US Tape & Label: The St. Louis converter and its customers are reaping the benefits of rotary screen printing technology.

Author:Tippetts, Adrian
Position:NARROW WEB Profile

U.S. Tape & Label 2092 Wesport Center Dr., St. Louis, MO, USA 63146

According to Jan Greis, vice president and general manager of St. Louis, MO-based US Tape & Label, there are three main demands from the company's label customers: fast, just-in-time delivery, assured print quality, and creative designs that differentiate their products on the shelf.

For nearly 70 years, USTape & Label (USTL) has continued to develop its business and now produces self-adhesive labels, tapes and shrink-sleeves for retail goods customers throughout the United States. In the varied markets it serves--which predominately include food and beverage, health and beauty, lawn and garden, pet foods and tobacco--competition is intense and brand owners rely on more sophisticated label and packaging decoration to make their brands stand out and grab shoppers' attention.

"We are a 24/7 operation offering unique, specific solutions, and the key to meeting customer demands is the versatility to include a combination of processes inline," says Greis. "Through an intensive program of investment, we have production equipment that enables us to meet those key demands, productively and with minimal waste."

The company has invested in two 13" Mark Andy Performance Series flexo combination presses, both with an overhead rail system that enables a wide range of finishing processes to be performed inline. Each rail includes specialty units for hot and cold foiling, embossing and rotary screen printing, which can be inserted and moved between any position in the printing sequence as jobs require. The presses have identical configurations, though one has a butt-splicer, enabling it with the means to print ultra-long runs. USTape & Label leverages its rotary screen printing capability as a vital added-value technology. Its ability to lay down thick layers of ink and varnish at relatively fast print speeds makes it possible to include a range of effects.

The company first installed an SPGPrints Rotary Screen Integration (RSI) printing unit several years ago to create opaque white, usually in the first printing position, often for high-end, no-label look labels. While rotary screen is still preferred for this effect, thanks to its excellent optical density, innovations in reusable nickel screens and coating media meant rotary screen technology could be used for high-value visual and tactile effects.

"We have two RSI Compact rotary screen units from SPGPrints," Greis says...

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