GAR Labs, Riverside, CA, is a contract packager specializing in the packaging and labeling of custom private-label skin care and hair care products. The company handles many different products in various bottle shapes and sizes, from 1⁄2-oz to 1-gal. Bottle body labels are automatically applied using in-line wraparound and front/back labeling equipment. GAR Labs then had been manually applying decorative and info-bearing wipe-on labels to the container tops. Application speeds for these top labels were about 100 products per minute.
The company wanted to speed up both its wraparound labeling and top labeling operations to keep up with increased product demand. All of the contract packagers’ customers supply their own containers and labels from various suppliers. So labeling equipment versatility and ease of changeovers were key criteria. After evaluating various systems, GAR Labs decided to augment its existing labeling capabilities by installing a Model 5100 wraparound labeling machine from Label-Aire, Inc.
The 5100 wraparound labeling machine features rugged stainless steel cabinet construction and user-friendly interface. It can be supplemented with additional wipe-on, air-blow, or tamp-on label applicators also supplied by Label-Aire. Incorporating smooth-running Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), the 5100 improves both labeling speeds and label placement accuracy, making the bottles look more attractive. In addition, GAR Labs installed a Label-Aire Model 3115 wipe-on applicator to handle the top labeling operations. Both systems were installed in April 2013. Assisted by Label-Aire technicians, set-up and operator orientation took about two hours.
Also crucially integral to the project success, Taylor Made Labels recommended the Label-Aire System to Gar Labs, installed the machine, provided labels, and also provide post sales service.
In conjunction with its labeling systems, GAR Labs uses volumetric piston fillers from Simplex as well as in-line fillers from Accutek. Capping systems are from Kaps All.
John Permann, GAR Labs GM and Plant Manager, reports, “We already had two wraparound labelers. The addition of the Label-Aire 5100 has increased our daily output by 30 to 40 percent. The machine is not significantly faster than our other wraparound labelers, but its key benefits are ease of operation and quick changeover. On basic jobs, one operator can do the machine set-up in minutes. As for the Label-Aire Model 3115 wipe-on system that we use to apply top labels, this machine also has provided great benefits. It’s highly efficient and has given us at least a 50 percent increase in top label application speeds.”
GAR Labs is considering installing another 5100 wraparound labeler as well as a Label-Aire belt conveyor system to handle boxed bottles. Permann notes, “The equipment is high-quality, and the Label-Aire service techs are very knowledgeable and helpful.”