For many people, a label is a purely decorative element used to convey information and draw attention to a product. We are used to using labels to influence our purchasing decisions in places as diverse as supermarket and drug store shelves. But what about the medium through which these labels must travel? The label must be able to withstand various conditions without compromising on quality.
According to Mark Andy, increasing expectations and requirements for label durability and strength, including those caused by climate change, have become an increasingly important issue in many markets around the world. Brand owners facing challenges from temperatures as high as 40C/104 F are a prime example. These labels must be produced with special printing and finishing equipment. Mark Andy is a long-standing manufacturer and supplier of presses offering inline, single-pass label production that meets the highest standards of users and brand owners.
Climate challenges include all types of weather, with temperatures ranging from sub-zero to hot and dry, and high humidity as seen in equatorial regions. Labels must also withstand wear and tear that may occur during shipping or when entering and coming into contact with seawater, blood, chemicals, etc. Mark Andy’s opinion is that, taking all these factors into account, the label has become much more than a decoration and a means of conveying information on the package – it must also be durable and resistant to many different external conditions.
The base of the permanent label is a stronger and heavier substrate than that of the standard label. And if they are pressure sensitive, the glue will have to be very aggressive to handle temperatures below freezing or above the boiling point. Ink should also be a consideration; it must be lightfast and suitable for severe conditions with good adhesion, friction and scratch properties.
Phil Baldwin, Sales Manager for UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, outlines the background to Mark Andy’s involvement in the sector: “The company has a long history of supplying technology to this market and has extensive experience in applications from oil drum labels, wristbands and labels for trees to straps for animal carcasses. Mark Andy cooling drums not only cool the web, but allow it to heat up, which improves handling when working with aggressive adhesive material. Oldham’s pre-tensioned belt transport and drive units also ensure that the press can process specialty materials such as Tyvek for wristbands and plastic pot liners. If required, it can also supply built-in point heads for melting hot glue, laminators for applying glass strips or protective films, RFID inserts and many other options.”
On the consumables side, Mark Andy’s digital inks have a high degree of light fastness and excellent adhesion, scratch and friction properties. The ink used in the Mark Andy Digital Series HD hybrid press is also autoclave and boiling water safe, solvent resistance tested to ASTM 5402-06 for solvents, fats, oils, grease, alcohol and blood, strip test approved by ASTM 3359 , has a 7-8 on the blue wave scale, meets the rub, scratch, and abrasion tests of industry standard ASTM 5264-98, and is UL 969 certified for permanent label applications.
When we discuss hardworking and durable tags, RFID tags are a good example, especially with their increasing popularity and application to meet the changing demands of various global markets. Speaking about the company, European sales manager Lukasz Hruslinski explains how Mark Andy got involved in this sector: “We started with logistics, shipping companies and pharmacies, which were areas that had thousands of different factors and where precision was the number one criterion. To meet these growing needs, we designed and built presses equipped with RFID modules that allow the application of tags. As for the durability of the label and the complexity of the structure, we offer many other solutions that expand and upgrade the entire configuration, streamline the production process, and offer better control. We invite any company looking for a durable label manufacturing solution to contact Mark Andy. We are very keen to share our extensive knowledge and extensive experience in this area, as well as to offer a suitable, suitable press configuration.”