Materials suppliers are taking notice of key trends in the label industry and responding accordingly. Labelexpo Americas 2018 saw the emergence and further development of flexible packaging materials available to converters, as well as new products for durability, security, premium and sustainable labeling.
Flexible packaging is widely regarded as the fastest-growing printed packaging segment. As shorter runs are disrupting that market and more food companies turning to flexible packaging, many label companies are seeing this as a natural transition. This was clear on the Labelexpo Americas show floor where exhibitors displayed a host of offerings marketed squarely to this emerging trend.
Acpo offered its visitors a step-by-step guide for producing flexible packaging on narrow web presses ‘in four easy steps.’ The guide was in response to questions from customers looking to play in an area traditionally dominated by wide web converters. ‘Our answer is: yes, it’s that simple,’ said Acpo’s international distribution manager Randy Ward. ‘Our product allows our customers – the standard digital and flexo narrow web converters – to do the exact same thing as wide web, but only with smaller runs.’
Avery Dennison launched what it called the ‘first-of-itskind’ heat sealable reclosure technology as part of its functional packaging range. The product, R1490, the only FDA-compliant direct food contact adhesive, and a heat-sealable film liner turns the release liner into a functional part of the final package. The heat sealable reclosure system provides direct adhesion of the entire construction to rigid containers, eliminating the need for flow wrapping, liner waste and clamshell lids.
International Media Products introduced the Z212 premium near-edge wax/resin formulation designed for high speed printing directly onto flexible packaging and thermal transfer overprinting that is compatible with Avery, TEC, Markem and Videojet printers.
Jindal Films showed its expanded Digi-lyte offerings with coated metal facestocks for HP applications, and barrier and pouch materials for flexible packaging.
Mactac, in its North American debut with new parent company Lintec, debuted a re-latch portfolio featuring peel and reseal adhesives. The re-latch constructions include two types of acrylic adhesive based on seal strength (MP820 and M183A). Both options offer a smooth peel, non-water whitening adhesive and resistance to moisture, solvents and oils.
QSPAC Industries showed self-wound overlaminates and a line of clear and matte BOPP and PET self-wound films coated with clear emulsion acrylic adhesives, as well as UL recognized overlaminates for flexo, digital, extended content labels and flexible packaging applications.
Repacorp, a manufacturer of stock, custom, RFID, digital labels and shrink sleeves, was also promoting its new 10-color flexible packaging capabilities that is safe food contact packaging manufacturing.
Making its Labelexpo debut, S-OneLP showcased primer, substrate and coatings for HP Indigo digital presses and that are designed for narrow web label and flexible packaging producers. Products include in-line and off-line primers as well as customizable over-print varnishes. Clear, metallic and white pre-laminate flexible packaging films, a variety of thermal laminates and customizable films for flexible packaging were showcased in their booth, as the company offered ordering with no minimum quantities and delivered with quick turnaround times.
As the conversation on sustainability has intensified, many label material suppliers had sustainability on their minds and in their booths.
3M launched its 3MTM wash-away label material FP0602. This product is FDA compliant for indirect food contact and features an acrylic adhesive combined with a polypropylene facestock, which can be cleanly removed with high-pressure water.
Avery Dennison, a gold sponsor of the TLMI Ecovillage and winner of the 2018 Label Industry Global Award for Sustainability, was transparent in its support for environmental initiatives. At its booth, Avery Dennison showed its Clear Intent portfolio, which includes hundreds of responsibly sourced facestocks and adhesives, as well as products that include recycled content and improve overall recyclability. The company’s CleanFlake Adhesive Technology cleanly separates pressure-sensitive paper and film labels from the PET substrate during the recycling process, allowing recycled PET containers to be re-used in container applications.
Mega Source offered its synthetic paper coating that is tree-free, 100 percent recyclable, waterproof, high tear resistant and durable. The water-based formulated coating contains no toxins, no heavy metals, and is not harmful to the environment.
Ritrama exhibited with a special focus on direct thermal linerless products, which are continuous rolls of thermal paper with no liner (siliconized backing). The big news from Ritrama was its partnership with Omet to make new converting equipment available for Ritrama’s Core linerless materials technology.
Taghleef Industries was showing its Nativa bio-based film line. These biodegradable films made from renewable resources.
Security and durability
When it comes to security and durability, material suppliers were eager to show their strength.
Appvion showcased its Résiste B550-3.1. This product offers ‘robust performance’ in humid environments, designed for weigh scale, food processing and retail applications. Appvion’s Résiste products are top-coated, paper-based products ideal for applications that require extended image life or resistance.
Ashland introduced an all-temperature emulsion acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive, Flexcryl SP-48. The PSA adhesive is designed for permanent paper and film applications that require aggressive adhesion, even at low temperatures.
Taghleef Industries offered its new PPFB and PPGB multi-layer barrier films for industrial labeling applications requiring extreme barrier to staining associated with tire, battery and candle labeling. PPFP and PPGP meet labeling requirements where extreme barrier properties are not necessary.
Tamerica offered Dura-Pap synthetic paper with a matte finish that is water, grease and tear-resistant. It’s dimensionally stable and can withstand temperatures of -60 to ±160 deg F for difficult applications in hostile environments where printed items are exposed to contamination, heavy handling or extreme weather conditions.
For those looking to add value to labels, there was plenty of eye-catching materials on display.
API launched TA-Plus cold foil that offers fine detailing, the capability to cover large packaging surface areas, as well as outstanding over-printability.
Arconvert showcased its range of Manter and Adhoc branded self-adhesive products. The Manter range offering includes a selection of luxury label papers and films for high-value labeling applications printed on flexo and HP Indigo digital presses. The Adhoc collection is marketed for labeling food and drinks, vitamins and supplements, cosmetic and healthcare products, and other products that fall within the fast-moving consumer goods category.
Arjobex launched a range of ice-resistant, synthetic materials aimed at the wine and craft beer label markets, with eight different texture and color combinations. The company also showed a blind-embossed Champagne label produced in partnership with UEI Group.
K Laser Technology debuted its GEMfoils specially formulated for the HP Indigo GEM, a fully digital one-pass printing press for embellishing with foil, screen, tactile, varnish and other special effects, using one workflow, one operator, and one design file without the need for tooling. GEMfoils are available in 28 metallic colors and over 48 holographic patterns in silver or transparent.
New companies and product launches
There was no shortage of things to see at Labelexpo Americas 2018, as several new companies exhibited for the first time, and established exhibitors launched new products.
Actega introduced at Labelexpo Americas an array of ink, coating, adhesive and primer technologies that functionally and aesthetically enhance label and packaging applications. The company launched two Aquaprint water-based, injection in-mold coating products that yield good appearance, proven value in the molding equipment and excellent scuff resistance.
Actega also highlighted its ActDigi digital primers that work with in-line and near-line priming units for narrow web digital presses. The primers are designed to extend life of printing components and are FDA Indirect and California Proposition 65 compliant.
Actega featured its special effect coating line designed to give label printers and brand owners eye-catching shelf presence and tactile effects to enhance the consumer experience. This included the newest special effect product to the MotionCoat line.
Appvion introduced Triumph Digital Thermal Media, a direct thermal label and tag facestocks line that is compatible for use with water-based inkjet technology.
Cyngient debuted at Labelexpo with its Hypercure cold foil adhesive designed for shrink sleeve, PET, PVC, BOPP, paper and all treated films.
Armor introduced inkanto, the company’s new branded product and services to the North American market. Inkanto is a complete range of wax, wax/resin and resin ribbons. Services include a lifetime warranty of the ribbons, a QR code on the labels embedding a certificate of conformity and a cleaning wipe to help maintain the print head.
Dunmore showed new polyolefin label materials, a BOPP-based direct thermal printable film that provides high optical density printing for superior barcode and text readability. Dunmore has also added aesthetics to polyolefin films with new metallized polyolefin films.
DNP showcased four new high-performance products. MP Mid highlights DNP’s midrange lineup with a vast range of compatible substrates. M295HD combines high speed with dense, dark print for flexible packaging applications. R550 provides extreme resistance against chemicals commonly used in automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical and electronics industries.
Dow Chemical Company launched SYL-Off SL25 release modifier. SYL-Off SL25 is a solventless and olefin-free formulation. The performance profile of the pressure-sensitive construction can be tuned to meet the low release forces that enable high-speed matrix stripping operations, while simultaneously delivering the higher release forces needed at end use applications such as hand-peel. Dow also launched new Robond PS 7735, an all-temperature acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive, representing the acrylic portion of the pressure-sensitive adhesives portfolios.
Flexcon showed its DPM UVIJ for narrow web UV inkjet printing, a pressure-sensitive product line available in white and clear polyester, available in roll and sheet form, and marketed to durable goods labeling applications.
Hansol launched two new top-coated label facestocks, TC CL 65 and TC CL 74. Both are recommended for retail, grocery and logistics applications and are highly sensitive and have excellent barcode readability and scuffing and environmental resistance.
IIMAK introduced iiColor Match thermal transfer ribbons, allowing converters to supply brand owners with thermal transfer ribbons (TTR) in any color. This custom color program delivers fast turnaround with low minimum orders. Color matching is available on IIMAK’s range of 50 colors and ribbon grades, including wax, wax/resin and resin.
Innovia and Treofan exhibited together for the first time since parent company CCL acquired the latter company. Innovia says this merger allows a fuller portfolio and strengthens manufacturing capabilities in the Americas. Innovia’s technical expertise now covers both ‘bubble’ and tenter films and allows Innovia to provide specialist products for PS, roll-fed wraparound, cut and stack wraparound and in-mold label applications.
Jindal Films introduced Platinum Thermal Printing Technology and added solid white face stocks to its range of coated and uncoated white and metal films for pressure-sensitive markets. Jindal Films also introduced two new Label-Lyte metal facestocks for the ‘high sheen’ graphic look, as well as ALOX and Sealtough technologies.
ND Paper introduced itself to the North American market, exhibiting for the first time since the company purchased two Catalyst paper mills in June. ND Paper presented its label and liner products including its Oxford C1S product line, Glide Graphics CCK release liner base papers, and Trident wet strength papers.
Polyonics showed its patent-pending ESD-Safe labels that are chemically engineered with static dissipative top surfaces and low-charging PSA and liners to protect sensitive ESDS devices from electrostatic charges. The PSA and liners generate less than 125 volts with removal or repositioning. The durable topcoats offer high and low temperature stability and chemical resistance. The materials comply with S20.20, IEC 61340 and JEDEC JESD625B standards for charged insulators used in the proximity of static sensitive devices.
Yupo was showing a range of IML products and, though not yet available, was discussing with visitors the upcoming launch of IML products for PET bottles.