1. Wear disposable gloves and ensure disposal of them after completion of this procedure
  2. Turn your printer Off
  3. Clean the exterior of the printer
  4. Apply disinfection solution on the cleaning cloth ( Do not apply the solution directly on the printer)
  5. Thoroughly wipe the exterior of the printer and the most commonly touched surfaces, such as media guides, ink doors, and handles
  6. Wipe the surrounding area where the printer is installed
  7. Wipe the shelves where your label material is stored
  8. After completion dispose of the gloves and cleaning wipe
  9. Wait for the surface of the printer to dry then turn it ON
  10. 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.

Questions?

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.

How to Make Your Custom Cosmetics Labels Attractive and Effective

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?

cosmetics labeling

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!

Great Cosmetic Labels for CJ’s Unique Boutique

AstroNova had the pleasure of visiting CJ’s Unique Boutique in June to interview them for a video. We got to meet everyone behind the brand, see their extensive line of scented and unscented “BUTTer” products, and watch their Kiaro! label printer (also known as “Kiki” around their office) in action.

Check out the video for yourself, and see just how CJ’s creates its own beautiful cosmetic labels!

Have you ever tried every product imaginable to find a solution to your problem? CJ Miller has.

She was simply trying to find a product to cure her son’s terrible diaper rash, but nothing worked. So, she decided to take matters into her own hands and stood over her stove until she created her own diaper cream to help relieve her son.

CJs_Unique_Boutique_Downtown_Colorado_Springs

CJ’s Unique Boutique, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has been producing its all-natural BUTTer since 2008. CJ and her husband Mark Miller, CEO of CJ’s Unique Boutique, use only the finest, all-natural ingredients in their products. Except now, they are no longer limited to diaper cream – but also offer lotions, body sprays, lip balms, and bug spray, among many other products.

Their company grew so fast that in no time they went from their kitchen to a fully equipped facility in the city. Last year, CJ stood in her new production facility, with hundreds of bottles, tubes, and tubs surrounding her. Although she had expanded far beyond her original kitchen, she knew that there was one big component missing from her amazing products: an equally amazing label.

So, what did CJ do? She brought on the Kiaro! inkjet label printer (now the QL-120X).

As their business grew, so had the demand for labels. CJ and Mark realized that they needed a label printer capable of meeting their high standards and complementing their wonderful products.

The importance of packaging and labeling is just one of the lessons that CJ and Mark have learned since starting their business.

Because CJ’s has so many products and over 30 fragrance options, they needed to find a label printer capable of printing cosmetic labels in large batch volumes, in a variety of sizes, in any color, and with astonishing detail. The durable, quality labels that the Kiaro! produced for CJ’s was everything that the company was searching for.

Ryan Flynt, Webmaster and Social Media Coordinator at CJ’s works with the Kiaro! often. So often, in fact, that he even began calling his Kiaro! by the affectionate nickname of “Kiki.” Ryan designs the label artwork, prints labels daily, and handles everything concerning his printer, Kiki.

Ryan loves his Kiaro! and says that “It’s a cost-effective time-saving printer. It creates excellent quality labels for our packaging, and I couldn’t be happier.”

cosmetic labels

As the Kiaro! prints quickly (at 1200 dpi) it never fails to print beautifully, without any wasted labels. The Kiaro! has saved CJ’s a great amount of time and money, especially because of their need for moisture-resistant and scratch-resistant labels that look great no matter what they may encounter.

After CJ’s began printing their own labels for each of their products, Heather Hodge, general manager of CJ’s Unique Boutique, immediately noticed a difference in the durability and overall look of their labels. The Kiaro! labels don’t wash off CJ’s products when wet, don’t scratch off, and stay intact throughout daily travel and wear and tear.  “We no longer have people calling and saying I think this might have been your product- can you help me try and figure it out?” Heather said.

Hodge said that one of the best qualities of the Kiaro! is how simple it is to use. The software is easy to learn, and any adjustments are easy to make. Training staff members is a breeze, according to Flynt. “It doesn’t take a long time even to show someone how to load the labels into the printer,” Webmaster Flynt said.

“If time is money, and you want to spend less time working with what needs to get produced,” Flynt said, “this is the printer for you.”

If you would like to check out CJ’s products and try some BUTTer yourself, visit CJ’s Unique Boutique’s website!

To keep up with the latest CJ’s Unique Boutique news and product announcements, follow their Facebook and Twitter pages!

For any direct questions or inquiries about CJ’s and their products, you may contact them by email at cjsuniqueboutique@gmail.com

We had an excellent experience visiting CJ’s Unique Boutique and look forward to seeing all of their coming success!