Removing stubborn labels from reusable totes and warehouse shelves – or at least trying to scrape them off – was a fact of life for much of my career in distribution center operations. It was a job for which there were seldom volunteers. In fact, some employees bemoaned that they were still scraping labels in their sleep! And with new labels plastered partially on top of old labels that could not be completely removed – it was a practice that, too often, resulted in the wrong label being read, and ultimately, to mis-shipments. It was no fun.
It turns out, I gave up my day job too early. At PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Dean Bates Vice President, Sales & Marketing at FilmLOC®, walked me through FilmLOC’s suite of labeling solutions designed to promote effective and effortless labeling of reusable packaging and racks.
The company continues to win new friends with its flagship INTELLI-PLAC® reusable label holders for returnable packaging, warehouse racking and shelving, as well as other labeling needs. Not only is the label system easy to use, but unlike competing products, it has no silicone top coating. That means that INTELLI-PLAC placards can be recycled with HDPE and PP plastic containers at their end of life (so again, no need for painful label scraping in preparation for the recycle grinding).
PACCAR: Go for the Green
FlimLOC® has worked extensively with PACCAR, the premium truck manufacturer, at several of its service parts facilities around the country, playing a key role in improving warehouse operations. When PACCAR opened its most recent 260,000-square-foot PARTS Distribution Center (PDC) in Louisville KY, it turned once again to FilmLOC for support.
The new distribution center officially opened its doors in Louisville on September 9, 2022, and serves 97 dealerships throughout the region. The Louisville facility is the latest addition to PACCAR Parts’ global distribution network which includes 18 PDCs with more than 3.4 million square feet of warehouse space.
“Our PDCs utilize leading technologies to expedite the order fulfillment delivery process, maximizing time on the road for our customers,” Tom Floyd, PACCAR Parts senior director – operations, said at the January 2023 grand opening. One of those technologies of note is INTELLI-PLAC®.
With 45,000 SKUs and 70,000 parts bin/rack locations, utilization of space is a priority. Bins are filled and emptied as needed, with the flexibility to reassign a new SKU to an empty bin. 3.5” x 5.0” INTELLI-PLAC® GREEN placards were used at all stocking locations. When warehouse workers place inventory in a location, they generate a white label with a mobile printer that is applied to the green placard.
Once an order picker has removed the last item from a location, the white product label is removed, revealing the green placard below. Operators subsequently looking to replenish stock GO FOR THE GREEN, easily identifying empty locations made obvious by exposed green placards. The INTELLI-PLAC system also extends to the yellow location labels used. They are applied on top of blue INTELLI-PLAC strips affixed to the shelves, providing easy removal of the location labels as needed.
PACCAR is a premium manufacturer, Bates noted and prides itself in keeping its trucks on the road. As such, it needs to ensure that parts shipping is simple, efficient, and accurate – thanks in good measure to INTELLI-PLAC. The visually impressive system also speaks to the company’s emphasis on superior organization.
At a trade show in 2019, FilmLOC® was approached by representatives from Hy‐Vee Supermarkets, a major grocery retailer in the Midwest. Hy‐Vee needed a labeling solution for their shipping totes that traveled from their distribution centers to their stores that would help them eliminate the need to scrape labels. They were searching for a label holder that would hold the label during shipment, and then allow the label to remove cleanly without residue and without any surface changes to the placard.
Because Hy‐Vee shipping totes are used to ship food‐grade products, labels applied to the shipping totes must be removed after each shipment with the totes undergoing extensive cleaning and sanitization prior to the next use. In testing, the INTELLI-PLAC® labels easily survived 500 Hobart Tote wash cycles (hot water) without issue. Within weeks, FilmLOC designed and printed 100,000 placards sized to suit the customer’s tote, in rolls of 1,000 labels each to facilitate application.
Silver Series Label Placards Offers Antimicrobial Technology
Customer challenges have featured prominently in new product development, according to Bates. During the COVID-19 epidemic, for example, one medical cart label customer was looking for an antimicrobial label. That need led FilmLOC to develop its SILVER Series, protected with Biomaster® silver ion antimicrobial technology. The silver additive ensures a 99.9% cleaner surface from damaging microbes versus untreated surfaces, for the lifetime of the INTELLI‐PLAC® placards.
Label Holders That Stick in Challenging Environments
Another problem faced by customers is getting label holders to stick and stay on in outdoor usage, extensive cleaning and sanitation and other tough conditions. That challenge led FilmLOC to develop INTELLI-PLAC® X2, with X2 extra-strength adhesive, to successfully resolve the issue and deliver even stronger adhesion and reliability in any environment so that you get more trips and longer use per placard label holder. The durable placard, as with other INTELLI-PLAC products, is manufactured with no silicone to ensure recyclability and long life for labeling and re-labeling needs.
Proven durable and reliable in laboratory tests, INTELLI-PLAC® is ideal as a reusable, recyclable label holder for any and all of your returnable packaging needs!
What’s your labeling challenge? For a solution, contact FilmLOC® by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 404.892.8778.