The ability of a Krones modular labeler to switch rapidly between cold glue, hot melt or PS heads, for example, allowed end users to introduce PS labels to premium brands previously using wet glue, opening up a new market for added value label conversion.
In issue 6 of L&L we report on a new applicator development which challenges hot melt filmic roll labels – and potentially allows PS label converters to enter a new added value label sector. On PE Labellers’ Adhesleeve system (see page 28) label converters add a strip of PS adhesive, in register, onto each label on a roll. The applicator cuts the roll at the adhesive strip and applies it to the bottle in one operation – eliminating the need for hot melt application on the bottling line. It will require an additional coating station on the press, and some considerable skill in multi-process, inline printing: in other words, the narrow web converter is perfectly positioned to challenge the wide web flexible packaging sector where so much of this work is currently done.
Talking of potentially paradigm-changing developments, check out also our feature on the new Pantec Rhino foiling system (page 61), which claims to bring the quality of sheetfed foiling to the narrow web press in the form on an inline flatbed module with claimed speeds up to 120 m/min on uncoated papers.
This is the truly exciting thing about the narrow web industry, compared to, say, the commercial offset sector: there are always new ideas popping up which can give you the edge over the rest of the market, and thus avoid the evils of commoditization and competition on price.