The Essential Role of Finishing in the Label Printing Process

When it comes to printing, the focus often lies on the press and the creation of the label. However, the finishing responsibilities after printing are just as crucial. At Century Printing and Packaging, finishing is not just a step; it’s an art that ensures your labels are printed beautifully and ready for use.

Finishing is the final stage between printing and shipping. It involves several key processes that transform the printed material into the final product ready for application. After printing, the labels are rewound to the desired size rolls using standup or tabletop rewinders. Standup rewinders are faster and used for larger jobs, while tabletop rewinders are ideal for smaller jobs or those requiring splicing. The labels are also slit if necessary, dividing a single roll into multiple rolls.

Splicing ensures that labels are seamlessly joined together, whether applied by hand or machine. When labels are machine-applied, the splice must be stronger to withstand the tension from the applicator. In contrast, labels applied by hand require a less intense splice. Understanding how the label will be applied is essential for determining the type of splice needed. This attention to detail ensures that labels are prepared correctly for their intended use, highlighting Century’s commitment to delivering high-quality products tailored to their customers’ needs.

There are three main packaging options that can be chosen for different reasons: rolled, fan-folded, or sheeted. Rolled labels are the most common, with the material received on rolls, printed, and then finished on rolls. Fan folding is used for applications like newspapers, where labels are folded together. Sheeted labels are individual sheets that must be stacked, counted, and organized.

Meticulous quality control measures are in place throughout the process to ensure the labels meet specifications and match the customer’s proof. Once everything is set up and approved, the operator proceeds with the finishing process, which may involve rewinding the labels onto smaller rolls, fan folding them, or preparing them in sheets, depending on the customer’s needs. Finally, once the labels are processed and checked, they are ready for packaging and shipping, marking the completion of the finishing process.

Finishing is a vital step in the label printing process that can often get overlooked. However, it’s the final touch that guarantees your labels not only look great but are also ready to be used as intended. At Century Printing and Packaging, each member of the finishing department understands the nuances of this final stage, ensuring even the most complex jobs are handled with precision. The customer’s proof serves as a reference point throughout the process, ensuring that the finished labels match the customer’s specifications. This attention to detail prevents errors and saves time and resources by catching any issues early in the process. By prioritizing quality control and proofs, Century Printing and Packaging demonstrates its commitment to delivering superior results with enhanced appeal for every label.

The Rise of RFID Technology

In the ever-evolving world of technology, staying ahead of the curve is essential. Over the past decade, RFID technology has significantly entered inventory management and retail operations. Historically, barcodes have been used for fundamental information and RFIDs are now the new kids on the block, offering unparalleled efficiency and data information in the supply chain. The Century Printing and Packaging team understands the importance of embracing this cutting-edge technology and is there to help clients transition into the RFID era.

Walmart, the retail giant, has been at the forefront of RFID adoption. It initially started using RFID technology in the clothing department, requiring all products to be equipped with new RFID tags. Over time, this practice has expanded to other sections, including automotive and electronics. The primary goal here is security and, more notably, ensuring proper inventory management and shelf restocking.

RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency Identification, is a revolutionary technology that provides real-time visibility into inventory levels, making restocking shelves more streamlined and accurate. With RFID, each product or package is equipped with a tag containing an antenna, a transceiver, and a transponder. Employees can quickly scan products with handheld devices or, eventually, through automated systems like robots that constantly take inventory. This instant feedback ensures that items are always in stock, preventing customer frustration and loss of sales.

Implementing RFID technology is a multi-step process. The first step involves determining where the RFID label will be placed on the product. This can be a challenge for liquid products, as RFIDs cannot scan through liquids. Therefore, labels are placed where there is no liquid interference, such as on the handle of a container or bottle.

The second step is to print the label with the correct information, ensuring the antenna matches the data. This precision is critical to ensuring the effectiveness of RFID technology.

Finally, the label is applied to the product during the third step. Care and attention to detail are crucial during this process, as any damage to the label or its components can render it useless. For suppliers sending products to retailers like Walmart, damaged RFID labels can lead to rejection and lost business.

Century Printing and Packaging is well-versed in the nuances of RFID technology. The team has conducted extensive research and gathered valuable insights into its implementation. Ben and Neil are equipped to handle questions concerning the push to RFID labels and deeply understand the potential pitfalls.

Walmart isn’t the only retailer embracing RFID technology. They plan to expand their use of RFID technology to additional departments in February 2024. Other major retailers like Target are expected to follow suit. It’s only a matter of time before most, if not all, big-box retailers require this technology to enhance inventory management and customer satisfaction. The next frontier for RFID technology is the food industry, where its impact will be substantial. Properly managed inventory is crucial in the food sector to prevent shortages and food waste.

As the adoption of RFID technology continues to grow across various industries, Century Printing and Packaging is committed to remaining at the forefront of this technological revolution. Their expertise in RFID implementation and commitment to helping clients adapt to the changing landscape positions Ben and Neil as leaders in the field. It is firmly believed that RFID technology will soon become as ubiquitous as barcodes, and those who embrace it now will thrive in the ever-evolving world of retail and beyond. Don’t be left behind—embrace RFID technology with Century Printing and Packaging, your trusted partner in manufacturing.