In May of 2016, LabelValue installed its first digital press – an HP Indigo WS6800 along with an AB Graphic Digicon Series 3 finishing unit. Previously, the company was solely a flexo label shop, relying on Mark Andy flexographic technology – an 8-color and 3-color press. Since going digital, LabelValue has run more than 3,000 jobs for over 1,000 customers on the Indigo press.
“We have also been able to convert all of our previously run flexographic custom jobs to digital, freeing up our flexographic press for printing the stock direct thermal items that we sell through our ecommerce platform,” explains Josh Dickson, marketing and pre-press manager for LabelValue.com.
Founded in 2005 by brothers brothers-in-law Paul Puleo and Mark Callison as an e-commerce label supplier, by 2010 LabelValue had built its own 14,000 square foot warehouse, production and office building near Tampa International Airport. Growth remains rapid. There 31 employees and the company now offers a variety of label products including stock thermal, pre-printed, thermal transfer, custom pressure sensitive and shrink sleeves. Mark moved on from the company in 2015, leaving Paul as president of the company. LabelValue is enjoying its current growth trajectory, having expanded with an additional warehousing space to house a shrink sleeve application line.
Old beer cans, new labels
In February 2017, LabelValue worked with Tampa Bay Brewing Company on a unique project. The crafty beer brand wanted to cover up previously printed cans with new artwork since the brew they had the cans made for was discontinued. Explains Dickson, “This was our first job printing with shrink sleeve materials on the HP Indigo. We partnered with Quality Tape and Label in Smyrna, Georgia to seam the shrink material that we printed. Since that job, we have acquired many local breweries that are consistently using our shrink sleeves for everything from flagship beers to smaller runs or promotional products – and to cover up obsolete inventory of old cans.”
Dickson continues, “We realized that there is a big opportunity to provide shrink sleeves to the craft brew industry for both small and large breweries. Smaller breweries can’t afford to order truckloads of pre-printed cans for their beers and don’t want to be limited to only a few flagship offerings. Larger breweries have great ideas for one-offs, special runs and unique brews and they don’t want to have to buy truckloads of cans for these either. And sometimes they just prefer the flexibility of digitally printed shrink sleeves.”
After realizing this need in the craft beer label industry, LabeValue has invested in and just finished installation of a Karlville K1 seaming machine, a Karlville C1 cutting machine, an Axon EZ-150SL shrink sleeve applicator and an Axon Thermoflow steam tunnel.
“The Karlville units allow us to seam shrink sleeves in-house and offer cut and stack sleeve options for those who desire to manually apply the sleeves. The Axon units allow us to apply shrink sleeves to containers for our customers,” Dickson says.
A brewery's one-stop-shop
But wait, there's more. There is a bigger picture at play at LabelValue when it comes to supplying the beer market. “The big picture, is that we are soon going to offer pre-shrunk, empty 12-ounce and 16-ounce cans to breweries and homebrewers as a one-stop-shop for any brewer’s canning and packaging needs," Dickson says. "Our customers will soon be able to order online from us the cans with shrink sleeves, upload their artwork and approve their proofs online."
“We’ll handle the packaging and they can focus on the brewing,” he adds. “We have already begun seaming and applying shrink sleeves for some of our current clients, but we’re really excited to get the word out about all of these offerings and serve the craft brew and homebrew industries in 2018.
For images of LabelValue.com's shrink sleeves and other labels, as well as a look a their Florida operations, check out the L&NW slideshow.
More to come: LabelValue.com will be the subject of the Narrow Web Profile in the March 2018 issue of Label & Narrow Web.