Author: TexTivia Support

Flexibility drives long-term relationship with Nova Label

Overview

“Acucote rarely says no to helping us develop an application. So with any new opportunity that comes along - we check in with them first!” – Alan Rich, President, Nova Label Co., Inc.

“Acucote rarely says no to helping us develop an application. So with any new opportunity that comes along – we check in with them first!”
– Alan Rich, President, Nova Label Co., Inc.

Located in Cheverly, MD, Nova Label Company has commercially manufactured quality printed pressure- sensitive labels since 1982. A family- run company, Nova Label was founded by Sandy Bernstein, who had already been in the label business for 25 years. Sandy and his wife, Florene, semi-retired in 2000 and their son-in-law Alan Rich took over day-to-day operations.

With over 50 years’ experience in the label industry, Nova Label has broad expertise in packaging, direct marketing, and variable data label needs.

Today they produce labels on rolls, cut sheets and continuous forms. Their primary customers are in direct mail and consumer packaging for a variety of industries. Labels can be any size or shape and they offer a variety of printing technologies including digital as well as a wide assortment of facestocks and adhesives, making the process easy and ideal to create a solution for their customers’ applications. Whether a customer needs 100 or 1,000,000 custom labels, Nova Label can fulfill their specific needs.

decals2

Nova Label also produces decals for a variety of applications such as bumper stickers or windows. Decals can be any size or shape and printed on either a white or clear material with permanent or removable adhesive, or on clear static cling.

The Challenge

20200326_163054Many years ago, Nova Label began looking for a substrate provider who offered flexibility with custom coating as well as stocking a large portfolio of products. Alan recalls that, “We were always considering what we could offer to be different from the competition. We needed quick solutions for challenging applications.”

He adds that for some applications that needed developing, cost was definitely a factor. “We also needed a provider who would offer us value at a cost-competitive level.”

These challenges became the basis for a long-term relationship with Acucote.

Solution

Nova Label has now been purchasing from Acucote for 19 years and both companies place great value on the longevity of this relationship. Alan notes that Acucote’s “flexibility in providing custom coated material and their large portfolio of products makes it easy to buy from them.” He also appreciates the fact that Acucote meets the needs of a standing order of material that is “at the ready for slitting and shipping.”

The top feature, however, which he enjoys is Acucote’s eagerness to innovate together. “Acucote rarely says no to helping us develop an application. So with any new opportunity that comes along – we check in with them first! Acucote takes the time to learn all the details to see if they can develop the application.”

According to Earl Curran, VP, Business Development, Acucote, “Alan and Nova Label are a perfect fit for Acucote. They take great advantage of the capabilities of our Application Development Team and turn to us with difficult applications that can help them grow their business. We appreciate each opportunity and the long-term trust they have put in our team.”

Outcome

2021-04-09 11.46.59 (1)Today, Nova Label prints decals and roll labels that are machine affixed with material from Acucote. Alan looks forward to penetrating additional opportunities in beer and wine and spirits with the help of Acucote.

Alan was one of the very first Members of the Flexo Label Advantage Group (FLAG) which he joined in 2010 and Acucote became a FLAG Vendor Partner last July. Alan adds, “Although we had been using Acucote long before FLAG came along, I was hoping Acucote could become a FLAG Vendor Partner. Once it happened, it’s just icing on the cake — a win-win for everyone.”

Lastly, consistency remains a key aspect of Alan’s ongoing trust in Acucote. This was particularly relevant during challenging supply chain issues as a result of the pandemic and storms which disrupted the chemical industry in the late winter of 2021.

And at the end of the day, Alan notes that “they are just nice people to work with!”

Pricing, Speed and Flexibility Attracts New Customer to Acucote

Joe Sirak, Director of Finance, ALL-TAG

Joe Sirak, Director of Finance, ALL-TAG

Prototypes for custom samples typically took 3-4 weeks to arrive.  Now, I can call my rep and get something in less than a week”

Here’s a scene that plays out daily across the world. A shoplifter grabs a tee-shirt, stuffs it into his backpack and makes a beeline for the exit. As he nears the door, the activated RF label on the shirt triggers the alarm system and the would-be thief is thwarted. Ever wonder who is behind this process?

Meet ALL-TAG® — a Boca Raton, Florida-based manufacturer of Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) products and services designed to help retailers protect their merchandise from shoplifting. ALL-TAG source tags hard goods and apparel, and manufactures custom EAS products tailor-made to help loss prevention professionals reach their specific goals.

Known as the “Source Tagging Experts”, ALL-TAG works directly with stores to develop their specifications and then produces and sells the tags directly to manufacturers. That means that when the product arrives at the store it’s already tagged and ready to activate. ALL-TAG prides itself on helping stores manage their anti-shoplifting programs and getting their requirements directly to packagers and manufacturers. Logistics and distribution expertise clearly differentiate them from off-shore resold tags. And this appeals to their end-use customers in super stores, retail shops, hardware chains, pharmacies and grocery stores as well as to the manufacturers who purchase their labels.

Clear Silver RF Label - Black SpeakerALL-TAG primarily manufactures RF (radio frequency) tags. These tags are simply small electronic devices consisting of a chip and antenna. They emit a loud beep sound when someone attempts to leave a store without paying for the product. RF tags on a product have been proven to reduce theft – which is why many retailers include them on their product packaging.

The company was formed in 1992 in Manage, Belgium and the US subsidiary was opened by current majority owner Stuart Seidel in 2000. It quickly took off, and by 2013, the US operation had outgrown its parent company and become the global headquarters. Today, with 50 employees, offices in the United States, Europe (UK & NL), Mexico and Asia (HK), and a wide array of specialized, proprietary equipment, ALL-TAG has become the second largest global RF label manufacturer. Their innovative and cost-effective EAS solutions are compatible with Acousto-Magnetic (AM) Radio-Frequency and (RF) systems made by Sensormatic®, Checkpoint® Systems and others. ALL-TAG owns over 20 international patents and offers its customers on-hand inventory for fast deliveries – most products ship within two days.

The Challenge

For many years, ALL-TAG had purchased the transfer tape material they needed for their EAS labels from major global manufacturers. Although these companies could supply the product that ALL-TAG needed, they were usually left with the perception that they weren’t big enough to be a key customer for these large substrate suppliers. According to Joe Sirak, Director of Finance, “We couldn’t get answers, samples or prototypes quickly enough.”

Over the years, Sirak attended many trade shows and talked to “…everyone in the industry. They’re always eager, but at the end of the day they can’t seem to meet our requirements for great turnaround and improved pricing.” An industry colleague described Acucote as a fast mover and Sirak decided to give them a test project of a transfer tape with a colored adhesive. He notes that, “We wanted a blue adhesive on the back of most of our labels to distinguish our brand on the shelf.”

The Solution

With that challenge, Acucote’s Application Development Team jumped into gear and quickly sent ALL-TAG a variety of options. The final product (UNIVERSAL TT / SX78 BLUE / 40#N) would ultimately be placed on the majority of ALL-TAG RF labels. Sirak notes, “We were thrilled at the speed of the custom samples. We got everything we needed in just a couple of days.” Production Director Patrick Champion adds that, “ It was a very smooth changeover and took only a couple of rounds of smaller tests – no issues. Acucote reps even came down to Florida to make sure everything ran smoothly.”

Results

Since that initial order, ALL-TAG has sent around six additional projects to Acucote. Sirak notes that, “In the last several years security labels have become more customized – and our customers are requiring special printing, colors and adhesives ” That has set the stage for Acucote to provide a variety of customer-specific anti-shoplifting applications.

image4Sirak describes the smooth process as, “I typically get a project, provide them with the gist and in an overnight package I’ll receive five different adhesive samples to play with – and usually something works.” The customized projects have included an aggressive adhesive, a dry adhesive and a VOID tamper-evident label. He adds that, “prototypes for custom samples typically took 3-4 weeks to arrive. Now, I can call my rep and get something in less than a week”

“Additionally, in true partnership mode Acucote developed unique inventory solutions to help with the demands of our higher volume transfer tapes.” Sirak appreciates the fact that “as soon as I need something it’s as simple as sending an email, and they ship it out overnight and I have it in 2 days.”

ALL-TAG definitely views Acucote as a key contributor to their future growth. With Acucote as a supplier, ALL-TAG has been able to explore new applications that come in daily on their website and put to ease potential supply issues by replacing an off-shore manufacturer.

When asked about the keys to this successful relationship, Sirak quickly mentions “price, flexibility and speed.” He concludes that Acucote is “nimble enough to jump through any hoop to keep us delighted. If I ever have a problem, I can get the president of the company on the phone right away and talk through it. How many other substrate providers can say that?”

Logo-No-Background-RGB

Acucote and Discount Labels use their super powers for a complex and successful project.

“This was a true, amazing example of teamwork between the customer, the end user, Acucote and Discount Labels to really pull this off.”
Debbi Ulmer
Marketing Director, Discount Labels

Overview

One day in 1965, Fred Conway, a volunteer fireman in southern Indiana, showed up to a fire and saw that a truck from the wrong company had been summoned. This was in the days before 911 centralized phone dispatch, and each emergency service had its own phone number. It was easy for consumers to make mistakes when numbers had to be memorized or kept handy. Fred saw the need for a label that could be placed on a telephone with room for all the emergency service numbers and with this vision in mind, he created Discount Labels in his basement. As the business grew and labeling opportunities expanded, his son-in-law went on the road in a Winnebago to set up a distributor base across the United States. From these humble beginnings, Discount Labels has grown into one of the country’s largest short-run label printing companies. Purchased by

Cenveo World Limited in 2006, the company manufactures labels in New Albany, IN, employing 500 individuals in a 200,000 square foot facility and utilizing 70 conventional and digital presses and seven ABG Digicon finishers. Discount Labels sells through qualified label resellers (e.g. converters, contract packagers, promotional products companies). Key verticals include the food, beverage, healthcare, automotive, cannabis, beer, wine and spirits sectors.

The Challenge

In April 2018, Discount Labels’ customer Zagwear approached them with a challenging application. They needed to produce several million augmented reality “decals” for one of the world’s largest cereal producers for a promotional tie-in to the “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” movie. Each decal was individually wrapped and had to withstand insertion into boxes of cereal. Six different designs were created so that consumers could collect a set from various cereals. The lead time was tight, and because the finished label was inserted into cereal boxes the application had to undergo multiple inspections and pass strict FDA requirements. Batch traceability was critical in the event of a recall any time down the line.

DL-Spiderman-Peter2-edit

The Solution

Discount Labels turned to their substrate partner Acucote for help. They needed a construction with a clear flexible facestock and ultra-removable adhesive that could be applied to a variety of surfaces, remove cleanly and then be reapplied to other surfaces. The application also demanded a stiff, printable liner to help with layflat, weight and printability so that the decals wouldn’t be folded or bent in handling. Acucote went to work immediately, modifying the construction’s caliper numerous times by using face sheet and liner changes until they found the perfect weight for their customer’s gravity-feed distribution equipment. This maximized Zagwear’s distribution line speed and prevented
misfeeds.

After close collaboration with Discount Label, testing in-house and with external labs, Acucote delivered a final construction of 5.5 mil matte clear non topcoated (NTC) vinyl with H802 adhesive and an 8-point liner. The label construction conformed with 21 CFR 175.105 (FDA indirect food contact), was Prop 65-compliant and toxicologist-certified to demonstrate that the adhesive was safe for use.

Results

The cereal company launched a very successful campaign, with the Spider-Man decals inserted into approximately 8 million specially-marked boxes of various cereals. They were sold coast-to-coast at 10,000 retailers and the promotion was supported by national television advertisements.

According to Debbi Ulmer, Marketing Director, Discount Labels, “This was a case of all hands on deck. Everyone got involved. It was a true, amazing example of teamwork between our customer, Zagwear; the end user, Acucote; and Discount Labels to really pull this off. It was a huge endeavor and something that we’re very proud of.”

Acucote adds, “Our Application Development Team (ADT) understood the performance characteristics needed by Discount Labels. Our technical team worked with our in-house lab and the customer’s lab to do the testing, provide pre-production samples and quickly deliver a high quality pressure-sensitive construction. The Acucote ADT is composed of seasoned industry technical and applications specialists who support our customers by providing application solutions for the most demanding labeling challenges. Challenges like the one brought to us by Discount Labels.”
Melissa Walsh-Harton
Marketing Communications Manager