Napa's Collotype installs digital label press

NAPA -- Collotype Labels, the North Bay's largest commercial and wine label printer, now has a digital printing press at its Napa plant to complete prototype and other small-run jobs in-house.

[caption id="attachment_19511" align="alignright" width="389"] Collotype Digital has just acquired its first HP Indigo WS4500 digital printing press.[/caption]

Collotype received an HP Indigo WS4500 digital printing press and finishing line in January, hired a six-person sales and graphics team for the new digital division in February and started rolling out labels from the press early this month. Collotype's parent company, Ohio-based Multi-Color Corp., installed the press in its Green Bay, Wis., plant two years ago.

"We had a growing digital business despite not having digital capabilities," said David Buse, president of Collotype Label. "Now we have virtually all printing technologies under one roof."

A number of North Coast wine label printers have been acquiring digital presses in the past few years to accommodate customers that may need a few hundred or thousand labels for an auction lot or large-format bottles, gift packages and security or exclusivity features such as serial numbers.

With the new digital group, Collotype also can stretch beyond the wine industry into other packaging markets in which digital printing has been making inroads, such as nutriceuticals, cosmetics, food and small-production spirits and beer. That includes some North Coast microbrews, according to Dan Welty, digital print manager.

"We're doing prototyping for new labels to send to distributors or retail buyers to see if they like the new look," Mr. Welty said. "It makes it cost-effective."

To launch the new Collotype Digital business unit, the company hired Mr. Welty, salespeople Stephanie Mickelson and Loretta O'Connell, and graphic designer Kurt Gonsalves. In February they left the Petaluma sales office of MPSDigital Label, formerly known locally as McCoy Packaging and then John Henry Packaging.

Mr. Welty came to McCoy as vice president in 1988 and then became president in 2001, a year after The John Henry Company acquired McCoy. He oversaw digital printing production and then sales. New York-based Multi Packaging Solutions acquired John Henry in 2003.

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