Online Only: A Solution For Last-Minute Labeling
A few growers are alleviating labeling pressures from retailers with the Label Gator, automation that manufacturers have historically used to label pots.
June 30, 2010
Labeling has become a challenge in recent years, particularly for big box growers who have become more responsible for printing labels themselves. To meet the new demand, a few growers are turning to automation that pot manufacturers have primarily used: the Label Gator from Great Lakes Label.
Label Gator is a complete line of automated barcode labeling equipment designed for greenhouse and nursery growers. It provides accurate label placement on a wide variety of growing containers, and key grower benefits are the elimination of pre-labeled pot inventories and less over-labeling.
"We have all of the pot manufacturers using our equipment," says Joe Gonnella, president of Great Lakes Label in Comstock Park, Mich. "The interesting thing about this product is when labeling requirements began to get more demanding, the pot makers stepped up to the plate and started pre-labeling pots. In terms of the volume, they are all using our equipment now to do this."
There is, for example, always a chance growers will receive pots that are mislabeled. So growers are forced to re-label themselves on site before shipping their product to retail. The Label Gator is a possible solution.
Gonnella says a few growers have already installed the Label Gator at their facilities, and they're using it in their production lines to place barcodes. Two greenhouse operations using the Label Gator, Gonnella says, are Color Spot Nurseries and Hart's Nursery.
"Color Spot is using it for the big box stores," Gonnella says. "They're using it in Texas and California. Now, they're looking at putting them in their production lines at each of their facilities. Hart's Nursery is running its Label Gator in an off-line batch scenario. They don't buy any pots pre-labeled anymore."
A nursery operation, Clifford's Perennial & Vine, has found its Label Gator to be useful outdoors.
"Clifford's actually totes its machine out into the field and uses a generator out there with it," Gonnella says.
Now, Gonnella is targeting the Label Gator for other growers.
"This machine is smart in that it is PLC controlled - that's a type of computer that controls the equipment," Gonnella says. "We actually can get more computing power to the equipment with an onboard industrial PC, which allows the production systems to download data into our device and print the labels with labeling equipment. The Label Gator can actually print labels in one streamlined process."
Learn more about the Label Gator at LabelGatorBrand.com and watch the video below.