Hub Labels, a label-print shop in Maryland, USA, has raised the bar in its ability to serve customers, thanks to a partnership with Nazdar Ink Technologies.
With the help of ink manufacturer Nazdar's expert color training, Hub Labels has now earned both GMI Certification and G7 Master Qualification, accomplishments that demonstrate the shop's ability to achieve color control across multiple devices and print jobs.
With a commitment to continual advancement for more than 40 years, Hub Labels has sought to lead the label industry by striving for ever-greater consistency, efficiency, and expansion into other markets. After learning that a potential customer required printers to have GMI Certification to earn its business, the Hub Labels team consulted with their point of contact at Nazdar, Danielle White - Narrow Web Technical Sales Representative for the Northeastern United States.
"Danielle is always super supportive, with a 'can do' attitude. So as Nazdar was going over GMI with us, it was suggested that we go through G7 and get that qualification as well," recalls John Potterfield, Production Manager for Hub Labels.
The Importance of Color Control
GMI and G7 are industry-recognized methodologies targeting color control specifications, testing printers' abilities to achieve particular outputs. The two methods are similar but differ slightly in their exact requirements. To become certified/qualified in each, shops must provide proof that they possess an elite understanding of color control.
Tim Quinn, Nazdar Consulting Services expert and G7 Master, and Ian Hammond, Nazdar Technical Applications Manager, traveled on-site to provide GMI and G7 training to Hub Labels' employees. Quinn and Hammond have assisted hundreds of shops, offering printers the necessary education and support to reach their color standard goals.
"Having these types of objectives drives a color culture within the shop," says Quinn. "It's always a good time to get involved in understanding how to manage color, because it's only going to get more sophisticated."
Through hands-on instruction with Nazdar's experts, Hub Labels' team members became fully proficient on GMI and G7 processes, reaching the various color targets needed for certification.
For Jesse Hood, Hub Labels' Continuous Improvement Manager, the entire experience - particularly the attention to comprehensively training the shop's employees - was invaluable to bringing color management to the next level. "We'd been through this process twice with other third-party help, but before it was just 'Throw it in the system, read this in, it'll output this curve for you.' We didn't have that true understanding and education. So, when Nazdar came in, that was the key - helping us to understand the reasons behind what we were doing, rather than just doing it for us."
Quinn notes that this is what sets Nazdar apart as print expert consultants: "That's really our differentiator - when we're done, we're giving you a full understanding of how to meet specifications on an ongoing basis."
During training, Hub Labels reached GMI and G7 specifications on their Gallus RCS 330 Flexo press and Gallus Labelfire Digital press. In a testament to the comprehensive training they received, Hub Labels has since brought another two flexo presses - an MPS EF 430 and Gallus EM 510 wide web press - to certification standards.
Potterfield describes how color control across devices ensures that even on different devices and worker shifts, output remains consistent: "If there's ever a color issue, we don't have to rely on subjective assessments; instead, adjustments are made based on hitting the correct densities, LAB values, etc. It takes the variability out. This also gives us additional flexibility to meet customer needs; if we're booked up on the MPS, we can move the job to the RCS and still meet delivery dates, without a change in color output."
More than a Vendor; a Partnership
Though Nazdar is known worldwide as a manufacturer of printing ink, Hood describes the company's connection to Hub Labels as more than that of just an ink supplier. "They bring so much more value to us than just an ink company," comments Hood. "They were here every step of the way, and really made sure we understood what we were doing."
He adds, "It's a great partnership. They're not just a vendor - they're a partner."
Mike Harjung, Vice President of Narrow Web at Nazdar, adds: "Nazdar was honored to partner with Hub Labels in this process. We were happy to be able to provide training for their staff, who worked diligently to learn from our consultants and to incorporate this knowledge into their everyday practices."
Hub Labels hopes its accomplishments in GMI and G7 processes will communicate to customers that they can be confident in the company's ability to create reliably high-quality products. Thomas Dahbura, president of Hub Labels, comments: "Customers can look at these certifications and see that we have the knowledge, the education, and the capabilities to hit these standards, so they can feel comfortable that every time they print a job here, it's going to be consistently great."
For print businesses interested in pursuing GMI Certification, G7 Qualification, or other color management systems, Nazdar experts are available to consult on which program(s) best fit their production goals.
For further information on Nazdar Ink Technologies, please visit www.nazdar.com.
For more information on Hub Labels, visit www.hublabels.com.