We care about label quality. At Labels & Specialty Products, we have developed rigorous processes to ensure that every product that leaves our facility meets our highest standard. For products as critical as labels, every color, detail, text, and design need to be perfect before we ship. These crucial conditions necessitate an incredibly accurate quality control process, to be implemented by our own in-house quality management team.
1. Digital Design Proofing
Our focus on quality management starts far prior to our presses running. Digital design proofing is the first step in our QC process. For every label we print, our design team meticulously checks your art for proper color, text, spelling, layout, varnish area, etc. After these factors are deemed accurate, an official proof is created and saved to use and reference in the future. Each proof is personally signed off by our design team. Lastly, our account managers will send the official proof for our customers’ approval. This first step ensures that your label will look and fit beautifully before we even begin the printing process.
2. In-Person Color Matching
When preparing to print, a thorough setup checklist is completed by our pressmen and signed off by our QA team. This checklist includes inspecting the die strike, construction, material, copy placement, and color quality standard, among other items. Jobs that include CMYK process work will also be checked for proper ink density and PH.
Once the pressman has completed the checklist, they provide a printed sample of the product, along with a copy of your approved proof, and the QA checklist to our QA team to be inspected. This happens within our cutting-edge light booth. Each color is checked for accuracy using pre-established quality standard, while utilizing tools like our X-Rite ink density scanner.
Once everything looks perfect, the checklist is signed off by our QA team, and production can begin. The importance of this step is to verify that your product’s colors are matched on our labels accurately and consistently. We care about your brand, and the quality of our labels are set to reflect that.
3. Continuous Spot Checking
During the printing process, our pressmen and quality assurance team are constantly spot checking the printed pieces for accurate placement and color, again comparing to the approved sample. This practice is to catch any color shifts or defects that could occur during printing. Allowing our team to make the corrective changes on the spot.
4. Optical Defect Detection
To add to our defect detection capabilities, we implemented a state-of-the-art E&L defect detection system on all our presses. The E&L system is essentially a high-speed computer with an optical scanner that our labels are webbed through. After programming in the approved sample, it will scan and compare each printed label for any defects. These defects could be deviation in color, text, ink splatter, etc. Scanning over 27ft of web per second, the E&L enables us to run our presses at full speed without compromising the label quality. If a defect is detected, it will alert the pressman, where they can stop the press and fix the issue. This system allows us to look at every single label we print.
5. Final Pre-Package Inspection
When printing is complete, large rolls are converted down to the desired size and quantity. During converting, our converting team manually checks each roll for accuracy. We also utilize an E&L system in our converting department, adding another measure of defect detection even after printing. After this, the labels are finally ready to ship. Our shipping team hand packs each roll, inspecting along the way one last time before leaving our facility.
Every subsequent printing run for a specific product is always compared to the original approved proof. This prevents the gradual color shift that can go unnoticed after multiple runs.
6. Sample Retain System
Our final label quality assurance measure is our retain program. To ensure complete traceability, we neatly store a generous sample from throughout the run. This, in combination with our defect detection, allows us to have a complete picture of every run at any point in time.
These are the 6 main steps within our label quality control process. L&SP tackles quality from every angle. We employ highly qualified and experienced pressmen, who truly care about the product they are printing. They consistently check for product accuracy and are apt to address and fix any problems that may occur. Along with this, the cutting edge technology of the E&L system adds an extra quality control measure that runs at incredibly high speed with precision. L&SP also strictly adhere to our intricate quality control systems we put in place. L&SP knows the quality of your product relies on the label quality. Through this sophisticated process, we can ensure your product will look as remarkable as ever.
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