A Long and Winding Road
June 1, 2008

Times are tough; there’s no doubt about it. Costs are rising, competition is fierce and the economy is in a tailspin (or nose dive, depending on your perspective). “This was a difficult year for the [tag and label] business due not only to macroeconomic issues, including high energy costs and continuing high raw material inflation, but also because of growing competition to labels and tags in the packaging industry itself,” noted Corey Reardon, president and CEO of AWA Alexander Watson Associates, McLean, Va. The rising costs of materials—across the board—are at the top of most printers’ list of issues. A majority of tag and

A Win/Win Situation
April 1, 2008

The Print Professional team congratulates everyone who participated in this year’s design contest for their creativity and ingenuity. It was exciting to receive new entries in the mail each day, and to see how industry professionals used their talent and supply chain expertise to deliver effective, high-quality solutions. With loupes in hand, a distinguished panel of judges from North American Publishing Company, Philadelphia, evaluated entries based on print quality, technical achievement and the degree to which a solution satisfied the intended application. They were so impressed with the submissions, that in addition to designating winners in the various categories, the judges felt compelled

Nuts & Bolts
March 1, 2008

If it weren’t for labels, you couldn’t tell a jar of mild salsa from a blow-your-head off-hot variety until it was too late. And, if there was no hang tag to alert a maintenance worker that a malfunctioning valve is on lock out, there could be serious consequences. From eye-catching prime labels to super-durable industrial applications, labels and tags readily adapt to evolving technology and emerging applications, and will remain viable, profitable products well into the future. Some of the most successful label and tag suppliers are those with unique manufacturing capabilities resulting in innovative, value-added products that set them apart from the

Say No to Knock Offs
January 1, 2008

Counterfeiting is a devastating problem, and one that will never be fully eradicated. But, just how much of an impact is it actually having on the marketplace? Check out these startling statistics estimating the value of counterfeit goods worldwide, which was presented to HP Indigo press owners during the February 2007 Dscoop Digital Solutions Cooperative (www.dscoop.org) at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Fla.: • Pharmaceuticals—$49B • Automotive and aircraft parts—$12B • IT and software—$10.9B • Music and film—$5B • Apparel—$2.1B • Cosmetics and toiletries—7 percent to 10 percent of the worldwide market Overall, counterfeiting has put a $250 billion dent in

Custom Inventory Tags from Badger Tag & Label Improve Accuracy and Efficiencies
December 17, 2007

A line of custom tags from Badger Tag & Label, Random Lake, Wis., helps to ensure inventory-taking tasks go more smoothly and accurately. The types of tags most frequently used for inventory include single, manifold and a thermal label attached to a tag. “We work with companies of all sizes to understand their inventory process and develop a tag that will be the best solution for their needs,” says Dale (DJ) Jacoby, vice president. “For some companies who have used the same process or tags for years, we have been able to save them thousands of dollars in man-hours by developing a tag that

Tracing Tag Prevents Keepers and Weepers
October 1, 2007

PSI Plastic Graphics, Ellisville, Mo., presents the Elf Tag—a worldwide tracing tag used to identify the owner of missing property while rewarding the finder. A simple e-mail or phone call enables the company’s recovery specialist to put the finder of an item in touch with the property owner. Those returning items are rewarded with a family pack of tags for their own property. Each Elf Tag and label has a unique algorithm number that identifies the owner. All owner information is stored in a secure database managed by ELFTAG. Registration is free—end-users only pay the cost of the tag. The line includes specific

Luggage Tags Packed with RFID Technology
August 28, 2007

Equipment manufacturer Melzer, located in Schwelm, Germany, delivered its first machine for RFID-luggage tag production, featuring patented transponder selection. The process is integrated in the STL-100 machine, and in addition to the standard STL products—RFID-tickets, tags and labels—it also produces the RFID luggage tags. Furthermore, the single-track production line can be used for documents and large-size labels (up to 250 mm wide) and similar products. With an output of 40 to 50 million pieces per year, the machine is already sufficient for meeting the demand of RFID technology beginners. For mass production, the STL-L400 four-track version is available with an output

Badger Tag & Label Offers New Synthetic Stock
June 1, 2007

Headquartered in Random Lake, Wis., Badger Tag & Label developed a proprietary synthetic stock for printing custom tags and labels. “Companies that use pressure-sensitive paper labels and steel or metal tags can benefit from the features synthetic stocks offer, and can usually save money,” said Kathy Rassel, sales/marketing manager. “Synthetic stocks are also more environmentally friendly because they are not made from tree pulp and are recyclable.” Perfect for harsh environments and challenging weather conditions, UV-stabilized, waterproof synthetic stocks resist fading and tearing, as well as damage from chemicals. In addition, they fold without cracking and can withstand temperature ranges from 220° F to

Postcards from the Edge
March 1, 2007

Most hotel rooms are no longer mere graveyards for bad art and plastic ice buckets. Today’s market focuses on personalizing the travel experience for consumers. In fact, many hotels now offer luxury bath products and the opportunity to purchase the items that furnish their rooms. Higher-end hotels have even begun to track repeat customers’ likes and dislikes in order to stock rooms with a loyal guest’s personal tastes. The insistence on a brand reputation embodying the idea of “hospitality” is just one way the travel industry seeks to brand itself in each detail—which ultimately creates selling opportunities for distributors. In addition to the touches

Labels and Decals and Tags, Oh My
March 1, 2007

If the Wizard of Oz was granting a distributor’s wish for increased sales success, he just might produce an array of labels, decals and tags from his bag of tricks. Nothing can compete for customer loyalty while effectively differentiating brand identity and providing content information quite like a label. And, given the adhesives discoveries, design innovations and aesthetically appealing substrates, they thrive on technology and marketplace challenges. Adhesives are certainly playing a role in creating label products and opening new markets. Ingrid Brase, global marketing manager for National Adhesives, pointed out utilizing clear film for a no-label-look is replacing the much more expensive process