Panelists from UPM Raflatac, Sigan Plastics, FLEXcon, Avery Dennison and Mark Andy generally agreed that the label industry is moving into thinner films similar in gauge to the high end of what the flexible packaging industry is already using successfully. Consumer package goods manufacturers (CPG) like the new no-label look and the label industry benefits from less material to transport and recycle. Thinner labels require thinner liners to be applied successfully to the container by the decorator. Presses which control tension and use minimum heat in drying the ink will help keep the film stable, ink such as low shrink UV with a low setting UV lamp or LED cure work well. Die-cutting is another source of heat which must be controlled through properly controlling pressure, heat from curing and alignment.
How thin is thin? Pressure sensitive labels with thickness for rigid applications of PP at 1.6mil, and PET at 0.92mil are now available with PET liners of 0.92 mil or less. PET labels and liners of even 0.75 and 0.5 mil are becoming available. Checkout UPM’s Thin Films Brochure (7.3MB).
Joel Schmidt of the Outlook Group shared his company’s work in using resources at TLMI and suppliers to seek green solutions. Joel has focused on minimizing face stock, adhesive and the liner thickness, as well as choosing liner material which can be recycled. Joel is also using bio-based films. He provided an example of reducing the total thickness by 50% of face stock, adhesive and liner resulting in lower material, shipping and recycling costs yielding a happier and greener customer.
Photo Credit: Mike Pruitt