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Labelexpo Europe review : Material suppliers respond to industry trends

Avery Dennison launched a wide range of new products, including its new Surfas adhesive technology,designed to create a stronger hold on rough finishes such as corrugated boxes

Material suppliers at Labelexpo Europe launched products in response to industry trends such as sustainability, premiumization, security, digitization and diversification. 

Sustainability 

Labelexpo Europe saw material suppliers launching products using post-consumer waste, renewable sources and steering towards waste recycling. Exhibitors and visitors were keen to explore more than just downgauging of materials. There were discussions on recycling and separation of waste in labels, and on using plastics from the same family for easy recycling than making multi-substrate flexible packaging. 

In line with these trends, Acpo showcased recyclable flexible packaging films for digital as well as flexo presses.

Actega soft-launched Ecoleaf technology as a sustainable alternative to creating decorative metallic embellishments on labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons. It uses the precise amount of metal required to create the metallic image, thus eliminating the need for foil. This unit can be retrofitted to an analog or digital press or a finishing machine. It can produce tactile metallic effects without embossing, fine metallization at high resolution, and seamless and variable metallization on an inkjet press. 

Avatack showed Eco film and Eco tape that uses less plastic but is waterproof and durable like traditional tapes. The company also showed biodegradable and compostable bags made from polyactic acid derived from plant starch.

Avery Dennison won the Environmental & Sustainability Award at the Label Industry Global Awards for its recycled PET (rPET) liner that is made with 30 percent PET post-consumer waste from PET bottles, while maintaining the technical qualifications the liner material needs for supply chain labeling success. Other sustainable products showcased included recycled content liner (rBG) made with 15 percent post-consumer waste, recycled content facestock (rPE), CleanFlake Flex Adhesive Technology, Wine Crush range and Sustainable Wine range. 

Delfort showed its release base paper, Tersil UltraLight Base, which boasts a low weight of only 35gsm and incorporates recycled materials. The thinness of the product reduces the need for changeovers on the coater by 38 percent. Tersil UltraLight Base is offered in white and gold.

DP Lenticular showed new features of its MicroFlex rolls that are produced using PETG (Recycle Code: 01) resin and have now been made thinner by around 100 micron. According to the company, it makes them the thinnest press-stable lens array material available. 

Folien Fischer launched its new line of eco-friendly FOFIGreen materials, scratch resistant films and outdoor films with laser printable coatings. 

Henkel launched Aquence PS 3682 water-based pressuresensitive adhesive with wash-off characteristic to help material separation in recycling process.

Intercoat showed 100 percent recycled PE made with 50 percent post-consumer waste and 50 percent industrial waste. The film is offered in white and in clear-on-clear look. The company also showed down gauged 23-micron PET liner for clear-on-clear labels. 

Italnastri introduced labelstock made from 100 percent cotton fiber. It caters to high-quality, special applications for shorter runs mainly for wine and spirits industry. The company is further trying to switch from film to transparent paper.

Innovia Films showcased Rayoface mBoss130 embossable BOPP facestock film and Rayoface Reclose92 high clarity monoweb film designed for wet wipe pack applications. An all-polyolefin wipe pack construction, Rayoface Reclose92, offers easier recycling after use versus alternative mixed material constructions. The company also showed Ultrafoil clear squeezable films which have been downgauged by around 40 percent. 

Jindal Films offered a range of ISCC PLUS certified non-fossil based polypropylene oriented films. The films can be made with various renewable sources such as sunflower, soyabean, tall oil, amongst others via mass balance approach. The company also introduced Label-Lyte LCC conformable and squeezable OPP film that reduces the use of plastic by 40 percent compared to conventional PE labels. This film is recyclable and can be separated by floatation when applied on PET containers with suitable adhesive. Jindal and Treofan also introduced downgauged version of ELR70.0 IML film. 

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper launched barricote Bag WGOM, a fully recyclable barrier paper for flexible food packaging with multi-barrier against water vapor, grease and oil, oxygen and aroma as well as mineral oil migration. BAG WGOM can be heat-sealed and is approved for direct food contact.

Ritrama showed the Ri-move range of self-adhesive labeling materials developed to meet both recycling and reuse requirements for glass and PET containers and customer needs. The special adhesive technology ensures maximum adhesion during the product’s life-cycle while allowing fast and clean removal of the label from the container during industrial washing.

Synthogra launched Pure-Durable, a printable sugar-based film made entirely from renewable sources. It is a 100 percent bio-based material where more than 70 percent is based on the waste product from sugarcane production. The remaining 30 percent comes from natural minerals. The material is suitable for tags, tickets, self-adhesive labels, loop labels and more. 

Taghleef Industries (Ti) launched Nativia D813, the first bio-based and biodegradable IML film, made from polyactic acid derived from cornstarch or sugarcane. These films are designed to decorate bioplastic-based containers. The company also discussed about the ultra-clear floatable Shape360 TDS film that minimizes the impact on PET recycling systems and reduces the weight of the label due to its low density. 

UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels joined forces to launch wood-based polypropylene film, UPM Raflatac Forest Film, and UPM Raflatac Fossil-Free Adhesive, a renewable multipurpose adhesive. Their main raw material is UPM BioVerno naphtha, which is a renewable component made from tall oil, a residue of pulp production. Both these products do not require any changes in production processes and can smoothly replace traditional fossil-based options. 

The company also showcased PP Lite range that combines a lighter face material, a lower coat-weight adhesive and a lighter backing which makes them lightweight and optimizes the use of raw materials and resources. The company further showed Vanish PCR line of ultra-thin clear film labels available with 90 percent recycled content face and liners. 

VPF launched materials that included grass, biological waste from agricultural processes and recycling components. Paper facestocks include FSC-certified VPF 1353951 made from 100 percent recycled paper and bleached without using chlorine; VPF 10929 and VPF 10930 manufactured from biological waste from agricultural process, such as after the harvest of corn, wheat, sugarcane and rice; VPF 10916 and VPF 10945 produced with low use of energy and water due to 40 percent share of grass from local pastures. 

Yupo showcased IML film for no-label look that can be recycled with the container. The company is certain grades of material will be made of bio-mass resin to address sustainability. 

Premiumization 

Suppliers increased their portfolios of materials for added-value products requiring high levels of embellishment. 

Acpo showed Sofsens film targeted at luxury packaging, as well as gold glitter overlaminated BOPP film for decorative labels and packaging applications. New products included non-sealable matte PET film and easy release polyester overlaminate. 

Arconvert showed a new range of self-adhesive papers featuring X-Dry waterproof technology and High Opacity technology H+O, along with its new permanent acrylic adhesive SH9020 which ensures the increased performance of the label while maintaining the premium brand appeal. The company was celebrating 75 years of the Manter brand and released two catalogs: Avec Plaisir! and Innovation & Inspiration. 

Hueck Folien launched a metallized silver LDPE-based film, Sikskin, for conformable applications such as cosmetics tubes. Hiperprime is a new primer for durable label facestocks designed for technical applications in the automotive, aerospace and electronics industries as well as for use in laboratories. 

Kurz unveiled the new KPW XU cold foil for narrow web printing. The new development aims to provide converters with a cold foil that combines good processing characteristics and overprintability as well as excellent finishing results. KPW XU is characterized as a versatile grade that offers a high covering power and edge definition, high-gloss finish, and good adhesion when applied. 

Ritrama showed its new ‘Wine, Spirits, Craft Beer’ collection, a selection of fine papers, transparent or aesthetically exclusive materials that, combined with high-performance adhesives, meet labeling requirements for the wine, spirits and craft beer markets. 

Univacco presented the UPR series of holographic narrow web cold foils, giving metal engraving, metal brush and optical lens effects to labels. The company claims superior foil adhesion and rub-resistance combined with over-printability, and it works well for shrink sleeve applications. 

Zanders Paper showed its wide range of label papers as well as papers and boards for packaging applications. This included cast-coated premium brand Chromolux and the label paper Zanlabel, available in gloss, high gloss and touch (natural look and feel). 

Security

Brands continue to invest in anti-counterfeiting features. Several suppliers showed new innovative substrates to further strengthen brand protection.

Avery Dennison created an interactive environment in which visitors experienced the speed and efficiency of inventory accuracy with RFID and felt the ease of autonomous checkout while getting a first-hand, interactive view into the shopping environment of the future. Featured products included RFID for metals and liquids, Wavesafe RFID tag, and ConnectIC FlexICs by PragmatIC.

Lintec showcased custom message tape and labels featuring tamper-indicating properties that instantly reveal a non-reversible customizable message if label is removed from the package. On display was Securafol, a non-PVC destructible labelstock designed to counter product tampering. Addressing security concerns by brands, the company presented tamper-evident non-transfer void security labelstock in blue, red and transparent. When removed, the labelstock’s tamper-indicating properties instantly reveal a non-reversible message within the label substrate. Unlike conventional ‘Void’ materials, the film does not leave any residue on the application surface. 

Nanobrick manufactures the MTX magnetically color-changeable photonic crystal materials for anti-counterfeiting applications. It presented M-Tag for hot foil stamping on labels and M-Pac for packages. The materials, when in contact with a magnet, change color indicating if a product is genuine or not. Nanobrick also provides a mobile service authentication system, M-Check, for online authentication by customers via QR code, barcode or NFC. 

PPG showcased PPG Teslin synthetic material for adhesive coaters, label converters and packaging specialists. It is suited for applications that require printed data to remain on labels, such as brand protection, tamper-evident security, pharmaceutical and in-mold applications. 

Yupo showed facestock for durable labels as well as for tamper-evident labels. The multi-layer structure of Yupo paper allows various possibilities for labels with security functions. 

Digitization 

With increasing number of inkjet and dry toner digital technologies being used by converters, materials suppliers have a plethora of options to choose from. 

Avery Dennison demonstrated M_use online platform that offers label design inspiration, industry insights and future trends. On display was its digital inkjet portfolio to supply OEM-certified labeling material to support major technologies; and One-Roll Unique Service (ORUS) program for European customers enabling them to order a single, 1000m long, first roll of any 1m product combined with any Avery Dennison adhesive technology. 

Dunmore unveiled its new line of Dun-Jet UV inkjet-compatible materials, providing enhanced adhesion and print quality on a range of materials including polyester and BOPP films.

Durico showed labelstock inkjet media for full color printing. The company focused on white matt film, DR-115, targeted for durable labels. 

Dynic (UK) launched inkjet compatible textile care label material, IJC51, suitable for use with the latest pigmented color inkjet printer systems. The new range offers the ability to produce high resolution, full color textile care labels with wash test and dry-cleaning resistance. This product is being targeted for desktop printers to run short run jobs with variable data printing. 

Emax Label Solutions presented a range of inkjet-compatible materials suitable for both dye and pigment inks. As well as paper and films, the range includes wash-resistant textile labels.

Folex launched PE face films that use inkjet nano glossy coating. Introducing a portfolio of synthetic films for the label industry, the company showcased range of glossy PP films with new thinner base options, as well as portfolio of inkjet films coated for HP Indigo.  

Italstick showed a range of digital printable materials including PP and PE films, papers and boards. The company also showed wine label materials including felt-marked, embossed papers combined with adhesives for humid and cold surfaces with good ice bucket performance, and wash-off adhesives for reusable glass bottles.

MDV and Tech Folien demonstrated materials optimized for water-based inkjet and dry toner-based printing. XTP, a group development, is an example of a conformable durable polyolefin which is toner (Robuskin) and inkjet (Aquaskin) printable. Fluolux and Ultrasilver papers showcase beautiful images digitally printed with white toner using Color-Logic software. Synthetic materials for Indigo technologies were available. Fully recyclable film Satinex HLS2, claimed to have superior print registration, low stretch and high tear resistance, is ideal for wine labels for production on high-speed multi-color narrow web presses. 

Megasource launched a PET-based material, with a proprietary coating on both sides, designed for laser printing machines from Konica Minolta, Fuji Xerox and Canon, among others. The company says the material has been tested and approved by Konica Minolta Thailand. 

Michelman showcased its newest inkjet technology, including the new JetPrime WB100, a technology for pigmented water-based inkjet printing applications. It has been developed for coated offset substrates and is useful for high-speed printing applications such as folding cartons and corrugated. 

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper launched jetscript Metal VPG 1018, a fiber-based metallic silver paper with glossy finish and a transparent, microporous inkjet coating for high printing performance.

Sihl presented Artysio for packaging using inkjet printing. The company also showed a new development in films for water-based inkjet printing as part of its facestock range. Some Sihl facestock contribute to a reduction in environmental impact with weight savings of 20 percent to 42 percent compared to equivalent inkjet films. These also include new white and transparent glossy films for dry toner printing. 

S-One Labels & Packaging showcased its materials for digital label converters and introduced its sustainable packaging materials, including recyclable ReTreve and compostable ReEarth product lines. Other products on display included flexible packaging pre-laminate films, overlaminate films and overprint varnishes for digital printing. The company also announced new partnership with Cellcoat Systems to bring the T14 Thermal Laminator to digital label and flexible packaging printing and converting. 

Soontomax offered clear-on-clear label products and a range of PP and PE digitally printable materials.

VPF introduced PE, PP and paper materials qualified for inkjet and laser printing, including newly qualified materials for water-based inkjet printing systems.

Diversification

As Labelexpo Europe diversifies, there are ever-more opportunities for label converters to move into new areas. Responding to converters’ needs to print profitably on wide range of substrates, material suppliers presented several new products during the show. 

Avery Dennison launched its new Surfas adhesive technology, designed to create a stronger hold on rough finishes such as corrugated boxes. It has its main applications in e-commerce and logistics labeling, reducing the risk of curled or failed logistics labels. The company also featured its automotive portfolio, cold chain adhesive, and luminescent topcoat. The cold chain adhesive can be applied at temperatures as low as -50 deg Celsius – an industry first – and holds fast down to -196 deg Celsius. 

API Group launched its new PureFinish cold foil adhesive. Formulated for UV flexo printing, and tinted blue to make registration easier, the adhesive complies with the latest EuPIA guidelines and industry standards and is also available for non-direct food packaging applications. 

Cosmo Films showcased tear-resistant synthetic paper, polypropylene films for repositionable and removable label applications, matte coated pressure-sensitive labelstock films, transparent in-mold label film, high-speed WAL film that can run at 55,000 bottles per hour, and pearlized metalized WAL film. 

DNP showed its new V300 resin ribbon, which prints on substrates ranging from paper and polypropylene to PET. It images equally well on all types of laminates, varnishes and top-coats. This product, marketed for desktop printer models with smaller footprints, is capable of producing crisp, dark images at both low and high print speeds. Also on display was M255, DNP’s new wax/resin ribbon to minimize print production change-overs, and M295HD, high speed printing wax/resin ribbon for flexible packaging. 

Evonik showed its new Plexiglas films, based on polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). PMMA is a transparent, colorless polymer with a high degree of weather resistance, and compatible with a wide variety of additives and pigments. Evonik’s Nutrition & Care division showed new products in the Tego RC Silicones range. Tego RC 1904 is a single-component product designed for high-speed peel applications. 

Jindal Films introduced two-side coated, super white opaque polypropylene label facestock Label-Lyte LH344 to produce durable labels for harsh environment and demanding applications. This film is suitable for rough surfaces, such as textile and tires, requiring hot melt adhesive performance.

Lintec displayed an extreme high temperature labelstock that can withstand temperatures of up to 1,250 deg Celsius, as well as harsh environment and chemical exposure. The company also demonstrated FX range of labelstock enabling 100 percent contact to textured, irregular and compound curved surfaces. Further, Lintec showed new multi-layered label material, designed for automotive and industrial applications. The company was promoting its new Livasta brand name for its materials.

Lintec Europe partnered with Screen Europe to address the issue of ink and adhesive migration in food and pharmaceutical industry. Lintec showcased its ultra-low migration labelstock compatible with low migration inks used by Screen Truepress Jet 350UV+LM label press. 

Taghleef Industries showcased its D590 in-mold label film, sensitive to UV light. It automatically detects common defects that impact the quality of injection molded containers with IML. The company also presented high PSA bonding film for repositionable labels and removable labels. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aakriti Agarwal is India and Southeast Asia editor for Labels & Labeling.

Aakriti has been India editor for a number of years, and editor of the online newsletter, Label News India.

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