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Automatic Roll Changes Increase Throughput

Texas-based General Labels invested in new equipment to significantly improve productivity and reduce waste.

February 2013
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With the addition of a new Martin MBSF butt splicer on a new 13˝ Nilpeter SG3300 press, El Paso, Texas-based General Labels increased its production throughput by nearly 40 percent.

Jose Gerardo, president of General Labels, says, "We needed to increase our hourly throughput and we also wanted to reduce our scrap. There are two sides to that coin—one was the elimination of manual roll changes, which required us to stop every time we had to change a roll. The other was consistency in our ink laydown. We're now running one long continuous run without having to stop. Before we added the Martin, we could only do about 160,000 pieces with a 10-inch repeat and now we can approach a quarter of a million per day. And we're doing that with less equipment."

World-class customers

The majority of General Labels' products are shipped within the United States. Then in many cases, they are exported to Mexico where they are applied to the end product and repackaged for shipment back into the United States. About 20 to 25 percent of its products are shipped to other countries, such as Japan, Korea, and China, where they are added to subcontracted goods and sold worldwide.

Gerardo continues, "Most of our customers are truly world-class manufacturers, and they expect the same commitment out of their vendors. Part of our marketing plan is to give them exactly what they want—not only what we do, but what they want. That has paid us big dividends. Labels are the least important product that we supply—service is the most important thing that we deliver. We work to become a valued link in our customer's supply chain rather than just being another vendor. We look at their business model from their perspective, not ours, and we work to provide added value within the relationship."

General Labels became ISO 14001 certified two years ago and wanted to improve its "green" performance. With certification came the requirement that its products were being produced with as little environmental damage as possible. The addition of the more efficient Nilpeter SG3300 helped reduce both changeover times and makeready waste going to landfill.


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