Self-laminating polyester labels a solution for identifying cabling exposed to high heat

TE Connectivity (TE), a maker of connectivity and sensors, has released the SP self-laminating polyester label as an  labeling solution for applications that can withstand temperatures from minus 40˚C (minus 40˚F) up to 150˚C (302˚F).

TE’s SP is a thermal transfer printable, low-profile translucent polyester film with a permanent acrylic adhesive. It is supplied with a white printable area, which is over-laminated upon application with the translucent portion of the label. This ‘self-laminating” feature better protects the printed area from exposure to oil, solvents, water and abrasion.

SP’s low-profile design provides conformability to wires and cables due to its label thickness of only 45μm (0.0018”). It is conformable to round, irregular or flexible surfaces and is ideal for wire and cable identification, including flat ribbon cables subject to repeated bending. SP is recommended for when maximum temperature resistance is essential.

SP labels are available in a range of sizes 12.7mm to 50.8mm wide and from 25.4mm to 151.0mm high. SP is supplied die-cut, in roll format and is available in white as a standard color.

Enhancing your brand with interactive labels

Approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide bought products online in 2018 and it’s predicted this will increase by another 350 million by 2021. However, this does not mean brick-and-mortar store are dying. What’s becoming clear is that with rapidly advancing technology, consumers are demanding an increasingly interactive shopping experience. As a result, businesses are having to think more innovatively in the branding of their products to create a market leader that stands out amongst rival brands.

Augmented reality (AR) is an integration between the physical and digital world to create an interactive experience like no other. Pokémon Go is a perfect example of an AR experience that saw thousands of people globally take part in the adventure to ‘catch ‘em all’. The technology has developed so much over the past decade that it’s no longer just an option for businesses in the tech industry. A multitude of industries from manufacturing to healthcare are using augmented reality for a variety of applications. One of the more common applications is in the area of product labelling.

The times have passed where a product label was just seen as a 2D print that depicted a brand and conveyed information to the consumer. Businesses are giving their labels life and their products a story through turning them into an interactive experience. This trend has been driven by the demand from consumers for a more immersive shopping experience.

Since the boom of ecommerce, brick-and-mortar stores have been using such technology to draw consumers back in – recreating digital elements in a physical world. Aside from this primary goal, there are many other benefits interactive labels can offer to a business, including:

  • Driving unique visitors to your website or social platforms
  • Promoting campaigns or cross-selling opportunities
  • Providing big data on consumer behavior

Ultimately, they can create a unique experience for the customer that can increase brand awareness and sales.

AR is only one of the many methods businesses have used to create an immersive experience and is becoming increasingly present within sectors such as the wine industry. This form of interactive label is achieved through a convert, or invisible image created by hidden data points within the print plate and can only be detected via a smartphone application. This allows the consumer to view your label, but with a digital element overlaid – giving your label life.

For many such complex technology can seem like a stretch of the imagination and far beyond their budget. However, creating these experiences doesn’t have to break the bank; QR codes are one effective but affordable option to achieving an interactive experience.

The two-dimensional code is an overt, or visible image on the label that can link to anything with a web address and are a great way to drive visitors to your website. Through scanning

Rugged 2-inch mobile label and receipt printers

Brother International (Aust), provider of mobile printing solutions, has launched its RJ-2 Series of two-inch mobile label and receipt printers.

According to the company, these 2-inch format printers are the fastest, most compact, lightweight, and notably versatile printers in their class, incorporating the rugged durability and rock-solid reliability which have made the existing RJ lineup popular.

Designed to wirelessly print both labels and receipts, the series was engineered to meet the varied and rigorous demands of today’s mobile environments. Available in four models, the printers support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology, in addition to iOS, Android, Windows mobile and Windows operating systems capability. Of special significance is the IP54 certification and 8.2 ft. drop protection, and advancements in speed and power further differentiate the new series.

The RJ-2050 and RJ-2150 models are the first in the 2-inch category market to feature both Apple MFi certification and Apple AirPrint compatibility – allowing easy wireless printing from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Smaller size, rugged construction and broad flexibility, make the series well suited for applications in industries such as retail, public safety, parking, pharmacy, lab, hospital, field services, manufacturing, warehouse, route accounting, and more.

An experienced Brother Corporate Division is available in Australia to deliver the right solution for nearly any field application, including development support to utilise the Software Development Kit (SDK) available for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

Key features include:

•    Versatile Functionality – Prints labels, tags and receipts from 1” to 2” wide. One mobile printer can be used for a variety of mobile receipt and label printing applications

•    Lightweight, Ergonomic Design ‒ Weighing  465 – 545g with the battery, RJ-2 printers can be easily worn or carried for extended periods of time

•    Wide selection of accessories – Batteries, Shoulder Strap and Multiple Vehicle Adapters

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Security label to combat supermarket meat thefts

A  security label which deters the theft of high-value meat cuts from supermarkets has begun to attract international attention after being rolled out in New Zealand.

The Integrated EAS Thermal Scale Label developed by Australasian printer Hally Labels uses a “keyhole” concept to allow the priceweight label on the meat cut to remain at its original size while an EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance label) is placed on the reverse.

A thick proprietary liner is used and a hole cut that is large enough for the EAS label to be placed inside. The thick liner allows the whole label to be thermally printed directly over the area where the EAS label is applied.

Importantly, butchery departments can use their existing labelling equipment to apply the label, and it does not give away the fact that it is security-tagged.

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The labelled product (with the EAS label hidden under the price weight label) is placed in the retail cabinets as normal. When the product is taken to the exit points of the stores, if the EAS label has not been deactivated (a process that happens when the barcode is being scanned) an alarm will sound alerting store security.

Theft of butchery items is a major issue with the supermarkets. Often meat is stolen to order for sale on the black market. In recent times we have seen a growing trend towards high-value fresh food as more premium product options are being retailed e.g. grass-fed beef, value-added meals etc.

The labels went into full commercial use last year with Foodstuffs the early adopters of the solution. Trials have been conducted at other supermarket chains across New Zealand with strong interest from Australia as well.

 

Plan for single Aussie label for all food exports to China

All Australian food products are set to be branded with a single country of origin label in accordance with a plan being pushed by mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest.

As the SMH reports, the new branding would be designed for easy maximized identification by Chinese consumers and would be more prominent than any company or state logos.

Like the “100% Pure New Zealand” branding associated with New Zealand products, the Australian country of origin labelling would be intended to capitalize on our clean, green, safe image as well as the seemingly impossible growth of China’s middle class (which is expected to grow by 350 million people over the next four years).

According to the SMH, Forrest (pictured) who is a founder of the Australia Sino One Hundred Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership, will today address the National Farmers Federation Annual Congress and stress the significant benefits of the branding plan.

“Both parties know, and now acknowledge, that an opt-in unified brand – one that sells safe, clean, green Australia and one that is underpinned by the world’s best traceability technology – is indeed worth the risk,” he will say.

“We have got to cut through the confusion … states are fighting territories and other states on branding, governments compete with companies on messaging, and there are a multitude of different logos, and that might work in our local supermarkets, but it doesn’t work overseas.

“The clear value proposition of safe Australia, a clean, green Australia was, and is, being completely lost overseas.”

Result Group finds a new way to advertise on bottles

Australia’s largest label manufacturer worked in conjunction with one of Australasia’s largest food and beverage companies to find an innovative way to advertise on bottles.

To assist The Daily Drinks Company in advertising a promotional message, Labelmakers (in partnership with Lion) used the HERMA 400 to create a simplified adhesive neck tag for the company’s bottles.

According to Result Group, this type of promotional information usually hangs loosely over the bottle neck. However, this form of advertisement does not offer much content space and there is no guarantee that the neck tags will stay on the bottles up to the point of purchase.

Result Group believe that the adhesive neck tag will be successful, as it uses standard pressure sensitive materials and is easy for the production site to process with limited changes to the existing process.

Food sorter reaches rebranding milestone

Optical food sorting system manufacturer Tomra Sorting Food has reached a milestone in its history.

From 2016 onwards, the Best Sorting and Odenberg legacy brands will be retired and the company will progress as a single, unified brand under Tomra Sorting Food. 

Tomra Sorting Food is part of Tomra Sorting Solutions, a sensor-based sorting pioneer in the recycling, mining and other industries. The company has more than 110 years’ experience of delivering high-performance sorting, peeling and analytical solutions for nuts and seeds, dried fruits, potato products, fruits, vegetables, meat, and more.

Today, Tomra Sorting Food is a global market leader with more than 5000 of its systems installed at food growers, packers and processers worldwide.

Commenting on the brand unification, head of Tomra Sorting Food, Ashley Hunter, says: “This final and complete adoption of the TOMRA brand simultaneously marks the successful end of a journey and the start of an exciting new era.

“Best Sorting and Odenberg have been around for more than 60 years in total and the companies’ combined power, knowledge and expertise will continue to live under the umbrella of the TOMRA brand.

The only change that customers will see with the brand unification is that Tomra Sorting Food machines produced from 2016 onwards will no longer carry either the Best Sorting or Odenberg logos. 

Founded in 1972, Tomra Systems ASA employs over 2,400 people.

 

Hexagon Holdings to acquire Hally Group

Trans-Tasman label converter Hally Group, with subsidiaries Hally Labels (Brisbane, Christchurch, Auckland), AC Labels (Sydney) and Mark-It Labels (Christchurch), is being acquired by Hexagon Holdings.

The acquisition is for 100 per cent of the shares of Hally Group.

The Hally Group, established in 1965, has built significant market positions in fresh food, beverage, manufacturing, shelf stable food, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals & horticulture. Hally businesses operate from five sites, employing 235 staff.

Hexagon Holdings currently owns three New Zealand label businesses – Rapid Labels, Panprint & Kiwi Labels. Key markets include wine, thermal, FMCG, laser & pharmacy. Hexagon currently operates from three sites, employing 145 staff.

There are no plans to merge any Hally and Hexagon subsidiaries, the businesses will continue to trade independently and competitively, according to the press release.

Grant Hally, Chairman of the Hally Group, said it was the end of an era, with the business being established by Grant’s parents Ian & Pam Hally. 

“It has been a wonderful 50-year chapter for our family. We’re pleased to see the businesses joining a group of established and successful industry participants”.
Clark Perkins, Director of Hexagon said.

“Hally, AC & Mark-It are impressive and professional businesses, with a deep understanding of the label sector. Hexagon and Hally are highly complementary, and we are excited about the growth prospects of the expanded group”.

Hexagon Holdings, owned by Mercury Capital & Tom Sturgess, is headquartered in Auckland. Post completion, Hexagon will have combined annual sales of NZ$120m.

ACCC slugs Arnott’s $51,000 for ‘misleading’ fat claims

Arnott’s has paid penalties totalling $51,000 following the issue of five infringement notices by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission relating to representations made by Arnott’s about its Shapes Light & Crispy product.  Arnott’s also provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC.

The ACCC said that Arnott’s represented on the packs of four varieties of Shapes Light & Crispy and a multipack between October 2014 and July 2015 that Shapes Light & Crispy contained “75% less saturated fat” than Arnott’s’ original Shapes biscuits, when in fact it contained approximately 60 per cent less saturated fat than original Shapes.

In making the “75% less saturated fat” representation, the ACCC noted that Arnott’s was actually comparing its Shapes Light & Crispy product not to original Shapes but to potato chips cooked in 100% palm oil. This was included in a fine print disclaimer at the bottom of the packs. However, even if potato chips had been an appropriate comparison for the saturated fat content of Shapes Light & Crispy, the ACCC notes that since only around 20 per cent of potato chips sold in Australia are cooked in palm oil, the representation may still have been misleading.

“Consumers should be able to trust the claims that businesses make to sell their products. Small print disclaimers cannot correct false or misleading representations which are made in a prominent way in advertising or on packaging,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Businesses must ensure that any comparison claims they make are accurate and based on meaningful comparisons for consumers. This is particularly the case regarding claims that involve healthier eating.”

“Truth in advertising, particularly where misleading claims are made by large businesses, is a priority enforcement area for the ACCC,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC issued the infringement notices to Arnott’s because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Arnott’s made a false or misleading representation about the composition of Shapes Light & Crispy, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Arnott’s has provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC that it will not engage in similar conduct for a period of three years. It will also publish a corrective notice on its website and in the nationally published Foodmagazine.

Coopers Clear unveils new look packaging

New packaging for Coopers Clear has been unveiled by Coopers Brewery ahead of summer.
According to National Sales and Marketing Director for Coopers, Cam Pearce, Coopers Clear had been introduced to provide an alternative low carbohydrate beer that would be suitable for summer afternoons. 

“Since its introduction, it has established a strong position in the market and is currently the fourth biggest selling beer behind Coopers Original Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale and Mild Ale 3.5 per cent”
Bottle labels, cans and cluster packs are set to begin entering the Australian market over the next few weeks before the busy Christmas and summer period.

tna appoints dedicated AP processing manager

Packaging and processing solutions provider, tna has appointed John Van Duin as its new group solutions manager – processing for Asia Pacific. 

Being part of Florigo Industry B.V., (a leading food processing specialist recently acquired by tna), John will head up the company’s processing division for this region. 

John has a long history with Asian Pacific customers and has an in-depth understanding of the key influences on the current market. 

This, coupled with his exceptional processing knowledge, means customers and prospects in Asia Pacific can now benefit from a dedicated regional processing specialist to support them in the development of modular solutions in both processing and packaging.

With a background in mechanical engineering and international sales, John brings more than 30 years of experience in the food industry. Having worked for world-renowned specialty equipment and systems suppliers in the potato and vegetable processing segments, he possesses a wealth of expertise in energy, steam and condensate systems  ̶  a clear benefit in his new role as tna’s processing specialist for Asia Pacific. John, with his customer centric ethos, will provide customers in the region with a high level of on-the-ground support in this growing market.

Michael Green, managing director at tna comments: “We are thrilled to welcome John into the tna family as part of the Florigo team. His experience, product and market knowledge and his enthusiasm will be a great asset to our team, enabling us to drive our Asia Pacific business forward.”

 

Industrial label printer

Label Power has launched Epson's new ColorWorks C7500 Pigment Ink industrial in-house label printers. The ColorWorks C7500 and C7500g colour inkjet desktop label printers, which have been developed to help manufacturers meet a wide variety of in-house, on-demand, customised labelling requirements.

The new ColorWorks C7500 range incorporates Epson's new PrecisionCore Micro TFP line printhead which has been specifically developed for use in the commercial grade, industrial labelling market and lasts for the lifetime of the printer. 

This printhead, Epson's most advanced, ensures high reliability alongside the ability to print 600x1200dpi quality labels on a wide variety of materials including matte, gloss and synthetic media. In addition, it's capable of a wide range of formats and sizes up to 108mm wide and print speeds up to 300mm/sec. 

Sharp, high-quality results are achieved through the use of Variable Sized Droplet Technology (VSDT), which produces ink droplets in a range of precisely controlled sizes. In addition, Nozzle Verification Technology and dot substitution help prevent misprints and dead pixels to ensure consistent printouts.

The C7500 and C7500G uses Epson's pigment ink in high-capacity cartridges to give fast drying labels that are smudge, water and fade resistant. The printer is easy to use, integrates into most operating systems and features an auto-cutter as standard and a take-up unit for roll-to-roll printing as an option. 

The ColorWorks C7500 and C7500G come equipped with ZPL II programming compatibility to allow direct plug-in replacement for manufacturers operating two-step printing with traditional thermal transfer printers. In this application, the printer can produce full colour labels from blank stock by automatically merging "colour preprint" images in memory with existing monochrome data streams.

Alcohol warning labels a bit blurry says new study

 Australia’s current alcohol warning labels are failing to effectively convey health messages to the public, according to a new study from Deakin University.
 
Researchers with Deakin’s School of Psychology examined awareness of the voluntary warning labels and the ‘Get the facts’ logo that directs consumers to the industry-led informational website DrinkWise, and whether alcohol consumers visited this site.
 
The study found that recall of the current, voluntary warning labels on Australian alcohol products was non-existent, overall awareness was low, and few people reported visiting the DrinkWise website. 
 
“These findings demonstrate that the current approach of industry self-regulation is a straightforward case of regulatory failure,” said one of the report authors Peter Miller, Associate Professor of Psychology at Deakin.
 

The voluntary consumer messages on alcohol products were put in place in 2011 by DrinkWise – a ‘social aspects/public relations’ organisation, which is funded and governed by the alcohol industry – in response to a recommendation by an independent government review that all alcohol product labels depict a health warning.
 
The most recent audit showed that these labels are only depicted on around one third of alcohol products.
 
“Given that the majority of the Australian public support the introduction of mandatory health warning labels for alcohol products, and the success seen from strong, research-based tobacco labelling, it is time for the government to put in place mandatory, highly visible, black and white warning labels on the front of all alcohol products,” Associate Professor Miller said.
 
“We cannot continue to rely on voluntary industry-led measures where these important messages are being obscurely placed and take up less than five per cent of the product label.”
 

The study included 561 participants aged between 18-45 years, who completed an online survey to assess their alcohol consumption patterns, awareness of the ‘Get the facts’ messages, and their use of the DrinkWise website. Participants were asked about the series of DrinkWise warning labels, including ‘It is safest not to drink while pregnant’, an image of a silhouette of a pregnant woman with a strike through, ‘Is your drinking harming yourself or others?’, and ‘Kids and alcohol don’t mix’.
 
The results showed that no participants could spontaneously recall the ‘Get the facts’ logo. Around 16 per cent of participants could recall warning labels on alcohol products when prompted with images, 25 per cent recognised the logo and 13-38 per cent recognised the warnings. Overall, only 7.3 per cent of participants had visited the website.
 

Awareness of the ‘Get the facts’ logo and warning labels was also found to be positively associated with younger drinkers, increased frequency of binge drinking, consuming alcohol straight from the bottle or can, and being a supporter of warning labels.
 
“Our study demonstrated a low awareness of Australian alcohol warning labels, and a lack of consumer use of the industry-funded website. This highlights that while the DrinkWise brand might be a very successful marketing ploy by the alcohol industry, it doesn’t translate effectively into consumer knowledge or behaviour,” Associate Professor Miller said.
 
“Further research is now needed to evaluate the effectiveness of a consumer targeted alcohol control website.
 
“Information presented on an alcohol consumer information site needs to be evidence-based, useful and provide practical health advice. Currently, the DrinkWise website is used to create an impression of corporate social responsibility, but it does not promote evidence-based interventions and alcohol-harm reduction strategies.”
 

 

Opinion: Labelling changes fall short of what’s needed

Proposed changes to Australia’s Country of Origin Labelling system are a small step towards meaningful reform but fall short of giving Australian consumers information that genuinely identifies the true origins of a product’s ingredients.

The reforms, announced by the Government in July, include a mandatory requirement to display a diagram on Australian-manufactured food products that shows the proportion of Australian ingredients.
While this is an improvement on the current system, it also means that the only originating country that will be outlined on Australian-manufactured food products will be Australia. Consumers will not specifically know which ingredients are Australian, nor the specific originating countries of the non-

A 2012 survey conducted by consumer advocacy group CHOICE found that 71 per cent of respondents felt it was crucial or very important to know where food comes from. In AUSVEG’s view, the reforms do not give them that information. You could even argue that calling the proposed reforms a ‘Country of Origin Labelling’ system is misleading when you consider consumers will be none-the-wiser about the specific origins of specific ingredients.

Meaningful Country of Origin Labelling reform also needs to clarify some of the confusing information and terms that are provided to consumers on labels. AUSVEG has long called for the terms ‘Made from local and imported ingredients’ and ‘Made in Australia’ to be dropped, as they are ambiguous, confusing and provide no meaningful information about the origins of particular ingredients.

It is pleasing that the proposed reforms remove the term ‘Made from local and imported ingredients’. It is less pleasing, however, that ‘Made in Australia’ can still be used, when you consider just how confusing it is to consumers. This was highlighted by a video released by AUSVEG earlier this year, which showed how baffled everyday Australians were by the term.

The abovementioned CHOICE survey from 2014 also reinforced this, with only 12 per cent of respondents able to correctly identify the meaning of ‘Made in Australia’. While we note the Government’s proposal seeks to clarify the meaning of ‘Made in’, we remain of the view it should be scrapped altogether.

There are some sections of the business community who continue to oppose Country of Origin Labelling reform, claiming the cost of changing labels will be too high. This assertion does not stack up, particularly when you consider how readily and easily companies change packaging for promotion and marketing purposes. Such a flimsy excuse should not be allowed to hinder the implementation of more meaningful labelling reform. Indeed, many businesses would do well to heed the wishes of their customers and provide them with the country of origin information that they so clearly desire. That is unless of course they have something to hide.

In finishing, I would reiterate that the Government has taken a step in the right direction regarding food labelling, but the current proposal falls short of giving consumers what they want. With the Government confirming it will review its new system within two years, AUSVEG will continue pushing for the genuine Country of Origin Labelling system that Australians deserve.
 

CHOICE bitter over sugar labelling confusion

CHOICE has called for the government to clearly label sugar on food products following the consumer group's finding that there are 43 different names food companies use to describe added sugars.

The call follows the recommendation from the World Health Organisation for people to limit the intake of 'free' or added sugars to be no more than 10% of a persons total energy intake in order to reduce the risk of health issues such as obesity and tooth decay.

"Some added sugars are easy to identify such as brown sugar and caster sugar but others like agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, rapadura and molasses are not," says CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.    
 
“We believe that consumers have a right to know what added sugars are in their foods but currently food companies make it very hard for us to work out.” 
 
“On food labels, the nutritional panel doesn’t differentiate between added sugar content and sugars that naturally occur in the product. So the only way for you to find out is by trying to identify these 40+ different names in the ingredients list.
 
“The fact is consumers should be able to identify which ingredients listed on food products are added sugars. We believe this could be achieved through a recommendation that is currently being reviewed by our food standards body,” says Mr Godfrey. 

Versatile label printer

The new LX2000 colour label and tag printer takes on demand colour label printing to the next level. With print speeds of up to 152.4mm or 6" per second you can print 60 large shipping labels (100x150mm) every minute.   The LX2000 also prints about 25% faster than the previous industry leading LX900 colour label printer.

The LX2000 has several advantages compared to competitive label printers.  Firstly large separate ink tanks mean more prints before changing ink cartridges.   

USB and Ethernet connectivity and wireless connection options mean everyone in the office can enjoy using the LX2000.   Print width is a super wide 8" or 203.2mm and a built in pizza wheel cutter mean you can cross cut after every label or after every job as required.

The LX2000 ships with free Bartender Ultralite labelling software and Windows 7/8 and Vista and Mac driver development is underway.

A change to pigment based inks from dye-based inks mean your labels have much stronger UV resistance as well as chemical and water resistance. New lower ink costs mean lower cost of ownership, this means you can print 2 or 3 times the amount of labels for the same cost as previous models. 

The 4800×1200 dpi print capability ensures accuracy and legibility of barcodes and text as small as 2 points.

Label Power even have a synthetic label stock that ensures a GHS compliant solution, with the new pigment inks and Label Power's special synthetic stock the LX2000 has Section 3, BS5609 approval.  This means the labels passed tests such as UV light exposure, Salt Spray and water immersion. 

Media is available for order online at www.labelpower.com.au in a variety of different stocks and sizes.