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Printing firm invests in new technology

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SheetLabels.com

Aaron Daab, digital press operator, gets ready to print a roll of labels for a client Monday at SheetLabels.com on Pruyn’s Island in Glens Falls. The new machine is part of a $1.25 million investment the company hopes will propel it to 30 percent growth in 2016.

GLENS FALLS | SheetLabels.com is growing again, thanks to a $1.25 million investment in a new roll-label printing system.

The inkjet machine, which uses ultraviolet light to cure printed labels, was made by Domino Printing Sciences, a subsidiary of Brother Industries. A finishing machine, made by Gonderflex International, a Canadian company, completes the new printing system.

“It’s the fastest digital press in the industry,” said SheetLabels.com President and CEO Adam Gray. “This is one of 40 presses like it worldwide that have been installed, to my knowledge.”

The new machines allow SheetLabels.com to offer photo-quality label production in a more cost-effective way, because there is less setup required, compared with other printing technologies, Gray said.

“The competing technology would be flexo (flexographic printing), which is plates and a lot of ink and a lot of setup time and setup costs,” Gray said.

The Domino machine can print multiple iterations of labels on the same roll — right next to each other, if needed. A test run being done Monday for a chemical company client in Brooklyn showed how different labels, with different color schemes, could be produced one after another on the same roll of labels.

“It will change on the fly,” Gray said. “This company may order 1,000 (labels) for this particular furniture cleaner, 1,000 for this hand cleaner, 500 for this degreaser and so on, and the press will print that, based on their quantities, right in line without any new setup costs or time. It’s highly automated.”

Gray said the new machine, housed in a newly built, climate-controlled room inside the company’s Pruyn’s Island facility, has added two full-time positions to the company, which has just over 30 on payroll now. But he anticipates more jobs being added as demand increases.

“Right now, we have two full-time positions on this one shift, so in theory, if we had three full shifts, we could be up to eight to 10 new positions.”

The new machine is also expected to add $3 million to $5 million to the company’s revenue over the next three to five years, Gray said. It contributed to revenue growth of 17 percent in 2015, and Gray said he anticipates 30 percent growth this year.

“We’ve had a lot of Fortune 500 (companies) look at us now – several household brands that I can’t mention,” Gray said. “They’ve looked at this machine and at doing work with us because of its capabilities.”

One of SheetLabels.com’s newest clients is Cooper’s Cave Ale Co.

Adrian Bethel, general manager of the Sagamore Street business, which includes a restaurant and makes its own beer, sodas and ice cream, said Cooper’s Cave used the same label manufacturer ever since it was launched, up until SheetLabels.com got its upgrade.

“We can do all 13 of our soda labels at the same price,” Bethel said. “And the quality of the print was so much clearer – the colors were so much truer.”

The changeover came at a good time for Cooper’s Cave, as the business just installed a new bottling machine capable of filling 12-ounce bottles. The company previously only sold its beverages in 22-ounce bottles, Bethel explained.

“We’ll have a little more versatility,” he said of the new line and new label options.

Read Scott Donnelly’s blog, Business Connection, at Poststar.com

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