Cover Up Those Obsolete Cans

Due to a low aluminum can supply in the post-COVID beverage marketplace, beverage manufacturers like our brewery customers are finding it hard to get their products canned.

Do you have printed cans for obsolete products that you are not able to use?

Perfect!  The answer is shrink wrap labels!

Depending on your operation and output needs, getting into shrink sleeves can cost less than you may think.  We own equipment made by Accraply for converting our printed film to shrink wrap rolls and they also make shrink applicators and heat tunnels.  Shrink wrap sleeves can cover your old obsolete printed cans with 360 degrees of new product markings, reusing those old cans so you can stop spending all of your time trying to procure new aluminum cans and focus your time on making great beverages and putting them in consumers’ hands.

Need help with getting into shrink or want a quote for shrink sleeves?  Give us a call at 262-820-8123 or email us.  We absolutely love printing beverage labels and shrink and have some really cool capabilities with our state-of-the-art presses.

*Bonus*  We are celebrating the addition of a new digital press (a baby brother for our beloved HP8K digital press) and seaming equipment to our pressroom.  For a limited time, new customers can get $150 off your first label or shrink order with us (min of $1500 order), just reference this blog post.

Cheers!

Shrink Sleeve
Here you can see the subtle difference between a gloss and matte finish

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Why Total Labeling Design Matters!

Product Shelves

When it comes to retail sales, first impressions really matter. Consumers decide within seconds whether they will purchase a product. It is reported by Nielsen that “consumers are considering multiple options leaving huge opportunities for labels to make an impact” and “that upward of 70% of purchasing decisions are made at the shelf”.

A label design is not just what great graphic design is presented; it is the entire design of the pressure sensitive or shrink sleeve label. This includes label sizing, materials used and decoration enhancements used to highlight your products on a crowded retail shelf. The total design of a label carries the pertinent information your customer needs to develop an opinion about the quality of your product and tells a story about your product and the people behind the creation of the product.

There are simple characteristics which help create a total design that properly tells your product’s story and creates recognition.

1. Does the label size fit the product correctly in shape and fit the package properly? Are there gaps or does the label overhang the product, does the label have wrinkles when it is applied the products bottle or package?
2. Has the correct material and adhesive been selected to perform in the correct environmental setting of heat, cold or moisture?
3. Does the products package require 360 degrees of presentation to help the products presentation on the shelf which is provided by a shrink sleeve label?
4. Can simple decoration enhancement like spot gloss or matte varnishes, raised or tactile varnishes, foils and embossing help make your product stand out on the shelf?

We are obsessed with perfecting labels with our clients! Call us at 262-820-8123 or email us at craftbrew@lauterbachgroup.com for help or questions.

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Lauterbach Group Expands Shrink Sleeve Capabilities

The Lauterbach Group is excited to expand our shrink sleeve capabilities and capacity with the addition of AccraSeam Shrink Sleeve Seamer and Shrink Sleeve Inspection machines.

The AccraSeam is the fastest on the market and precisely seams material while holding lay-flat tolerances at 2,000 feet per minute. The fully automated lay-flat adjustments, and servo-based positioning allows operator access and greatly improved setup times.

The lay-flat quality check system provides automatic inspections for seam integrity, solvent presence, and splice detection, as well as on-machine reports for each roll produced to ensure exceptional product quality.

We continue to expand our product offering and expertise in shrink sleeves labels. We are excited about supporting our clients’ needs for highly creative designs with intricate decorations and embellishments including foil, raised, matte and spot varnish sleeves to highlight our client’s products on a crowded retail shelf.

We are obsessed with perfecting labels with our clients! Call us at 262-820-8123 or email us at craftbrew@lauterbachgroup.com for help or questions!

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Unwind

Label Unwind Chart

What is unwind?

For labels finished on a roll, unwind is the direction the label faces as well as the orientation of the label in relation to how they unroll.  This direction is represented as a number during the ordering and production process.

To avoid applying your labels upside down or sideways reference the list below:

Unwind numbers 1 through 4 unroll on the outside of the roll
Unwind numbers 5 through 8 unroll on the inside of the roll
1 and 5- the top of the label unwinds first from the roll
2 and 6- the bottom of the label unwinds first from the roll
3 and 7- the right edge of the label unwinds first from the roll
4 and 8- the left edge of the label unwinds first from the roll

To determine the unwind direction that you require, check the unwind direction of your applicator.

For more information about printed labels or print capabilities on your product, contact us at the Lauterbach Group.

Roll Unwind Direction
Roll Unwind Direction

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Common Shrink Material

Shrink Wrapped Can

Probrew Can

Shrink sleeving is a heat activated conforming label product.  It is widely used to attain 360 degree full container coverage without direct container printing.  This allows better cycling of packaging inventory at a lower cost.  There are multiple materials available to create the sleeves that best suit a product.

PVC- Polyvinyl Chloride

This is the least expensive option and most used (an estimated 70%) of shrink materials.  It’s best characteristic is that it has great control during the shrinking process, shrinking up to 64% at a low temperature between 122-140° F.  It offers decent clarity and scuff resistance but is the least environmentally friendly option. This material is used a lot in tamper-evident bands.

PETG HS-LV – Polypropylene Terephthalate Glycol

PETG combines high density and strength with high shrinking capability of up to 78% at temperatures of 158-176° F.  This material creates the highest quality clarity, gloss, scuff resistance, and heat resistance of all of the shrink materials.  With growing popularity, this material has become commonly used in the beverage industry.  It also maintains excellent recyclability.

OPS- Oriented Polystyrene

OPS Film generally is used in squeezable packaging.  Shrinking up to 75%, it has the lowest vertical shrink of the shrink films allowing for a very consistent and soft finish.  It has the highest yield savings vs. PETG and PVC.

PLA- Polylactide

PLA is a renewable film made from corn and plant-based resources, allowing it to be biodegradable.  This prevents recyclability but maintains environmental benefits.  It shrinks up to 72% and is FDA approved for direct food contact.  PLA is very rigid and brittle and can be the most difficult of the options to handle.

Similar to our pressure sensitive labels, we can also apply specialty varnishes on to shrink film in order to obtain a tactile or unique touch and feel on your product (see our raised varnish and spot varnish posts).

For more information about shrink or print capabilities on your product, contact us at the Lauterbach Group.

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Raised Varnish

Take your decoration to new heights. Craft Brew Labels is proud to add another embellishment to our ever-expanding lineup of decorations.

Our raised varnish allows for precise application of texture on top of printed decoration to allow it to pop out without de-bossing the other side of the label, allowing for better durability than embossing. Being a varnish, it also allows for a wider variety of material to be used and is also compatible over matte and gloss finishes.

This varnish is spot applied by plates over the intended decorated area then cured with UV light which causes the varnish to harden and rise. This is an example of a variation that we created for Raised Grain Brewing Company.

For more information about printed labels or print capabilities on your product, contact us at the Lauterbach Group.

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Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer Labels by Craft Brewers

With the high demand for hand sanitizer these days, we have found that our local brewers are stepping up to the challenge and making denatured alcohol in their facilities for hand sanitizer.  Right now, in order to allow for the increase in production, the US government through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is temporarily waiving their need for approvals and certain permits for hand sanitizer formulas as long as it is consistent with World Heath Organization guidelines.

There are a few resources to help navigate the process and make sure that everything is on the up & up since most breweries down’t normally produce denatured (not fit for human consumption) alcohol.  The appropriate denaturants need to be added to brewed alcohol in order to allow it to be produced as hand sanitizer.  Hand sanitizer, because it is not a beverage item, is not subject to the Federal Excise taxes that beer and alcoholic beverages are by the TTB.

FDA Guidance & Policy
TTB Guidance & Policy

Since hand sanitizer is not a brewery’s bread and butter and doesn’t necessarily need as much attention to detail for marketing purposes, it might make more sense to create quick, affordable smaller labels that simply get the job done.  We have thousands of dies in our inventory to cut out our printed labels and help facilitate quick creation and delivery of those labels to you.

Find out more information about printing hand sanitizer labels with your next batch of craft brew labels by contacting us via email or phone at craftbeer@latuerbachgroup.com or 262-820-8123.

 

 

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Can Label Sizes

Are you new to the beverage industry or just need a quick lesson on can and label sizes?

There are standard sizes for 12 oz and 16 oz aluminum cans.  The canning industry refers to them in sizes that aren’t quite measured numbers.  In American Canning’s line of Brite Cans for example, they offer a few sizes like a 211-12 oz and 211-16 oz.  Of course the 12 / 16 oz refers to the volume and 211 refers to the diameter, but 211 isn’t in measured in millimeters; it actually is more of a reference than a measurement.  The first digit is the number of inches and the next two numbers are the number of 1/16 fractions of an inch.  So a 211 can has a diameter of 2 11/16 inches or 2.6875 inches.

Using my prior knowledge of geometry formulas that I learned in 7th grade (shout out to Mr. Kolosinski in Burlington WI with his πD story), circumference is equal to pi multiplied by diameter, so the total circumference of a “211” can is 2.6875 x 3.1416 or 8.443 inches.

In terms of label size, technically you could use labels that have a total width of anything up to 8.443 in, which is just a bit more than 8 7/16 inches.  Overlap could be a concern and it just looks nicer to have a bit of a margin in there,  so we tend to go with a 8.125 or 8 1/8 inch label.

The label height that you want is easier to measure on the can itself.  For the 12 oz cans, our standard is a height of 3.625 inches (3 5/8 in).  For the 16 oz cans, our standard is a height of 5 inches.  In fact, the bulk of all of the labels that we produce for craft brewers and beverage customers are using the dimensions of 8.125 x 3.625″ for the 12 oz cans and the dimensions of 8.125 x 5″ for the 16 oz cans.

At the Lauterbach Group, we keep many sizes of dies (the tools that cut after a label is printed) in stock that can be used for bottle and can labels, but if you need a custom shaped or sized die, after customer approval, it only increases your overall turnaround time about a week.

Find out more about our labels by contacting us at craftbrew@lauterbachgroup.com or calling our craft brew label number directly at 262-820-8123.

**Update** Be aware that in this post-COVID day and age where it is getting harder and harder to find your standard aluminum cans, we have found (especially for the 16 oz pint aluminum cans) that they are not all the same!  When the circumference is smaller, that means that the can will be taller in order to fit in the same volume, which then could also affect how the label looks on the can.  Think more margin on the top and bottom of the can and a slightly smaller gap where the label meets.  Take a look at this mocked up demonstration of a label for our awesome customer Raised Grain.  The can on the left is 207-16 can vs. a standard 211-16 can on the right.  The 8.125″ x 5″ label on the right is much more fitting.  The can on the right used to be the standard size for a 16 oz can and now… well you get what you can find.

Cheers!

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