NAPA and SONOMA -- The two largest wine label printing companies in the North Coast have been expanding through acquisition, organic growth and equipment upgrades in the past year and a half as sales of wine bottles have been accelerating.
[caption id="attachment_70213" align="alignright" width="420"] Collotype Labels and Tapp Label have added HP Indigo ws6600 digital offset presses at their Sonoma and Napa plants in the past few months, respectively.[/caption]
In the latest consolidation in wine label printing, Vancouver, British Columbia-based Tapp Label Technologies, Inc., a printer of wine and spirits labels from plants in Napa and Canada, acquired the assets and hired the employees of Ben Franklin Press & Label Co. of Napa.
Ben Franklin Press (benfranklinpress.com) and Tapp Label (tapplabel.com) were the North Bay’s fifth- and sixth-largest wine label printers on the Business Journal's April 2012 list. Tapp Label has 42 employees in Napa and 75 in Vancouver. Ben Franklin Press employs 33 at 480 Technology Way. Together, they become the second-largest wine label converter.
“With this deal, what we’ve done is two-fold: we continued to serve Ben Franklin’s customer base throughout the process and picked up qualified employees and much needed assets to grow our joint business,” said John Attayek, Tapp Label chief executive officer. “Our two companies' business culture and markets align, while building much-needed scale to more readily compete in the marketplace. Tapp is in growth mode, based on our impressive results over the past 12 to 18 months after a very difficult recessionary period in prior years."
Dennis Patterson and Teri Ann Faychild started Ben Franklin Press as a small print shop in 1983. He still manages the 19,000-square-foot plant as general manager of what is now called Tapp 480 Technology Way.
Tapp and Ben Franklin Press have similar waterless offset press platforms. Tapp offers flexographic and digital printing. Ben Franklin Press has three roll-to-roll printing presses and several lithographic printing presses, offering Tapp customers the option of labels that will be applied to bottles with wet glue.
Started in 1992, Tapp opened a Napa plant in 2002 as the wine industry was shifting rapidly to pressure-sensitive labels and now occupies about 23,000 square feet just around the corner from Ben Franklin Press in Napa Valley Gateway Business Park.
In 2003, Tapp expanded the Napa plant to offer digital offset printing. In Napa there are four printing presses, half of which are HP Indigo digital offset presses, and three for finishing plus seven more printing presses in Vancouver.
In December, Tapp received a new Indigo ws6600 press, the latest model for wine labels, with an inline primer unit. Also, set to arrive this month is a fully-loaded ABG Digicon finishing press for high-class finishing of multiprocess labels that bridges the gap between digital and traditional label printing, according to Mr. Attayek. Tapp returned one of its earlier-model Indigo models at the plant while keeping one as a backup and for additional capacity.
“This new HP ws6600 does the work of the two old ones,” he said. “That’s how we could justify the capital expenditure, which was a large investment for us, coupled with the new multiprocess Digicon finishing press. We couldn’t have made this investment and done the deal with Ben Franklin Press without Tapp’s dramatic turnaround in the last 12 to 18 months.”Collotype adds capacity