Bergin Screen Printing and Etching is excited about the future of screen printing. With our dedicated family of amazing screen printers and the innovative approach they bring to our company, you can rest assured they will go above and beyond all of you expectations to bring you the best packagin for any occasion you may have. New advances in technology are helping Bergin keep ahead with the growth of ceramic decoration.
Screen printing retains a decisive edge when it comes to high volume production.
Our Italian machines can print up to nine colors, including precious metals such as gold, platinum, and copper. On print runs from 100 cases to 100,000 cases, direct screen-printing is cost competitive with all other labeling applications.
The 360-degree Solution:
Screen Printing Captures More Bottle Real Estate:
The nice thing about screen printing is that you can go well beyond what would be the traditional label panel, By that I mean there is a panel on the glass that the glass company recommends where the paper label stays. It is quite a bit smaller than the height or width of the bottle. Screen printing affords its label to go essentially 360 degrees around the bottle—even on the neck.
I also advise clients that screen printing can take advantage of the fact that the bottle is glossy, so we can design the label with matte decoration on gloss or add shiny gold for a luxurious finish. A lot of our customers tend to migrate this way where they have multiple tiers of wines and use the look and feel of ceramic ink to differentiate from the tiers with paper labels.
The Process: From Label Design to the Finish Screen-printed Bottle:
Typically, wineries have an existing paper label that they’ve decided to switch to screen print, so screen printers will take their existing art files and basically modify them to retain their existing brand identity, but freshen up the look. In that case, they’re engaging with the screen printer’s art department to help with the actual development of the label.
Next, the screen printer creates an art proof, which is basically a digital file that’s showing what the art looks like on their selected bottle, including the art placement, the height measurements and the colors that the customer has chosen. This proof is sent to the customer, who signs off on it, and a production sample is produced (if requested).
Once the ink has been applied to the bottles, they are loaded onto a conveyor belt, which sends them through the lehr. They travel standing upright for two and a half hours, going through annealing, a process to slowly cool the glass to relieve residual internal stresses and prevent misshaping.
The printers then coordinate the logistics of shipping the finished bottles to wherever the wineries are bottling, be it with an industry partner, a mobile bottler or the winery’s own bottling line. The cool part for the people managing the bottling line is they don’t have to worry about set-up for applying the label on the bottle because the label is already on the glass. It streamlines set-up and management of the bottling line.
The Time Line: Planning Backward from the Scheduled Bottling Date:
We will request glass to be shipped into our facility from their glass supplier one to three weeks prior to their bottling date. If we’re updating finish dates, alcohol requirements or if any of their romance copy has changed, we want client sign-offs to get that logistic out of the way.
The next consideration is the size of the print job, the number of colors and if precious metal inks are involved. “The most popular number of colors printed is two and three. Typically with screen printing, a winery’s artwork generally becomes a bit more simplified. Transitioning from a paper label to a bottle label, the background color is usually dropped as the color of the bottle becomes the background, Most bottle printers can handle up to 10 colors, but few jobs ever call for even six.” Adding precious inks (gold and silver) adds to the price of the job and can add some extra turnaround time.
Bergin Screen Printing & Etching has expanded production capacity in a new building with a third production line that went live in January 2018. “This will allow us to take very large jobs, like 100,000 bottles a day. We will be able to nail down a 50,000-case run in five days. With two high-speed lines in addition to our small production line, timelines will shrink for all clients.”
The Cost Equation:
The four factors determining price are case quantity, number of colors, additional costs for precious metals in the design and the weight of the glass. Those big, heavyweight monsters have to print at slower speeds and be spaced out when they go through the lehr. This lengthens the production time, and that prevents us from lehr time for other jobs. Fortunately, the heavy bottles are usually for higher-priced wines.
It’s a branding/marketing decision. You might spend an extra $0.10 on your screen print, but you might be able to charge an extra $1.00 or $2.00 for that full package out in the marketplace. Whatever the incremental cost is for the screen print, that should increase the value, the price point of your product, by a lot more than that.
When you look at the supermarket shelf, one of the reasons why the screen-printed labels stand out is because there is actually less of them.
Other Options for Bottle Decoration Without Paper Labels
Etching is typically the domain of large format-bottles that are used for decorating the tasting rooms produced for special occasions, like wine auctions, gifts to VIPs, retailers and restaurants. Bottles range from 1.5 liters to 27 liters. The bottles are carefully masked, hand-etched and hand-painted.
Because etching is a cold process, artists work individually on filled product, a truly labor-intensive job and priced accordingly.
Although paper labels remain the default packaging method today, silkscreen and UV printing applied directly on the glass is growing in popularity. While once limited to top-tier wines, printed bottles are increasingly found on all price tiers of wines as costs for their production fall.