Steven Label and Robinson Printing unite

Daphne Allen in Labels on January 19, 2018

Two printing companies that have worked with medical device manufacturers for decades are coming together, expanding options and potentially easing order management for customers.

Steven Label Corp., which began making parts for medical device companies in the 1950s, has acquired Robinson Printing Inc., known for its instructions-for-use solutions (IFUs) and folding cartons. Originally founded in 1924, Robinson Printing started serving the medical device market after purchasing Maurice Printers in Temecula in 1992.

Don Chelius, vice president of sales & marketing for Steven Label, describes the company’s beginnings in the 1950s as “an engineering firm that happened to make labels.” The company has “roots” in producing durable supplies for aerospace, he tells PMP News. “We learned a lot around quality; the rigors of aerospace qualified us for medical devices. We developed measurement-oriented manufacturing processes.”

Over the years Steven Label added to its capabilities, and it currently employs silk screen, flexo, digital, off-set, thermal-transfer, and hot-stamp printing to produce bar coded and variable data labels and more. “We can print graphic overlays, nameplates, and even circuits for membrane switches. We can figure out the best mode of printing and use special inks,” Chelius explains. The company has even printed biosensors, implants, and force-sensing resistors as well as printed and die-cut Tyvek.

About four years ago the company had begun outsourcing inserts orders to Robinson Printing. “We had no insert-printing capability in-house, so we dug a little deeper and found that it was a good time for us to come together,” he says.

Robinson Printing’s team felt the same way. “We share a lot of the same customers, and we share the same values,” says Lori Robinson, originally with Robinson Printing who now serves as marketing manager for the Steven Label companies. “Our customers are looking for a way to get labels, instructions, and cartons from one source.”

Chelius says that medical device manufacturers can be commodity driven these days, so the acquisition could help them streamline their own internal operations. “They often have an insert team, a label team, and a carton team,” he explains. “This unites their internal teams. In addition, as customers plan their business, they will know the status of their projects.” 

Central to such awareness for Steven Label’s customers is its STAT (Supply Team Automated Tracking) label management system, which is now rolling out to Robinson Printing’s product lines.

The solution was originally created in 1986, when Steven Label’s current owner and president Steve Stong decided to computerize the business. A relational database was created that allowed the printer to track orders through bar code scanning. It later migrated to the Internet and became a “do-it-yourself order-tracking service for customers,” Chelius says. “It made us more accountable. Through STAT, customers can plan production and track orders in real time, almost like watching the stock market.

“Today, we are still one of the few companies to offer such a service,” he continues. “And because we own STAT, we can make incremental changes based on customer needs.”

STAT provides the following label workflow and management support:

  • Ordering and reordering.
  • Specifications.
  • Proof of delivery.
  • Online proofing and commenting.
  • Reporting.
  • Thumbnails of artwork.
  • Certificates of compliance and conformance.

Above: A screen shot from STAT


Steven Label and Robinson Printing will be exhibiting at Booth #2055 at MD&M West 2018 (Feb. 6-8; Anaheim, CA). The teams will be on hand to discuss the acquisition and acquaint customers with the expanded offerings.

“Becoming part of Steven Label will continue the legacy of Robinson Printing allowing us to grow and prosper,” said fourth-generation owner, Dave Robinson, president of Robinson Printing, in a statement. “This is an ideal fit. Steven Label and Robinson Printing service similar markets and their company values and work ethics very closely match the principles we hold at Robinson Printing. That’s very important to the Robinson Family and it was an essential requirement for the transaction.”

“We are excited about bringing Robinson Printing’s team into the Steven Label family of companies,” added Stong in the statement. “We saw the strategic fit, as Robinson Printing and Steven Label customers have increasingly been looking to consolidate suppliers. We can now provide labels, printed instructions, and folding cartons to our customers. We are pleased to continue to grow the Robinson Family’s 93-year legacy of success and we are proud to welcome their employees and their families to ours. This is a big day for all of us.”        

Steven Label now employs approximately 180 employees and has five manufacturing locations, in Santa Fe Springs, CA; Temecula, CA; and Tijuana, Mexico. 

Visit Steven Label and Robinson Printing at Booth #2055 at MD&M West 2018 (Feb. 6-8; Anaheim, CA).

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