PACK EXPO Las Vegas: Enhancing Your Printing Solutions
For those of you who could not attend, it’s time to for a PACK EXPO 2017 recap! If you weren’t able to see us at our booth, this year’s PACK EXPO Las Vegas was one of the most attended, most successful shows for QuickLabel & TrojanLabel.
Expanding Our Printing Solutions
Since our business unit expanded to include TrojanLabel™, a growing force in the digital label press, overprinting and specialty printers industry (February 2017), we had yet to host a trade show together in the USA –making this year’s PACK EXPO Las Vegas all the more exciting.
A fantastic complement to our tabletop label printers, TrojanLabel products include the T3-OP (Trojan3), a digital professional packaging and converting overprinting system and the T2 (Trojan2), a sophisticated digital label mini press and more exclusive printers released at the show.
The acquisition of TrojanLabel helped to amplify the strength and capabilities of both brands as known leaders in the industry of tabletop label printers for in-house custom color labels and professional label presses and specialty printers.
Being our first show together in the USA, we were ecstatic to share our experience at PACK EXPO together as well as see how well it was recognized by the current and new customers that visited our booth!
Exclusive PACK EXPO Product Releases
Perhaps the most eventful portion of PACK EXPO 2017 was the unveiling of our latest QuickLabel and TrojanLabel label printer and presses.
As a show exclusive, booth visitors were able to view live demonstrations and learn more about the benefits of our four new innovative solutions:
- QL-30 and QL-60
- Trojan™ T2-C
- Trojan™ T4
QL-30 & QL-60
Both compact, monochrome high-speed thermal transfer printers the QL-30 and QL-60 are perfect for barcoding and other one-color labeling applications. Innovative upgrades include a full-color touchscreen interface, complete with video and Wi-Fi. Ideal applications for the QL-30 and QL-60 are hazardous substance labeling, including cardboard boxes, pallets and other exposed surfaces.
With the full capacity of a larger press, the T2-C is a compact label press that easily fits into any size print department with a footprint of less than 4 square feet. For ideal print quality and registration, the T2-C is optimized with automatic tension control, built-in web guide and intuitive TrojanControl touch panel interface. The T2-C is designed for 24/7 production and ideal for brand owners, print shops and professional label converters.
While not at the show, the Trojan T4 was simultaneously released and displayed at Labelexpo Europe.
An all-in-one digital label production and finishing press, the Trojan T4 extends the TrojanLabel product line into the high-production environment for professional label converting. For advanced label production and finished rolls of superior quality, the T4’s advanced digital inkjet press prints, laminates, die cuts and slits brilliant full-bleed color labels up to 1600 x 1600 dpi resolution at speeds up to 60 feet/18 meters per minute. A compact all-in-one label production solution, the T4 is fast, reliable and easy to use, while taking up less than 7-1/2 feet of work space.
We want to thank everyone again for coming out! Thank you for the experience, PACK EXPO. See you next year!
QuickLabel & TrojanLabel: The Complete Packaging and Labeling Solution
Since introducing the first color label printer in 1994, our goal has been to provide industry best on-demand label printers as a complete packaging and labeling solution.
From the Sundance in 1994, a four color thermal color digital transfer printer to the original Kiaro! in 2010 to the new QL-240 in 2017, we have always striven to provide innovative, high-quality printing technologies that make the lives of customers easier.
Continuing to push the progressive envelope, QuickLabel’s parent company, AstroNova®, recently acquired a new division that specializes in larger, more versatile printing systems.
In February 2017, our business unit expanded to include TrojanLabel™, a growing force in the digital label press, overprinting and specialty printers industry.
Who is TrojanLabel?
Beginning in Denmark in 2012, TrojanLabel has globally revolutionized color printing technology with the production of their digital color label presses and specialty printer systems for a broad range of end markets.
A fantastic complement to our tabletop label printers, TrojanLabel products include the T3-OP (Trojan3), a digital professional packaging and converting overprinting system and the T2 (Trojan2), a sophisticated digital label mini press.
To learn more about TrojanLabel, feel free to visit the TrojanLabel website.
What Does This Acquisition Mean for QuickLabel?
To put it simply, the Product Identification unit of AstroNova will include QuickLabel and TrojanLabel. This means, in addition to specializing in tabletop labeling systems, AstroNova Product Identification will also support TrojanLabel’s specialty overprinting and digital press systems.
While QuickLabel and TrojanLabel remain separate divisions, both will fall under the same business unit of the AstroNova parent company.
How Does This Benefit You?
Ultimately, the acquisition of TrojanLabel amplifies the strength and capabilities of both brands, known leaders in their industry.
Gregory A. Woods, AstroNova’s President and Chief Executive Officer, shares, “QuickLabel and TrojanLabel provide customers with a broad portfolio of products spanning tabletop printers and light-production label printers as well as advanced specialty printing systems.”
As a whole, we are now able to provide products, services and supplies that improve the consumers’ ability to track and market their products in small to large scale businesses, spanning all industries.
With additional options to match your specific needs, we can now deliver a wider range of application specific packaging and labeling solutions — furthering our goal to provide the complete packaging and labeling solution.
Where Can You See the New TrojanLabel Products?
Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, this will be an exclusive event for all PACK EXPO attendees.
While we expect to host many trade shows together down the line, this is your chance to get ahead of your competition.
We are pleased to officially be able to provide the best solutions from tabletop label printers to specialty and digital printing presses for consumers worldwide.
We’re looking forward to seeing all those who plan on attending #PACKEXPO2017 for our exclusive first show together!
Many companies outsource their product labels to save financially and produce efficiently. But is outsourcing really the most efficient route? For small to medium sized business owners, outsourcing is not always the best solution. Depending on your business size and needs, you may be better off making your own food & beverage labels in-house.
Impression Technology Europe explains, “Recently, another type of printing has become more attainable for smaller companies…digital ‘short run’ label printers. 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.”
How do you know if this is right for you? Here are four reasons why you should be making your own food & beverage labels in-house:
1. Outsourced Printing Comes at a Price
We mean that both literally and figuratively. While using another facility to generate your food labels might seem like weight off your shoulders, that may not be the case.
Passing the task to an outside source can end up severely delaying your labeling process. Why? Not only will you have your company’s shipping schedule to track, but the arrival of your outsourced shipment as well.
If an outsourced shipment becomes delayed, so will the orders your company was originally scheduled to deliver. For small business owners, this can lead to a lot of unhappy customers or market vendors.
These delays will happen, and so do errors. Labeling errors can take more of a toll on your business production line than a delay in shipment.
The unexpected misprint forces your business to return and reorder labels. Misprints can cause setbacks and affect the use by/sell by dates on your products. This is especially true for made to order businesses, which can lead to wasted products.
If your business has experienced these delays, you may want to consider an in-house or on-demand label printer. With the ability to print labels in your own facility, there will be no more error or shipment delays affecting your product line. What’s more, these printers give you the ability to create your own use by/sell by dates with complete label customization.
2. Not All Environments Are Created Equal
Making your own food & beverage labels is also a huge plus when selling products that must be stored in specific environmental requirements.
It’s important for frozen foods to have unique and attractive labels, too. After all, it is your brand. But, it’s equally important that your frozen food labels don’t fail. Using the wrong label can lead to wrinkles due to condensation, fading due to exposure or loss of adhesion, falling off in low temperatures. One should not be sacrificed for the other.
If your business is using regular pre-printed labels, chances are, the labels won’t hold up in your storage environment.
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.
An easy in-house printing solution is QuickLabel’s Kiaro! or Kiaro! D inkjet label printers. Both printers are known for printing frozen food labels that don’t peel off in high-quality 1200 dpi imagery.
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.
You can check out both options here.
3. Keep Up with FDA Regulations
Of course, keeping up with the FDA’s changing regulations and formats can greatly affect your product labels.
The intimidating process includes font restrictions, mandatory statements, allergen alerts and difficult calculations for daily values.
As a food manufacturer, you want to spend your energy on your recipes, production, branding and sales – not on interpreting FDA labeling mandates or trying to explain the requirements to an outside vendor.
However, it is absolutely necessary to adhere to FDA regulations to avoid recalls and present your customer with the quality and transparency they deserve.
An in-house label printer is especially valuable in these situations. For every change, the label design and format can be immediately customized in your own facility.
What’s more, by owning an in-house label printer, you don’t have to worry about overstock or wasted labels due to changes in regulations. This gives you more flexibility in your printing process, introducing the option of seasonal or promotional runs.
Making your own food & beverage labels gives you the ability to print the exact number of labels you need for what’s in-stock, on-demand.
4. You Deserve to Be In Control of Your Business
Your labels are the face of your brand, so you always want to put your best foot forward.
With outsourced labels, you don’t get to have complete control over your labeling process. Edits take longer, shipments get delayed and labels are bound to be wasted.
In-house printing has evolved with small, tabletop label printers for businesses. These label printers serve as a central database, with the ability to store, revise, locate and print any design on-demand –ultimately opening new doors for small to medium sized businesses.
If you want to be in control of your business or are experiencing any of the above labeling issues, it may be time to consider taking your production line in-house.
QuickLabel specializes in on-demand, tabletop label printers. For someone in the food and beverage industry interested in quality, short-run labels, they are worth looking in to.
Click here to view our full product lineup, or contact us for more information!
For those of you who could not attend, it’s time to for a Pack Expo 2016: QuickLabel recap. If you weren’t able to see us at our booth, this year’s PACK EXPO in Chicago was one of the most successful and eventful shows for QuickLabel.
Newly Redesigned Booth
To begin, this was our first year exhibiting at the show with our new name “QuickLabel” vs. “QuickLabel Systems” from our company rebrand.
Our entire booth was redesigned to adhere to our new style guidelines and verbiage.
In other words, our booth got a makeover.
New banners, posters, flyers and display colors were created and integrated for the consistency of our modernized look and feel.
Pack Expo Faces
Another one of our visitors were a blast from the past, being an original Vivo! customer. Shawn from Brandt Consolidated was happy to speak with us and spend time at our booth the first day of Pack Expo. Brandt Consolidated has been around since 1953, helping its local growers implement custom approaches to crop management and provides cutting-edge products to customers world-wide.
It truly makes us happy that our customers know they can always stop by and catch up with us. It was wonderful to see part of our QuickLabel family! Thank you!
Pack Expo 2016: QuickLabel QL-800 Release
Perhaps the most eventful portion of Pack Expo 2016 was the unveiling of our latest color label printer, the QL-800.
The QL-800 is designed with the power of a high-end digital printing press, sold at just a fraction of the price. The fastest, most versatile in-house digital color label printer available, the QL-800 combines printing of both narrow and wide labels with high speed, high-quality output. The QL-800 is the best tool for customizing your product labels in affordable small quantities.
When you use the QL-800 to print your labels in your own office or factory, you’ll move beyond excess inventory and production delays to achieve a lean, one-piece flow production process. The QL-800 gives you flexibility and cost-savings by allowing you to digitally printing the right label for the right customer in the right quantity, just-in-time. A true digital printer, the QL-800 easily lets you print labels with any text, barcode, or color graphics in affordable small batches.
It’s perfect for labeling multiple different products or labeling for different wholesale customers. During Pack Expo, the QL-800 was so well received, multiple were sold on the spot during the first days of the tradeshow!
If you want to learn more about the QL-800, please feel free to visit its new page on our website.
We want to thank everyone again for coming out! And thank you for the experience, Pack Expo. See you next year!
If you’ve invested in a QuickLabel printer, you already know the height of benefits you and your company are reaping. But did you hear about the QuickLabel referral benefits?
From printing in 600-1600dpi, producing customizable labels at up to 8 inches per second (ips), and photographic quality and clear-cut text; QuickLabel printers have the ability to save your business time and money as well as catch the customers’ eye.
So, do you know someone else who would be interested in having a QuickLabel printer? (Bonus: It will benefit you, too!)
Does a free set of inks get your gears turning?
They don’t have to be from your line of work. With QuickLabel printer’s variety of options, such as the Kiaro! 50, Kiaro!, Kiaro! D and the QL-111, they can be found throughout a wide variety of labeling industries.
Here are five examples of businesses included within our industry range and what they had to say about their QuickLabel printer:
1. Food Labels – Jody’s Popcorn
Jody’s Popcorn of Virginia Beach was in need of a reliable printer that could take on their growth, as well as their quick in-store demands. Looking for a short-run labeling solution, Jody’s found QuickLabel and the Kiaro! label printer. In a short period of time, the Kiaro! allowed Jody’s to flourish with its on-demand, colorful and high quality labels.
Michael Katz, Vice President, states, “The Kiaro! printer has saved Jody’s time and production. The amount of time it takes for us to produce a custom job has decreased greatly. We can literally have somebody walk into the printing area and say ‘I need this’ and turn it around in 10-15 minutes.”
2. Beverage Labels – Doc’s Tea
Doc’s Tea knew they required exceptional labels for their bottles of low calorie tea, and printing labels on demand and in-house was an ideal solution for them. When they discovered the stunning performance of the Kiaro! label printer they were amazed. They have been printing beautiful tea labels with QuickLabel ever since.
Dr. Christopher Banks, CCO of Doc’s Tea, says the Kiaro! has been great for their business because, “We don’t have to spend so much money going out to the big labeling companies – we can print them out as we need them and save some time and also save some money.”
3. E-Liquid Labels – Boosted Vapor
Boosted Vapor, e-liquid maker and vape shop retailer based in Clinton, Michigan, uses the Kiaro! to label its wide variety of vape juices. Boosted Vapor also offers custom labeling of its e-juices to wholesale and private label customers, and prints all labels with their QuickLabel printer.
Jeff Kohr, CEO, says “I believe in our Kiaro! printer. I’ve had a lot of other printers, I’ve never had anything like the Kiaro!. It has improved the quality of our product from a labeling standpoint, it’s improved our productivity, and it’s improved our inventory control. It’s been a top quality unit.”
4. Medical Device Labels – Key Surgical
With in-house UDI label printing, Key Surgical found fast, easy, and affordable compliance for labeling all of their different medical devices. With the ever-changing FDA labeling requirements, Key Surgical needed to stay on top of what was to be included on their labels. In addition to QuickLabel printers’ ability to generate small, clear-cut text and barcodes, the in-house complete label customization was the perfect fit for their business.
Key Surgical Director of Operations, Lena Cordie, says that with the Kiaro! label printer, “We save money on labeling stock and on supplies. We’re able to purchase smaller quantities more frequently rather than storing them on site with the possibility of damage and waste. The Kiaro! has been a huge asset to our production productivity and efficiency.”
5. Hardware Labels – Quick Fitting
Quick Fitting, the leading manufacturer of “push connect” plumbing fittings and valves sold at Lowe’s, Tractor Supply, Ace Hardware found that frequently changing labels produced a wasteful excess of inventory.. Quick Fitting was able to cut its costs by 40% when they began printing their own retail plumbing labels with the Kiaro!.
“It allows us a flexibility we didn’t have in the past. If we ran out of labels– if we were even short by 30 labels – it cost us a shipment. With the Kiaro! we just simply walk over to the unit and print out some more,” said David Crompton, CEO of Quick Fitting.
To view the full list of applications our QuickLabel printers have been used for, click here.
So do you know anyone who would like to enhance their own business and branding, as well as save time and money with a QuickLabel printer?
Participating in the QuickLabel referral benefits program will not only be beneficial to them.
If you successfully refer a friend, you will be sent a free set of inks. That’s about a $1,000 value towards your business!
So what are you waiting for? Refer a friend today!
Toll Free: (877) 757-7978
Outside USA: (401) 828-4000
There has been a lot of recent debate about nutrition facts labels. The question is: are they really useful and effective for consumers who are trying to make healthy eating choices? Or should they be changed?
This issue is that many of us don’t really read or understand the nutritional information that is presented to us. (Yes, it’s ok to admit it, because I’ll admit that even working for a label company, I still get confused by nutrition facts panels). Right now one of the biggest concerns with Nutrition Facts Panels is that they are outdated – the Nutrition Labeling Education Act (NLEA) which created nutrition facts labels as we know them today was passed in 1990.
To help me – and you – get a better understanding of the nutrition facts label changes that could be coming our way, I participated in a webinar put on by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), an association of 300 leading food, beverage, and consumer product companies. Here are some highlights:
Label Reform Options Being Evaluated:
- Nutrition Label Format Changes
- Serving Size Changes
- Calorie Declaration Changes
- Required and Permitted Nutrients Statement Changes
- Daily Values Changes
- Dietary Context for Trans Fat Declarations
- Impact of Changes on Nutrition Claims
Label Reform Options in Detail:
Nutrition Label Format: The FDA conducted an experimental study on nutrition label formats this past summer (2011). According to the GMA, there were 3 specific focuses to the study:
- Consumers’ ability to use the modified Nutrition Facts Panel to calculate calories and estimate serving sizes for their needs
- Consumers’ judgments about the overall healthfulness of the food product
- Consumers’ preferences for the updated Nutrition Facts Panel
This study was web-based and had 10,000 participants. The breakdown of the survey was under 40 conditions.
Findings of the Nutrition Facts Panel Design Study:
Potential changes to nutrition labels were suggested by the FDA’s study of nutrition labels this past summer. The changes are broken down as follows:
Serving Size: Law requires the FDA to define serving sizes on Nutrition Facts Panels. Serving sizes must be presented in realistic amounts that are typically eaten by the normal person and in a common household measure. Serving sizes are determined by RACCs (Referenced Amounts Customarily Consumed).
It is likely that serving sizes will end up being increased because Food Consumption surveys show that larger amounts are eaten today than were eaten the last time serving sizes were evaluated.
- Baked Goods
- Bottled Water/Water Beverages
- Energy Drinks
- Ready to Drink Teas
- Soft Drinks and Diet Soft Drinks
- Sports Drinks
It is not unusual these days for products to contain two servings instead of just one (often found in the products above.) If you do not carefully read the labels on these larger volume foods, you may not realize that your “personal-size” bottle of soda is actually 2 servings. Some questions about serving size include: Should there be certain criteria for serving sizes? Should it differ for each type of food? How about container size?
Trans Fat: The addition of Trans Fat to the Nutrition Facts Panel became a final rule in 2003 and went into effect in 2006. Trans fat labeling is now required on all FDA-regulated foods. Although the USDA/FSIS works in conjunction with the FDA to create nutrition facts panels for the meats, poultry, and eggs that come under USDA/FSIS regulation, they do not require that these products list Trans Fat information on their product labels.
Calorie Prominence: Should Nutrition Facts Panels be updated to give more prominence to the calorie declaration? The visibility of calorie counts seems to be one of the biggest issues when it comes to revising nutrition labels. The FDA’s Obesity Working Group (OWG) is charged with developing a new approach to better to improve the Nutrition Facts Panel in the case of calorie declaration. The goal in improving calorie prominence is to help consumers make better choices to avoid weight gain and reduce obesity. Right now, calories from fat and all calories are both listed on Nutrition Facts Panels.
One new change to the calorie statement may be the declaration of calories from Saturated Fat. The statement of calories from Saturated Fat is currently permitted on Nutrition Facts Panels but is seldom included. One of the biggest considerations is the current letter type size used to print calorie declarations. Right now calories are listed in the same type size as everything else, but making a change that so that the count is more prominent (bold face, bigger type size) is under consideration.
One thing that has become clear during research by the FDA Consumer Facts Group is that consumers don’t observe changes in calories until the change is pointed out to them. So, to improve the visibility of calories, the following ideas are being considered:
- Increase the font size for calorie statements
- Provide daily value percentages for calories
- Eliminate calories from the fat declaration
There are many questions about what should be done to better emphasize the amount of calories in food and beverage items:
- Would consumers’ awareness of calorie counts increase if the declaration was more prominent?
- How should it be made more prominent? Bold type? Different placement? etc.
- Would a percent daily value for calories be helpful or confusing?
- Do consumers actually use the “calories from fat” declaration? What do they think it means?
- Would putting more emphasis on the calories declaration cause the food and beverage industry to reformulate or repackage their food items?
- Should foods be reformed to reduce calories?
- Should packaging be “calorie controlled” (i.e. 100 calorie packs)
- Should “front of pack labeling” be mandated?
% Daily Values: Some of the details being looked at for Daily Values (% DV) are:
- What kind of metrics should be used to measure %DV?
- Can any items currently required on nutrition labels be made voluntary or removed completely?
- What sort of effect would removing or making certain facts voluntary have on consumer understanding of %DV?
- How will changes to %DV apply to nutrition and health claims?
Nutrition Claims: Right now there are 4 required micronutrients on Nutrition Facts Panels. Should there be additional nutrients on the label?
- 1. Vitamin A
- 2. Vitamin C
- 3. Calcium
- 4. Iron
Now Under Consideration to be Added:
- Vitamin D
6-Months Away from Proposed Changes to Nutrition Labels?
There is no “set-in-stone” timeline for these changes to go into effect, and no firm proposal for change yet. But it is expected that the FDA will make its proposal within the next 6 months.
When the FDA publishes their proposed rules, they will open up a 60-90 day period for public comment. Since this is such a complex subject and since there are a lot of areas under consideration, the GMA estimates that the FDA would most likely take a minimum of one year to review the public comments and determine final rules.
When final rules are decided upon it is predicted that there will most likely be a 2 year period before compliance is required. Two years may seem like a long time but the FDA would likely be considerate considering there would be a complete overhaul of food and beverage packaging. A longer compliance period would also reduce the cost of label changes for manufacturers.
Proposed Rules: Mid 2012
Possible Label Changes & Final Rule: 2014
Estimated Effective Date: January 1, 2016
As you can see we still have a ways to go before food companies need to change their labels and before consumers see different information on the shelf. I’m glad there’s plenty of time to comment on the changes!
Some Questions for you:
- Do You Look at Nutrition Facts Labels?
- Would Changes to Nutrition Labels Change the Way We Eat?