Canadian Converter: Labelad

Poised to say a step ahead of its competition, one Canadian converter's commitment to high quality printing has kept it... Labeled for Success...

Labelad is no stranger to label and package printing. With 26 water-based and ultraviolet flexographic presses operating at peak efficiency, one can safely say the company is quite comfortable with the concept.

Founded in 1976 by Lionel and Sandra Waldman, this privately held, family-owned business relies on the talents and skills of more than 400 dedicated individuals, many of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years. Occupying a modern 200,000-sq-ft office and plant complex located on the outskirts of Toronto, Ont., Canada, the company produces millions of labels a day for its clients.

Labelad's ISO-9001:2000 certification reinforces its determination to achieve zero defects and ensure reliable, repeatable prepress and production processes. The company is known as a global leader in high quality labels and packaging for such clients as Unilever, Jergens, Best Foods, and Imation. Driven by what it says is a determination to lead the way in labels and packaging, the company consistently has invested in new technology and research and development.

Labelad was one of the first label converters in North America to install a 12-color flexographic press. The company also houses an array of presses and prepress equipment to provide pressure-sensitive labels, promotional/informational labels and booklets, flexible packaging, and pallet base wrap. Labelad labels and flexible packaging can be found in such markets as personal care, food and snack, beverages, pharmaceutical and health care, promotional products (games, rebate coupons, recipe booklets, and more), and data storage (floppies, CDs, DVDs, etc.).

The company recently installed a custom-designed 12-color press engineered specifically to meet the needs of pharmaceutical and promotional manufacturers. The press is capable of handling web structures and also can handle complex die-cutting inline. Also added to the production floor is a high-speed slitter/rewinder with leading edge slitting capability. Labelad is in the process of replacing four letterpress presses with the latest UV flexo presses (proprietary) that have been in such great demand. The company's key materials supplier is Avery Dennison, and it looks to Webmark for its dies.

Leader of the Pack
One of Labelad's most recent achievements is being the first authorized Pantone Hexachrome printer in the narrow web flexo label market under the Pantone and Sun Chemical program.

Developed by Pantone, Hexachrome is a patented, high quality six-color printing process that yields an expanded color gamut, said to eclipse four-color process printing.

“We were chosen by Pantone and Sun Chemical as one of 3,400 pressure-sensitive label companies in North America to partner with them to launch narrow web Hexacrome printing,” explains Leonard Rudner, VP of business development at Labelad.

But out of the 3,400 label companies, Labelad is the first to be certified by Pantone for Hexachrome printing capabilities. “This certification means Labelad clients can count on consistently improved [over traditional four-color process] color reproduction across a broad color palette from the start of the run to the final label, package, base wrap, or game card,” says Rudner.

“Hexachrome's six-color printing allows Labelad to take labels from a designer's drawing board or computer into the real world on products with colors that allow it to bring the product to life. Hexachrome printing represents a significant improvement in traditional four-color process reproduction,” continues Rudner.

With the Hexachrome capability, Labelad is able to reproduce accurately more than 90% of the Pantone matching system colors.

Rudner explains: “Hexachrome offers distinct economic and marketing advantages to both printers and their clients. Its broader color gamut allows printers to build efficiencies into the workflow by eliminating the need for additional spot colors. No special ink means fewer washups, less downtime, and opportunities to gang up different run jobs on the same form, resulting in a substantial cost savings to both printer and client.

“Hexachrome also allows printers to differentiate themselves from their competitors and increase sales by offering clients superior results at competitive prices. For brands vying for shelf space and market, Hexachrome produces a vivid, more brilliant final product that stands out on retail shelves,” Rudner maintains. “Hexachrome also offers marketers greater scope and flexibility for the design of graphics for packaged goods companies,” he continues.

Breaking into New Markets
The company is looking to expand its production of unsupported polypropylene (PP). Rudner explains the process: “When we print unsupported polypropylene, the stock comes from one or two suppliers with the shrink capabilities incorporated into it. If we print an unsupported polypropylene label for a can of shaving cream, the label, once it's applied, will conform to the contour of the container, and it can provide a seamless graphic presentation of the product.”

Labelad has been producing this unsupported PP for five or six years and is targeting the growing market demand for full-body shrink sleeves.

“Since we have diversified into flexible packaging, we are evaluating the possibility of being able to produce full-body shrink labels,” says Rudner, adding the company hopes to be ready for full-body shrink sleeve production in 12 to 18 months.

“It's an important, expanding segment of the flexible packaging market. We want to be able to respond to the complete requirements of the market, offering one-stop shopping, be it pressure-sensitive label, full-body shrink, or decorative can wraps.”

With its current track record, Labelad's new endeavors should be another proud addition to an already impressive success story.


400 Cochrane Dr.
Markham, ON, Canada L3R 8E3

Avery Dennison/Fasson-brand products, Ajax, ON, Canada; 800/944-8511; 905/686-0085;

Webmark, Toronto, ON, Canada; 416/410-1201

Pantone Inc., Carlstadt, NJ; 201/935-5500;

Sun Chemical Inks, Ft. Lee, NJ; 201/224-4600;

Arpeco Engineering, Mississauga, ON, Canada; 905/564-5150;

Subscribe to PFFC's EClips Newsletter