Choosing the Right Automatic Label for Your Products: ArroChem's Expert Guide
In the chemical manufacturing sector, the importance of accurately and efficiently labeling products cannot be understated. Ensuring the right fit between your product and label involves multiple considerations. Let ArroChem guide you through this intricate process.
So, you want to label your products?
Here are some Automatic Labeling considerations to help you choose the best label.
1. Surface materials
- The firmness of the label is the key to the label.
- A certain strength and hardness of the surface material.
- The proper label firmness and the thickness of the material.
- The stiffness difference of the label will lead to a failure if automatically labeling,
2. Release force
- Also known as the stripping force, is the label coming off the bottom paper.
- Release force is determined by the type of adhesive, adhesive thickness, and the surface of the bottom paper.
- The bottom paper is usually coated with silicone.
- If the release force is too small, the label may drop off the bottom paper in the transmission process.
- If the release force is too large, getting the label from the bottom paper is likely to tear the bottom paper and create machine downtime.
3. Label Adhesives
- Initial Tack: The immediate holding power of the label adhesive on contact with a specific surface. If the initial tack is low, it will have low adhesion, allowing the label to be removed cleanly. Adhesives with a low initial tack will build up adhesion over time (i.e., the difference between removable and repositionable). On the flip side, adhesives with high initial tack will have a stronger adhesion and bond to the container much more quickly.
- Ultimate Adhesion: The maximum holding power the label will achieve as the adhesive fully bonds to the surface. How long it takes for an adhesive to gain ultimate adhesion varies and depends on factors like the adhesive’s stiffness, the roughness of the receiving surface, and environmental conditions. Depending on those factors, it can take anywhere from 2 to 24 hours for ultimate adhesion to happen.
- Shear Resistance: Simply put, label adhesives with a low shear are soft which allows them to flow into the surface they’re applied. They also have a higher initial tack but can split apart under stress. A higher shear adhesive is firmer, so it doesn’t flow as well into the surface, resulting in a lower initial tack and making it less likely to split apart under stress.
- U.V. Resistance: If your labels will be exposed to ultraviolet (U.V.) light for extended periods, they may be susceptible to color changes or weakened adhesion. Select a U.V.-resistant adhesive in cases where your labels will be exposed to U.V. light on your end, or if your labels will be exposed to U.V. light during the printing process (e.g., when a U.V. laminate or coating is applied to your labels) to minimize these effects.
- Solvent Resistance: The adhesive’s capacity to withstand exposure to solvents like water, alcohol, petrochemical solvents, plasticizers, etc. without losing adhesion. The container contents, along with the environment where the product will be used, should be considered.
- Mandrel Hold: How well the label adhesive holds up to a curved or tight radius surface. If an adhesive has a good mandrel hold, it will be harder for the label’s edges to lift up, also known as “flagging.”
4. Base paper
- It is required that the surface of the backing paper is uniformly coated with silicon and the releasing force is consistent.
- Uniform thickness and good tensile strength are important to ensure no breakage during labeling.
- Uniform thickness and good light transmittance are also important to ensure that the electric sensor can correctly identify the location of the label for indexing.
- The label gap (between labels) should be 3/8”-1/2” to allow for an electric sensor pick-up signal between rolled labels.
5. Processing Quality
- It is required that both sides of the bottom paper should be flat and free from cracks after die cutting to avoid the bottom paper breaking when the label rolling tension pulls the label web off of the roll.
- When die-cutting the label, the penetration setting is very critical to avoid cutting through the bottom paper when the label is cut to size (if too deep the backing paper will tear).
6. Label Roll and Copy (Text) Direction (very important)
- Each automatic labeling machine has a required roll direction.
- Ask your filling/labeling supplier for their particular roll direction.
- There are (8) roll (WIND) directions to consider: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H
7. Label Vendor
- All of the above characteristics are very well known by an experienced label supplier.
- Consultation with the vendor is important to let them know that the label will be used on an automatic labeling machine.
8. Label sizing to the substrate
- Type of substrate (EPDM, PET, Metal, etc.)
- Shape of the bottle profile: Round, F: Style, Oval, Tapered, Square
- Bottle dimensions: Label area height, width, or circumference.
- The ideal preference is a ¼” tolerance from the top and bottom of the bottle label surface area.
- Label gap (if circumference) should be ¼” – ½” for proper appearance and parallel alignment, edge-to-edge.
- The Label corners are preferably a ¼” – ½” round. (Square corners have a poor appearance)
9. Bottle sizing to the equipment and feeding conveyors
- Assure that the height and width of the equipment will accommodate the bottle size.
- The wall thickness of the bottle (if too thin) will hinder the labeling process and cause label wrinkles, rework, and waste.
- High humidity hinders the automatic labeling process.
- Drastic temperature changes also hinder the automatic labeling process.
- The storage of rolled labels should be in a consistent temperature environment.
11. ArroChem Inc. Automatic Labelling Specifications
Inside Diameter of Rolled Label Core: 3”
Maximum Outside Label Roll Diameter; 13”
F: Style Front Label Wind Direction: A (See Graphic Above)
F: Style Back Label Wind Direction: B (See Graphic Above)
Booklet Labels: YES
Best Label Height: 2”-7 1/2” MAX: 8”
Best Label Length: 2”-15” MAX: 18”
Bottle Sizes: 4-8oz, Pints, Quarts, Gallons
Note: Automatic Labeling requires Labels that are “repositionable adhesive based” with a strong “mandrel hold” to lower the probability of “flagging” (Label edge lifting off of backing paper).
Paper-faced labels are not recommended.
ArroChem can assist you in developing the best Label for your desired Package Design.