Hub Labels Continues to Expand Its Vision with New MPS EF430 Press

Hub Labels of Hagerstown, MD sees itself as the, “go-to supplier for attention-grabbing labels.” The FTA member guarantees customers the highest quality product available and says it comes with, “the most involved interaction from a seasoned team of specialists, every step of the way.” Staff members take pride in having developed an “unparalleled ability to provide solutions to every label need.” The firm doesn’t shy away from challenges and maintains that its every success is rooted in “innovation, quality and experience.”

In-Plant Positioning

  • Printer: Hub Labels, Hagerstown, MD
  • Press: MPS EF430
  • Print Stations: 9
  • Installed: February 2018
  • Applications: Pressure-sensitive and linerless labels

Founded in 1978, Hub Labels, a family owned business, is now 40 years old. Today, it operates out of a 120,000 sq. ft. facility, housing more than 20 presses and supporting upward of 650 active customers. Growth has been exponential since the day of its founding by Bud and Mary Dahbura, when it ran just one press. The couple first entered label printing in the Central American country of El Salvador, built their expertise and later seized the opportunity to apply it back home. Day-to-day operations in 2018 fall under the watchful eye and tutelage of current president Thomas Dahbura.

Extensive offerings include expanded gamut (EG) print capabilities and finishing options that stretch beyond foiling and laminating. Hub Labels caters to the pressure-sensitive and linerless label converting world with a heavy focus on the food, beverage, nutraceutical, and health and beauty market segments.

Six months ago, installation of its latest press, a nine-station MPS EF430, became an impetus for streamlining functions, enhancing efficiencies and boosting productivity by eliminating non-value-added steps in production.

An aerial view of Hub Labels of Hagerstown, MD and its 120,000 sq. ft. plant.
All photos courtesy of Hub Labels

Intuitive & Attractive

Jesse Hood, continuous improvement and safety manager, relays the story. “Touchscreen interfaces, designed with the operator in mind, made the press very easy to learn how to use.”

Among its attractions, he lists a short web path and the ability to hold very tight registration at high speeds, better waste reduction and quick print cylinder change out. As a result, Hub Labels benefits from faster manufacturing times while maintaining consistent quality.

Jesse notes productivity boosts also accrue from:

  • Tension that is very well controlled, compared to older presses
  • Ability to re-register on multiple web passes
  • Smooth, clean impression with the rubber anvils is “very impressive”
  • Auto-registration

He reports, “We designed the work center to reduce the amount of walking/non-value-added time for operators.” He also recalls extensive hands-on training with operators and maintenance personnel.

Hub Labels’ newest press, one of more than 20 label production machines

“We requested 40 hours of initial training for each operator and lead supervisor. When that was complete, we then requested an additional 40 hours—about six weeks after press installation—allowing us to get familiar with the press. This included time for our maintenance personnel to be trained on troubleshooting and the recommended preventive maintenance schedule.”

Early Results from the New Press

Jesse explains, “At installation, we fingerprinted the press with a new graphics system. As a result, we have seen print-to-color proof improvement, as well as a greater ability to hold a much cleaner dot.” Interconnectivity of Hub Labels’ press with MPS engineers facilitates troubleshooting, on-the-fly consultation and shills sharpening interactions, according to Jesse. The interface breeds efficiency.

With the latest press in place, Jesse says, Hub Labels has the ability to run cold foil, laminate, back print, multi-web print, multi-die cut and other options. He adds, “We are excited to explore the additional capabilities of the press, which we hope will allow us to bring more innovation and products to our customers.”

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