Labelling Solutions

Dedicated inspection site for labels L

uminer, a labeling solutions provider specialising in extended content labels (ECLs) for pharmaceutical ethical and

OTC packaging, clinical trials and various other narrow web applications for the cosmetics, F&B and chemicals sectors, has streamlined its precision product inspection capabilities by introducing a dedicated 7,000-square-foot inspection suite at its primary manufacturing facility in Lakewood, NJ. The quality management segregation also comes with an infrastructure investment: the company has added its third 100 per cent inspection platform, as well as a back-number validation system. The dedicated space will further improve

Luminer’s comprehensive quality management processes. In particular, it is designed to optimize QA/QC oversight for the company’s specialty, extended content labels. Due to their inherently stacked, page- over-page nature, ECLs pose unique inspection challenges requiring niche- specific solutions. Luminer provides 100% label inspection –

a must for its broad set of pharma customers. For ECLs, this entails a complex

process that involves, among other extra steps, precision vision systems inspecting individual sheets prior to folding, glue line monitoring to ensure all ECL pages are affixed properly and in correct order, and final inspection initiatives such as thickness monitoring to confirm label-on-label mounting veracity. Luminer’s addition of a back-number validation system provides additional assurance for pharma customers, by helping

to ensure labels are matched to their proper individual packages. Among other benefits, this helps simplify the label application process and, for prescription products, lends to easier compliance with unit-level serialization requirements. “The new inspection suite helps reinforce

Luminer as a medium-sized label manufacturer with big-shop production and quality control capabilities,” says Tom Spina, president & CEO of Luminer. “Extended content labels especially demand a thorough, multi-step inspection process. The dedicated quality management space and new infrastructure will further streamline our workflow, expediting turnaround time from initial quote to production to delivery.” Luminer recently incorporated a new

extended content label production line, a seven-figure investment that doubled its ECL manufacturing capacity. The new line’s exemplary production speeds foster both efficiency and cost-effectiveness, ROIs that Luminer will be able to pass on to customers.

Developing sustainable label packaging I

n less than two decades, Reflex Labels has grown to nearly 20 locations across the UK. Reflex Label Plus, a division of the

Reflex group, has its own website and its own focus—applying innovative techniques and processes to combination printing for the food, pharmaceutical, health and beauty, and beer, wine and spirits markets. Production Manager Shaun Boult moved

to the UK six years ago from his native Wellington, New Zealand, where he worked for a multi-national food packaging corporation. He joined Reflex Label Plus to manage the newly expanded food service packaging business. His responsibilities include testing materials, processes and equipment - sometimes running product tests himself - and working with the Reflex sales group to prove new products. Boult has a suite of the latest equipment with which to work. The first production line was an eight- colour EF-520 press from Dutch manufacturer MPS, and a second nine- colour EF-520 was subsequently added. The purchases were part of an investment programme across the whole Reflex Group that included more than a dozen presses. This included a top of the range Mark Andy P7, bringing the total number of the American presses in the Reflex Group to 27! The MPS lines at Barwell were equipped

with two non-stop unwind/splicing systems from Martin Automatic. One is a Martin MBX

butt splicer that unwinds paperboard, typically 150-450 micron, from rolls as large as 1828mm (72”) in diameter. Additionally, each press was specified with a Martin MBSF splicer. Initially supplied to feed 12-18- micron PET and OPP films, Boult notes that the MBSF splicers’ multi-substrate abilities to run paper and light board stocks will be crucial as Reflex looks to manufacture differentiated products. Referring to the combination of Martin splicers on his MPS presses, Boult comments: “Obviously, we bought them for continuous running, and our material waste has reduced to nearly nothing. With the excellent registration capabilities of the MPS presses, we throw out just the one product with the splice in it.” The simplicity of the Martin splicers is also an advantage in training. “It’s easy equipment to learn how to

use, easy to train our operators—30 minutes and they’ve got it, and they can concentrate on the other parts of the line. I highly rate them,” he adds. Although the package printing operation

is connected to the labels section, it is run as an independent entity. Even the press operators were not transferred from the labels side but were brought in specifically for this side of the business. In addition to food- on-the-go product lines like sandwich packs, known as ‘sandwich skillets’ in the trade, Reflex Labels Plus is looking at new products focused on sustainability. “Sustainability is big here. We’re all about promoting products for less landfill, easier recycling, and total compostability,” he adds. Speaking for the Reflex Group, CEO Ian

Kendall concludes: “The biggest thing we look for at Reflex is customer support – and I cannot fault Martin in this respect. They are always quick to respond, and their equipment is reliable and consistent – everything you need for continuous production.” Current run lengths at the Reflex Labels Plus site in Barwell average around 300,000 units, with some as large as 2,000,000, on single shift operation. With Reflex planning for rapid expansion through investment in future-proof equipment and entrepreneurial personnel, it’s only a matter of time before those plans become a reality. July/ August 2020 31

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