Over-labeling of wine bottles often is required to add export-compliant information and special promotional messages, as well as enhance shelf visibility. Kendall-Jackson Wines, Santa Rosa, CA, had been using manual operations to accommodate these over-labeling requirements after primary automated bottle labeling had been completed.
Sometimes existing labels actually had to be manually removed and replaced with labels compliant with the country of destination. And because label placement accuracy can be a challenge when manually applying one label over another, some K-J distributors often chose to manually remove the original label and relabel the bottles on their own bottling lines. This was a time-consuming, labor-intensive process.
Now K-J is using Automatic Relabeler print-and-apply systems manufactured by WS Packaging Group, Inc. (www.wspackaging.com). The touchscreen-programmable WS Packaging equipment with a thermal-transfer print engine from Zebra Technologies (www.zebra.com) allows the winery or wine distributor to print and apply unique additional information on separate, pressure-sensitive labels in a more cost-efficient manner. The system applies one label over another at speeds up to 40 bottles/min with consistent, wrinkle-free placement accuracy.Label stock threads easily into the machine, enabling quick, no-tool changeovers.
K-J installed the first WS Packaging system in 2003. Since that time, other nationally recognized wineries have followed Kendall-Jackson’s lead by installing six similar machines. Kendall-Jackson bottling supervisor Michael Jewett says, “Since installing the systems, we have been able to reduce our labor costs associated with ‘reworks’ by as much as 75 percent. And label placement accuracy is +/-1⁄32 inch. With those kinds of numbers, this system is easily able to justify itself.”