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  • 30 Oct 2012

Material trends

Carol Houghton reports on materials trends at Labelexpo Americas

Avery Dennison’s new product introductions showed a heavy emphasis on helping brands produce sustainable beverage products. First up were MultiCycle labels, which can cycle more than 30 times through the glass-returnable system, delivering the impact of pressure-sensitive graphics at a lower cost and environmental impact. Wash-Off, meanwhile, is a label material that cleanly curls and releases from glass bottles with no adhesive residue, helping brands meet aggressive recycling targets. Avery Dennison Bottle-to-Bottle Portfolio of labeling materials is designed specifically to enable more efficient recycling of bottles and packages made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Also of interest to the beverage market is Z3338 Adhesive, engineered to keep labels positioned consistently in heavy-condensation environments such as ice buckets and cold boxes.

Turning to its wider film offering, Prime Film Portfolio is a suite of clear, white and metalized facestocks anchored with a proprietary new adhesive, S7000. Seen for the first time in the US was Avery Dennison Shrink PS , a patent-pending, pressure-sensitive label for shrink wrap bags that delivers operational efficiency and crisp graphics.

The company’s TurnLock Laminating System is a film technology for durable goods applications that combines facestock and overlaminate rolls, producing more resilient labels from less material.

Appleton launched a new direct thermal label facestock, Résiste 185-3.3, developed for improved readability in retail weigh-scale label applications. The product has increased resistance to mechanical scuffing helping labels remain legible and scannable when in contact with PVC wrap, packaging films and bags containing plasticizers, or where labeled items are stacked in cold cabinets or store shelves.

The company is working with a number of partners to develop materials to enable double sided thermal printing. This option could offer a different approach to removing liner waste, explains Mike Gove, strategic portfolio manager, thermal products, Appleton. ‘As an example, for shipping labels, the liner can be used as an invoice or packing list once the label has been peeled and applied.’

Dow Corning promoted its Syl-Off thermal cure emulsion coatings for films as the laminating industry continues its move away from solvents. The company also introduced new adhesives to support the creation of high-performance protective films for mobile device, touch-screen and flat-panel display applications, an area of growing interest to label converters.

In collaboration with Wasau Paper, FLEXcon launched Eco Select RT, a 50 lb supercalendared kraft release liner made from up to 30 percent post-consumer waste (PCW), claimed to offer the same functional performance as the company’s standard product.

‘Use of a PCW substrate reduces energy, greenhouse gases, wasted water, pollutants and the number of trees harvested,’ said product manager Ronald Ducharme. ‘It also creates a product differentiator for brands: “The paper you throw away is made from the paper you throw away”.’

Eco Select RT was being offered as the release liner for the recently introduced THERMLfilm Nexgen series of gloss topcoated polyester films. The PCW liner requires no production changes and will have no effect on the UL status of the end product.

The company is also working with Channeled Resources on a true ‘cradle to cradle’ solution with recycled liner sent to Wausau to be turned into new liner for FLEXcon to use in its laminates.

The company also announced the expansion of its Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Adoption Program, working with ink manufacturers to eliminate the need for converters to test their inks on Flexcon substrates. Inks have currently been tested and approved on substrates in the Themlfilm Nexgen line. Additional product lines will be tested soon.

A highlight at the Green Bay booth was its dissolvable paper, H20DP, and dissolvable adhesive, 611, combined to create a pressure-sensitive label that can be cleanly removed – without leaving residue – in water.

The 611 adhesive is suitable for a variety of substrates including most plastics, stainless steel and glass. H20DP can be printed with water-based or UV inks.

Primarily for food service applications, additional uses include beer kegs and other containers designed for wash and reuse, as well as to identify components during product assembly at manufacturing facilities. The dissolving process takes less than 30 seconds.

Hanita Coatings launched halogen-free flame retardant PET labelface films, suitable for automotive or electronic label applications as well as for use in environments such as refineries and chemical plants.

Hueck Folien launched its Hiperprime primer for thermal transfer printed labels which must withstand harsh environments in the automotive, aerospace and electronics industries, including resistance to aggressive chemicals like acetone and hexane.

Hiperprime is available in standard versions with gloss and matte finish on clear, white and silver polyester, with the possibility to add customized security features. It is UV-flexo printable and there is no need for an over-laminate.

Johann Hilburger, sales manager, pressure sensitive industry, added: ‘The coating can be combined with other features such as tamper evidence or holograms for added security.’ It can also be applied to different substrates including polyester and metalized polyester.

Mactac introduced its Puretac CL216 adhesive technology, an optically clear adhesive specifically designed for labeling applications in the health, beauty, food, beverage and household cleaner sectors. The adhesive sticks aggressively to HDPE, LDPE and PET, is resistant to whitening, displays excellent initial tack, is direct food contact compliant and tamper evident, says the manufacturer.  Puretac CL216 is currently available on a 2.0-mil clear, 2.3-mil white and 2.0-mil chrome, top coated, biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) with 1.0-mil and 1.2-mil PET liners. Application speeds have been successfully tested at up to 1,000 feet per minute.

NewPage Corporation introduced OmniPoint, a 60 lb (89 gsm) heavyweight wet strength label paper for large glass and plastic containers used in food, beverage and condiment applications.

David Diekelman, executive director of sales and marketing for specialty papers, said, ‘We worked closely with our customers to develop a heavyweight label paper solution that meets their needs for consistent quality, durability and label converting performance, while allowing them to deliver the best possible label graphics for their food and beverage brand owner customers.’

Kelly Kubisiak, market research analyst, specialty papers,  added,  ‘From a paper perspective, customers, end users and brand owners want certified fiber, down gauging, compatibility with new adhesives, recycled content as well as a lighter base without comprising performance.’

Ritrama announced a growing presence in North America and showed a new range of thinner products including the 40µ PP Gloss Clear as well as Evolution PE60, Globalflex, MDO Coex and Soft Touch, a 17µ laminating polypropylene film for personal care products.

The bi-oriented 50µ clear coex polyolefin film Globalflex on Glassine liner and Globalflex Crystal on PET liner provide a versatile option for contoured or squeezable containers. The company says these products exhibit ‘superior printability, die-cutting, label application, squeeze-ability and product shelf impact at a competitive price.’ Other advantages include more labels per roll and a high degree of stiffness for high speed converting.

Spinnaker was focused on promoting its new distribution centers in Atlanta and Los Angeles. George Fuehrer, executive vice president, commented, ‘Distribution is a critical aspect for label converters and we are working to provide next day delivery.’ In California slitting and distribution were previously carried out by a third party.

New product introductions included over 70 different constructions optimized for EFI Jetrion digital presses. The company is also working with HP to qualify its products.

A new range of film face sheets with lay flat liners was also launched, available in smaller quantities through the Trimless program for smaller customers.

Tesa Tapes introduced Tesa 52018, a15-mil plate mounting tape built on a ‘super soft’ closed-cell polyethylene foam with high elasticity. It is designed for use with thick printing plates (.067” - .107”) on narrow diameter cylinders for high resolution screen printing. The softness level of the foam is said to enable better absorption of press vibrations to minimize dot gain. The backing is coated on both sides with a specially-formulated adhesive system designed to securely adhere to both the printing plate and print cylinder upon initial contact.

UPM Raflatac announced the launch of a new line of universal inkjet and LED toner-based labelstocks for print-on-demand applications. These paper and film products are claimed to ‘dry instantly on printing presses, regardless of ink choice’.  There are over 15 different water-resistant papers and waterfast films in the range, available in both matte and gloss finishes and in roll-to-roll or roll-to-sheet formats.

In addition the company showed paper-faced shelf markers and talkers aimed at replacing existing vinyl based products. UPM Raflatac’s Latex Impregnated and Jetlaser Translucent shelf marker and shelf talker labelstocks are ‘largely’ composed of wood fiber and can be variable information printed without a specialized top-coating. When paired with UPM Raflatac’s RR22 adhesive, these labelstocks provide good initial tack and removability throughout their usage cycles.

Other announcements included the introduction of the Small Roll Service for lower quantities of durables and security labelstocks, along with a Menu Service that allows customers to create custom roll-to-roll labelstocks by assembling standard facestocks, adhesives and liners in more than 1,500 different combinations.

The company also announced the addition of two new slitting and distribution terminals in Mexico City, Mexico, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. These facilities complement UPM Raflatac’s labelstock factory in Rio de Janeiro and slitting and distribution terminal in Jaguariúna, Brazil, and allow the company to service customers throughout Latin America.

Yupo introduced YupoUltraClear film, increasing the brand owner’s choice of bottle color and reducing the amount of ink required, since there is no requirement to match the bottle color. The film is claimed to resist scratching, fading and flagging.

The company also launched its YupoOctopus micro-suction technology, which uses tiny suction cups on one side of the film to grip any smooth, flat surface without any magnets or static, making it suitable for electrical applications and removing the need for adhesives. It can be removed and reapplied for ultra-long wear and shelf life.  Bill Hewitt, market manager and customer service manager, said, ‘Applications are endless. From electronics, product displays, various  graphic design applications, promotional materials, children's games, tabletop decorations and on and on. Just about any smooth surface!’

Dealing with waste

With the help of Greenwood Fuels and Channeled Resources, this year’s Labelexpo Americas saw a major industry first. The waste matrix and finished rolls were collected from the various live press demonstrations taking place around the show for conversion into fuel pellets.

Greenwood’s fuel pellets are a direct substitute for coal yet can have a higher BTU content. Far more cost effective than landfilling, the pellets reduce the overall environmental footprint of producing labels.

A well attended panel session took place in the Ecovillage at the show to learn how Greenwood Fuels turns matrix waste into renewable fuels. On the panel were Dave Robinson, director of sustainable solutions, Channeled Resources Group and Ted Hanson, VP of operations, Greenwood Fuels.
 Robyn Buss, VP sales and marketing at Thilmany
Papers discussed how the pellets are used to fuel its paper making plant, and two label converters on the panel are currently supplying their waste matrix to Greenwood , represented by Jim Check, VP of sales, Heartland Label, and Kevin Hayes, VP of sales and market development at The Outlook Group.

UL certification

Ryan Houle, business development management, chemicals, packaging and labeling, at Underwriters Laboratories, announced the launch of a new In-Mold Labeling Certification Program as part of UL’s expanding Marking and Labeling Systems Certification offerings.

IMLs are evaluated for the specific plastic type and molding process in accordance with the same safety standards used to evaluated pressure-sensitive labels. The first products to meet these new requirements and achieve UL Recognition are manufactured by The Standard Register Company.

This article was published in Labels & Labeling issue 6, 2012