This text was previously published as an article NarrowWebTech issue August 2018.
In Spring 2018 the US-based print shop Hub Labels installed a MPS EF 430 printing press which is mainly used for linerless labels application. Only two companies in the United States are offering this solution to their customers. NarrowWebTech reports on the background to this investment.
Hub Labels, Inc. has been producing linerless labels for the US market since 2009. This label format is being offered because linerless labels provide the benefits of self-adhesive labelling but with improved efficiencies, volume applications and environmental advantages because they do not use label liners, so the company states.
Their standard linerless labels are available in silicone coated paper, board or synthetic materials. The semi-adhesive label format partially adheres to a pack through a series of strategically placed glue strips. Label facestocks are then supplied without liners. According to the company, this leads to a reduction of reel weight by up to 40%, which means less weight waste, storage area and fewer reel changeovers.
The first MPS line
Earlier this year the family-owned company decided to invest in a MPS EF 430 in order to also produce linerless labels, the first MPS line of the North American printer. In February 2018 it was installed at the Hub Labels facility in Maryland. Linerless label technology eliminates the liner normally used with traditional pressure-sensitive labels making linerless technology a more environmentally friendly option.
The MPS EF is an automated multi-substrate flexographic press, specially designed to print labels and flexible packaging on a range of substrates. The addition of the EF will provide Hub Labels, Inc. with flexibility through its ability to print a range of substrates including thin film, paper, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging. The new flexo printing press is for the production of linerless labels as well as self-adhesive labels.
“MPS and the Hub Labels teams collaborated months before the actual installation of the press. We reviewed out timelines and clearly communicated our expectations to each other”, comments Hub Labels president Thomas Dahbura on the cooperation with the press manufacturer. “We had the press shipped to us from overseas and ran into some delays caused by a winter storm, but both MPS and Hub Labels were flexible and reacted professionally to the delay. MPS worked more than 12 hours a day to get back on track and finish on schedule.”
Running pressure sensitive as well as linerless label applications on this press Hub Labels president reports: “We have seen significant improvements in our quality and speed when running these products on this press”.
The sale was led by Michael Weyermann, area sales manager at MPS Systems North America. Weyermann comments: “We are glad to see that Hub Labels was convinced by the MPS quality and the flexibility of the EF press. This press offers them new capabilities in the high-speed production of various substrates, especially the production of sustainable, environmentally friendly linerless labels.”
Thomas Dahbura, President of Hub Labels, with the new MPS EF press
Growing use of linerless labels
Thomas Dahbura sees further growth potential on the newer applications. “Linerless is not only more sustainable due to the overall packaging savings. It can also be used for products such as poultry, meat, seafood, produce, bakery items and more.”
“We are very excited to offer this new option to our customers to help them grow their brand with us” states Dahbura. The addition of this press complements the current full service, one-stop solution to existing customers as well as nurturing new customers, especially in the linerless label market by offering a wider web and unsupported film printing solutions.
Hub Labels, Inc., manufacturer of pressure-sensitive and linerless labels in Hagerstown, Maryland welcomed the new MPS EF press on the 21st February with a ribbon cutting ceremony that featured the press running local business, Perdue Farms’, linerless labels. They produce labels for regional and national brand names. According to the company their 110,000 sqft facility in Maryland is one of the largest sites in the US label industry.
Inge Smolders is Manager Marketing Communications at MPS. She has been working at the Marketing department since 2015, when she first entered the printing industry as a newbie. Inge likes to write about industry news, developments and her own experiences.