For more than 40 years, Creative Labels Inc. has been the go-to source in custom product and prime food label printing, focusing on the candy, wine, beer, produce and cannabis sectors in the central California market. Operating from an 18,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, the second-generation, woman-owned business runs five flexo presses, two digital presses, and full graphic and plating capabilities with a team of 30 diversely skilled, fast-moving print professionals.
One of the key items on Creative Labels’ Guiding Principles list is to continue to find new ways to evolve—a characteristic that when met with diligence and fortitude establishes a credible and reliable partner.
In its quest to improve the quality, efficiency and profitability of its operations, Creative Labels is always seeking new ways to meet its customers’ needs. After experiencing reliability issues with multiple conventional UV curing units on several flexo presses and replacement costs for the UV units, the Creative Labels executive team knew they needed to find a more viable solution.
With an emphasis on improving quality, efficiency and profitability, Creative Labels turned to the benefits afforded by Fujifilm Illumina UV LED curing system, which because the Fujifilm team was able to install in less than a day, minimized downtime for the Gilroy, California operation.
The Creative Labels team found the Illumina to be a workhorse that not only provided productivity increases and cost-saving capabilities, but also works in tandem with its Fujifilm 300 Series UV flexo inks and coatings. Not long after the install, the Creative Labels 10-color flexo press operator saw immediate improvement in the curing of the opaque white, asking “When can we get more Illumina stations for the press?”
Because the Creative Labels team already was using Fujifilm’s 300 Series UV/LED hybrid flexo inks, the Illumina LED curing system helped them solidify the needs of several key projects, including a beer customer that uses standard inks (standard anilox) with water-based counterparts. After incorporating the Illumina into the mix, press operators moved all of the customer’s colors to the 300 series colors with rave reviews.
“The ink’s performance has been really good,” says Chris Martin, VP at Creative Labels. “I think the inks have been relatively fluid. [Thanks to the Illumina] we did not see many issues with some of the things we’ve encountered in the past with UV inks—things like them being super heavy and having a hard time keeping them in the press. Our press operators were very impressed.”