TLMI Calvin Frost Elevation Award Winner

Hub Labels Wins Calvin S. Frost Elevation Award

Hub Labels, Inc has been recognized as the 2020 winner of the TLMI Calvin S. Frost Elevation Award. This award is earned by a TLMI member company that is leading the industry with fully formed, publicly stated sustainability goals, strategies, and executions that are improving multiple aspects of sustainability. Award recipients demonstrate significant, measurable, environmental benefits as a result of projects, products, or programs that go beyond regulatory requirements.

The TLMI Calvin S. Frost Elevation Award is one of three awards, alongside the Trailhead and Journey Award, that make up the TLMI Frostie Awards. According to TLMI, “The [Frostie] awards recognize association members that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to progressive environmental practices across a range of areas including solid waste reduction, recycling, waste or energy recovery, the implementation of new ‘clean’ technology and/or processes and the implementation of an educational program.”

“TLMI recognized that Hub Labels was one of the first TLMI members to become Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) certified and that the company recycles and diverts all of its waste from landfill. Hub is also currently working with partners to secure renewable energy and to assist their suppliers with their own sustainability goals.”

Thomas Dahbura, President of Hub Labels, said “This is an honor personally since it was with Cal during my tenure on the board that he introduced the TLMI initiative which I thought was something pretty special. I’m grateful that my team has embraced the commitment and the passion that Cal put into this program and that we have been recognized for our accomplishments.”

About Hub Labels Sustainability Initiatives

In 2019 Hub Labels went 100% landfill free. This was a big accomplishment that took years of hard work and planning company wide. The plan now is to keep moving forward and find new ways to innovate and improve our environmental sustainability as a company.

Right now those efforts include using environmentally responsible materials and manufacturing procedures like printing with eco-friendly water-based and UV inks, recycling inks, liner waste, and water, and repurposing corrugated cardboard for packaging purposes.

We also have innovative packaging technologies that we are avidly trying to pioneer, such as linerless labels as a packaging solution which reduces overall liner waste by 50%. Even smaller initiatives such as using a chevy volt as our company car are important to us. Our finger is on pulse with everything regarding sustainability. It is an exciting time to work with Hub Labels as the packaging industry hurdles in to a more sustainable future.

Read more about the Calvin Frost 2020 award winners.

December 2020 Employee Spotlight: Cory Martin, label converting supervisor

Employee Spotlight: Cory Martin, Label Finishing Dept

Hub Labels is excited to share our December Employee Spotlight featuring Cory Martin, the label finishing supervisor. We set a few minutes aside to sit down with Cory and ask him a few questions on his experience and relationship with Hub.

How long have you been at Hub? What year did you start?

I started in July of 2000, it’s been 20 years and counting now.

In order, what are all the jobs you’ve had at Hub in your time here?

I started out here at Hub in the shipping department then moved into supervisor position for the press room. Worked 1st shift, 2ndshift, 3rd shift, and a weekend shift as well throughout the years. I also worked in the Tooling Department for a while before becoming the Supervisor for the Finishing Department.

What are some your most memorable moments at Hub? Business and non-business related, or both. (i.e. a piece of equipment you remember being installed, a memorable community event or company social, etc etc) 

I guess I would have to say seeing the new DCS press being delivered and unloaded. Also getting the two new finishing machines’ from Gonderflex. It was such a good feeling seeing us updating equipment and keeping up with technology.

What is your favorite part about working at Hub Labels?

“Family” this is an extension of my family and have always felt that way. The community projects that we get to be involved into and seeing the difference that we are making in the lives of others.

Being able to make change within and seeing the good that comes out of it.

What has changed about Hub since you started working here?

So much has changed over the years. One big change has been our involvement in lean manufacturing and learning about the 5s (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain). The implementation of lean manufacturing here at Hub led to the reduction of “Waste” throughout the plant.

Also, I was impressed with our system upgrade to EFI and all the other upgrades on how we capture data from our processes to be certain we are following best practices. There is always something exciting happening at Hub.

August 2020 Employee Spotlight: Arnold Crouse, labels materials planner

Employee Spotlight: Arnold Crouse, Labels Material Planner

Hub Labels is excited to share our August Employee Spotlight, featuring Arnold Crouse, a labels material planner of 20 years and teammate for 40. I sat down with Arnold to ask him a few questions on his experience and relationship with Hub Labels.

Being with Hub for a solid 40 years, you must have an array of experiences. What are all the jobs that you’ve held throughout the years?

Arnold: I started out as a converter, moved to a printer and then shop supervisor once we moved to the building on Shawley Avenue in Hagerstown. I moved to shift supervisor when we started second shifts, and would alternate shifts with Dave Mosser. From there, I became the production supervisor before I began the role I’m currently in, which is a label material planner. I’ve been in this position for the last 20 years.

What are some your most memorable moments at Hub Labels? 

Arnold: Definitely when I travelled to El Salvador in 1987. Bud Dahbura, our original founder at Hub Labels, asked me to help his cousin’s printing business by training their supervisor in San Salvador. I was there for 3 weeks learning their process. I was able to see what they were printing for their local businesses, like food products, carnival tickets, clothing, and more. It was fun and interesting to experience their culture and ways of living! Another time was back in mid 90’s when I was able to go to  Milan, Italy with Thomas Dahbura, Bud’s son and our current president at Hub Labels. We went for a few days to learn about heat sensitive inks from a local ribbon making company and how they transferred their patterns & colors onto their ribbons. Again, learning Italian culture, as well as the basic principles of how to print on paper with these heat transfer inks was fascinating.”

What has been your favorite part about working at Hub Labels?

Arnold: Because of my various roles at Hub Labels, I have the background and experience to share with the departments and to give them the information they need to process orders for our customers. I also love the camaraderie and relationships I have built over the past 40 years at Hub Labels. We also do a lot of community projects and work with local non-profit organizations though volunteering such as United Way, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and Adopt-a-Highway. I have participated in many of these programs and it is very fulfilling.

What has changed at Hub Labels since you started working here?  

Arnold: Wow, many things! From how things were done 40 years ago, which was mostly by memory and learning and adapting, to the different printing technologies and software to track physical inventory, to processing orders and purchasing. It was exciting going to an all-in-one productivity software package called EFI back in 2014. Also seeing how printing presses have advanced over the many years I have been at Hub.

Read our previous employee spotlight featuring Mark Smith.

Maryland Healthiest Business 2020

Hub Labels Among Healthiest MD Businesses

Hagerstown Maryland [August 7, 2020] The Maryland Department of Health Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control announced the 2020 Healthiest Maryland Business and Hub Labels is honored to be part of the selected few who have earned the Gold Award. This is the third consecutive year Hub Labels has been recognized as a gold-level business and earning this badge of honor. The State of Maryland’s Health Department began this initiative to create a statewide movement to promote a culture of wellness. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy workforce and to recruit business leaders who incorporate healthy policies into the workplace.

Hub Labels wellness program has been a journey that began with a vision from Owner/President, Thomas Dahbura more than 5 years ago when Hub Labels joined the Healthiest Maryland Business program. Dahbura asked the Human Resources Department to spearhead the program. As a result, an employee wellness committee was formed to create initiatives to educate employees on various wellness topics including physical health, mental fitness and financial health. An onsite gym was established and was equipped with bicycles, a rowing machine, along with various weights. In addition, through a partnership with a local medical center, Hub Labels offers onsite blood pressure checks and promotes an annual campus-wide wellness week for all employees. Most recently, unhealthy food and beverage options were removed from the company lunchroom.

Carrie Aaron, Hub Labels’ HR Manager, spoke to the benefits of participating in the Maryland Healthiest Business program. “The program provides our organization with a Wellness Scorecard”, states Aaron. “It’s a great way to measure what we are doing, while also providing us with new ideas to continue improving our wellness program year-after-year. Each year, we make it a point to improve our Wellness Scorecard. We have regular wellness meetings which is staffed by our employees and who bring new ideas to the table on how we can promote wellness and health. We have learned that it does not need to be a complicated program; that simple is sometimes best.”

To learn more about the Healthiest Maryland Business program, visit their website: https://www.healthiestmdbusinesses.org/

Wellness team wins gold in 2020
Wellness team wins gold in 2020

printing labels

Esko Visit: LED Plate Exposure, Crystal Screening, and PCW

Hagerstown, MD [July 29, 2020] In July 2020, a team of employees from Esko took a trip to Hub Labels, located in Hagerstown MD, for a 3-day visit at Hub’s 110,000 square-foot label converting print facility. Hub Labels recently installed the latest state-of-the-art CDI Crystal Plate Imager and XPS Crystal LED plate exposure technologies. To manage this hardware, Hub Labels also installed advanced software from Esko known as “Print Control Wizard” (PCW). This establishes Hub among one of the few UV Flexo Label Printers in North America with LED Plate Exposure, Crystal Screening and PCW.

The reason for the visit was two-fold, as Mark Samworth, Esko Flexo Color Specialist, explained, “Esko is committed to assuring Hub gets the best results possible. Doug Benham, Esko Flexo Implementation Specialist, and I teamed up to make that happen. But to be honest, while assisting Hub was my #1 goal, I did have a hidden agenda. I wanted to get some real-world experience seeing how the products performed in a production environment. I wanted to learn from Doug, as well as from the team at Hub. Additionally, two top-notch players from the Mark Andy team, Cheryl Cole and Jim Schulz, were in attendance. They both know DuPont flexo plate technology inside-out and are experts on press variables like ink, anilox and sticky back. I wanted to take the opportunity to learn from them as well. Hub Labels is a grade-A label printer. From the architecture of the building, to the equipment on the shop floor, the software in prepress and the competence of every employee we worked with; Hub is a class act. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend the week. Even the lunches were delicious! As mentioned previously, I wanted to get some real-world experience with Esko’s state-of-the art technology. Hub Labels was the perfect location.”

custom label printing

Thomas Dahbura, Hub Labels Owner and President, added, “This was the first initiative we kicked off [during the COVID-19 shutdown], so it was exciting that we were doing in-person collaborations again [after lifting restrictions]. Exciting because it was innovative and awesome to collaborate with some of Esko’s brightest people. I can’t give all the credit to ESKO though; one of the silent champions for Hub has always been Cheryl Cole for bringing this technology to Hub and for always being one of our champions. She doesn’t get enough kudos from me and the team. The crystal screening takes our HD flexo to the next level, and along with eliminating Mercury UV bulbs for the curing and going Digital LED, the bar has been raised for consistent plate making at a higher level of quality. I’m really thrilled at the quality we deliver and how this technology will enhance the labels we produce.”

“The visit was an enormous success”, remarked Samworth. “We achieved ‘near perfect’ print quality and ‘near perfect’ proof to press match following the Esko procedures straight from the book. On flexo color test forms, most people either don’t include images or include images that have been retouched for flexo. On the color test forms I made for Hub, I included only offset images downloaded from the Idealliance G7 web site. We did no retouching at all – leaving all the dropouts and fades to zero (the killers of flexo color) in the images. We wanted to see if screening these files with Esko Crystal Screening, imaging the plates on the new Crystal CDI, and exposing the plates on the new Crystal XPS LED based plate exposure unit would equal or surpass the quality promised. The print results were amazing! It truly looked like high-end offset lithography. The best news of all is that Hub will continue to get this quality long after Doug and I, as well as our Mark Andy partners, have departed.

Dahbura agreed, “My team now has taken the gavel of knowledge over from Esko. I am proud of my team for really taking ownership of learning all the intricacies of this new technology. They are my flexo champions now and have the responsibility of taking all of the work that others at Hub have put into advancing innovation at Hub. That is in our DNA and it is great to see!”

Maryland Strong Window Clings

Maryland Strong: Back to Business Pledge

Hub Labels President Thomas Dahbura joined with the Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz to announce a partnership to support the safe reopening of businesses as the state continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Hub Labels is working with Maryland Commerce to produce 10,000 window clings that businesses across the state can display that feature the Maryland flag and the words “Proud to be Safely Open. Maryland Open for Business.”

Secretary Schulz visited Hub Labels this week to watch the window clings, which are high-quality stickers that don’t use adhesive to stay adhered to the glass, being produced at Hub Label’s Hagerstown facility. The clings will be distributed to each of the state’s 23 counties and Baltimore City so businesses can display them to the public, along with the Maryland Strong: Back to Business Pledge that can also be displayed.

“We want to thank Hub Labels for their partnership as we continue to work with Maryland’s business community to help businesses safely reopen,” said Secretary Schulz. “These window clings, along with the business pledge, offer much needed assurance in knowing that a business is taking the steps to adhere to health protocols and offer a safe environment for customers.”

“When Maryland Commerce approached us about producing these window clings, I went to my team and said we’ve got to help,” Dahbura said. “Times are uncertain right now, for so many reasons, COVID-19 just being one of the factors. I want to make a difference, however big or small, to help our communities find a path forward to recovery.”

 

About Hub Labels, Inc

Hub Labels, Inc is a manufacturer of pressure sensitive and linerless labels.  Hub is able to provide superior quality and service with our robust and modern fleet of flexographic printing presses, and a flexographic-digital hybrid Heidelburg/Gallus Labelfire press with expanded color gamut that is unmatched in the industry for image resolution and color.  Hub is dedicated to staying abreast of the latest packaging trends and building long term relationships with our customers, vendors and suppliers. But at the heart of Hub are the people, who are driven by five key principles: Safety, Sustainability, Innovation, Service and Community.

About Maryland Commerce

The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit commerce.maryland.gov.

 

Mark Smith, Lead Estimator at Hub Labels

Hub Labels Employee Spotlight – Mark Smith

[July 7, 2020] – Hub Labels is excited to share our new “Employee Spotlight”, which features an interview with one of our employees here at Hub. Our first July 2020 “Employee Spotlight”features an interview with the one and only, Mark Smith, our lead estimator who has been a part of our team since April 2009. Colin Viti, our marketing coordinator, sat down with Mark and asked him a few questions about his experience here at Hub Labels.

Mark, you’ve been at Hub a long time, just over 11 years. What is the most memorable moment you’ve had while employed?

Mark: “One of the most memorable moments was last October when the Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, came to visit our plant to celebrate our S.H.A.R.P Certification. It was quite an honor to meet him, along with being a part of the company that achieved that title of being SHARP Certified. More recently though, the most memorable “moment”, and will always be the indelible mark of my time here at Hub, was this pandemic and how we as a company have pulled through this so far. It was thrust upon all of us so unexpectedly and we were quickly thrown in to situations that were out of our comfort zones, ones we have never experienced before. The teamwork I’ve experienced in all facets of the business has been what I will never forget.” 

You see a lot of labels and get to be a part of the process from beginning to end. What is your favorite part about what you do?

Mark: “I love seeing new jobs pass all the way through the plant; to see a finished product and hearing that our customer’s expectations were exceeded is why I come to work every day.”

Over the years, I’m sure you’ve seen lots of change here at Hub Labels. What change has made the biggest impact to how you operate day to day?”

Mark: “Oh geez, without a doubt back in 2014 when we installed the Ef/Radius platform. This software changed the way we operate. The main purpose of the Ef/Radius platform is to measure the shop floor data. This allows us to better evaluate our true costs of the jobs we produce. Before this system was implemented, my job was very tedious. I’m so thankful we work for a company that continues to invest in the latest technologies!

Thanks Mark for your time!

To learn more more about how Hub Labels SHARP Certification, you can read more about the event on our blog.

Labels For A Cause

Hub Labels Supports Labels For a Cause

Hagerstown, MD [June 24, 2020] Hub Labels has partnered with several local breweries, wineries and distilleries to support a large array of projects for a cause. These projects range from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Black Lives Matter, Black is Beautiful and Relief for Hospitality Workers.

Cushwa Brewing Company has undertaken a number of these projects, including an India Pale Ale called All Together which provides relieve to hospitality workers in Washington County, Maryland. Marcus Thomas, Cushwa Brewing Company Co-Owner, said, “All Together is a worldwide, open-ended beer collaboration created to raise support for the industry we love so much. It’s an effort to raise awareness and provide relief, even in the smallest way, to those who are struggling in the hospitality industry.” Recently, Cushwa announced their partnership with the Black is Beautiful campaign which was started by Weathered Souls Brewing Co in Texas. This campaign brings awareness to systematic injustice, racial inequalities and to promote change in law and policy. All proceeds from the can sales will go towards supporting ACLU of Maryland.

McClintock Distillery, located in Frederick County Maryland, reached out to Hub Labels to supply labels for their hand sanitizer, which is donating many of the bottles to emergency responders, retirement communities, assisted living facilities and other high-risk communities in the state of Maryland. Thomas Dahbura, owner of Hub Labels, was eager to help out a local business and provided the labels below the normal rates. “Supporting our community is important. We see a lot of our customers in positions to make an impact in our community and when they bring these projects for a cause to us, we are eager to help. It may seem like a small thing to provide a business a label, but those labels represent the message and ideals of that brewery, winery or distillery. It is important to me that we provide beautiful, high quality labels for every job, support other local business owners, and promote a message of change and optimism.”

In Baltimore Maryland, owner of Charm City Meadworks, James Boicourt, said that the decision to switch to producing hand sanitizer was an easy one for his business. Charm City Meadworks shares a likeminded mentality with Hub in that they work every day to contribute and give back to their local community. This is something needed now more than ever from businesses who can make a difference.

“Hub Labels’ will continue to make meaningful partnerships with local business owners. No matter how small the project may seem, we know these efforts are making a difference to so many,” stated Thomas Dahbura. “I tell my employees to make things happen. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Engage and offer your support. Working with businesses on these projects for a cause does just that. We make stuff happen at Hub!”

To learn more about Black is Beauty or participate in the movement, please visit BlackisBeautiful.beer

If you would like to read about more Hub Label partnerships, please read the latest article published on L&NW.

 

McClintock Hand Sanitizer Label
Linerless Label Silicon Applicator

Hub Labels Acquires New Linerless Adhesive Coater from ETI

Hagerstown, MD [June 2, 2020] Hub Labels, a market-leading label manufacturer located in Hagerstown Maryland, is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of a new silicone & hot melt adhesive coater from ETI Converting Equipment to support the linerless label market segment. Hub Labels is the only print facility in the United States to have two silicone & hot melt adhesive coaters to create linerless labels which are ideal for skin pack trays. The second coater provides additional security for their linerless customers through machine redundancy, increased flexibility and market leading technology to deliver superior linerless labels.

“Hub’s original coater was purchased in 2009 when Hub Labels partnered with Ravenwood Packaging to install the first linerless label coater in the United States, introducing the linerless technology from the UK,” stated Jesse Hood, Hub’s Quality & Continuous Improvement Director. “It has been 10 years since the original coater was purchased. We had specific challenges we wanted to solve with a new coater. The equipment by ETI did just that.”

“After spending time with Hub Labels in their facility and learning more about their linerless label operation, we believed ETI could improve the overall quality and productivity of their coating line,” commented Richard Hoffmann, ETI’s United States Sales Manager.  “ETI adapted its industry leading Cohesio technology to specifically address coating weight, coating uniformity and finished roll quality.” ETI incorporated its pattern hot melt adhesive roll coater technology in line with its direct roll silicone coating station for this linerless label application. The existing coater uses multiple slot dies to apply stripes of adhesive. The ETI adhesive coater can apply stripes of adhesive, as well as any pattern or shape in register with printing for other linerless label applications. The new coater produces more uniform adhesive stripes and a more controlled coat-weight across an entire job. Hub also found that the slot die system of their original coater can have a tendency to drag and build-up adhesive which can leave a glob of glue on the web. This new ETI coating technology reduces both jamming and adhesive build-up on customer’s linerless applicators.

To test the new coater, Hub Labels partnered with Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO). SVO saw the difference right away with the new label rolls. “You can actually hear the difference as the glue stripes release more easily from the silicone stripes as the labels pull through our Ravenwood label applicator,” stated Rich Baughman, Director of Technology at SVO. “We’ve worked with other linerless manufacturers in the past, and typically we end up throwing a portion of our labels away because as we got closer to the core, there would be too much adhesive and the labels would not release from the silicone. The adhesive is much more even on the rolls and results in less waste. There is also no build-up of glue on our equipment guillotine, which equates to an increase in efficiency due to less downtime. It has been a huge success for our production team.”

Hoffmann adds, “When we heard Hub Labels’ customer was very pleased with the quality of the finished rolls coming off our coater and how well they worked with their label applicator, we were thrilled!” The new equipment features a coat-weight monitoring system that can read both film and paper substrates. The monitoring system also allows for a specific recipe to be created for each customer and job so the precise coat-weight that is demanded for each application can be easily met. The new coater uses the same silicone and adhesive as the original coater to ensure there are no unforeseen issues due to unknown materials.

“The labels produced by the new ETI coater are incredible,” states Thomas Dahbura, owner of Hub Labels. “The ETI coater uses less silicone which is now barely seen on top of the artwork compared to the thicker, glossy silicone stripes from the original coater. We’ve also found that the rolls produced are extremely flat which equates to no more jamming of linerless applicators and no waves in the label rolls. Here at Hub, we are always looking for ways to do better, be better and thrill our customers. We will continue to reinvest in our company, to expand our capabilities and deliver beautiful custom labels.”

 

About ETI: ETI Converting Equipment designs and builds custom-engineered web converting, printing and coating equipment used in the manufacturing of pressure sensitive label products, as well as linerless labels. Its patented technologies create a more efficient production process and depending on the application, substantial material costs savings for its clients. ETI is recognized worldwide as a leader and pioneer in helping to develop and bring to market environmentally friendly labeling solutions. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.eticonverting.com

 

About SVO: Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO) was founded in 2014 by Corwin Heatwole, a life-long farmer who wanted to revolutionize his industry by creating a process that ensures farms are sustainable and profitable for the next generation. Headquartered in Harrisonburg, VA, SVO is an organic meat company that prides itself on treating farmers with dignity and respect, as well as having the highest standards for raising animals. Through SVO’s Farmer Focus Business Model, farmers are true partners: they receive fair compensation for their hard work and have the freedom to make decisions for their own businesses. SVO’s deep commitment to farmers, animals, and environmental stewardship results in high-quality, clean label, organic products—ensuring a healthy source of nutrition through the most humane, clean, and safe processes possible. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.svorganic.com/ 

 

About Hub Labels: Hub Labels, Inc is a manufacturer of pressure sensitive and linerless labels.  Hub is able to provide superior quality and service with our robust and modern fleet of flexographic printing presses, and a flexographic-digital hybrid Heidelburg/Gallus Labelfire press with expanded color gamut that is unmatched in the industry for image resolution and color.  Hub is dedicated to staying abreast of the latest packaging trends and building long-term relationships with customers, vendors and suppliers. At the heart of Hub are the people, who are driven by five key principles: Safety, Sustainability, Innovation, Service and Community. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.hublabels.com