Film Labels

By Catherine Diamond, Associate Editor | September 6, 2012

The popularity of film labels today can be attributed to not only their attractiveness, but also their durability. Here, suppliers share information about their product ranges and latest offerings.

FLEXcon’s new THINflex film
FLEXcon has recently released several new film products. In response to the demand for greener products, FLEXcon recently launched a 50 lb. super calendared kraft release liner made from up to 30% post-consumer waste (PCW). With the equivalent functional performance of its standard 50 lb. kraft product, FLEXcon’s PCW liner meets the demands of converters, brand owners and OEMs for greener materials. Offered as the release liner for its recently introduced THERMLfilm NEXgen series of gloss top coated polyester films, the PCW liner requires no production changes and will have no effect on a product’s UL status.

FLEXcon also recently announced the release of its THERMLfilm NEXgen line of durable label substrates with several features for UL-compliant labeling applications, including compatibility with many conventional print methods, including UV and emulsion, and TTR printability. The new topcoat allows for printability via thermal transfer along with UV and solvent screen, UV, solvent and water flexo or UV inkjet and is compatible with most wax and wax/resin thermal transfer ribbons. These 2 mil polyesters are available in six colors with two adhesive options on the new PCW release liner.

FLEXcon’s new THERMLfilm HT PEN products are designed for high-temperature applications. These polyethylene naphthalate films have undergone rigorous testing, including five cycles of fluctuating temperatures, varying humidity levels and chemical exposure. With proven performance at intermittent temperatures of up to 500° F, THERMLfilm HT PEN products are ideal for use in the automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics industries. Designed for high-density bar code and alphanumeric information, the super-smooth topcoat allows for printability up to 600 dpi for consistent ANSI scanning, and static dissipating properties minimize the risk of print voids. Printable PEN films are available in white and clear and are backed with a 50 lb. glassine liner. Overlaminate is also available on a 1.5 mil polyester liner for adhesive clarity. The product is available worldwide.

New THINflex films fulfill what the company says is a need in the marketplace for cost-effective, environmentally friendly products. Brands are looking for reduced overall packaging and sustainable, “greener” (smaller carbon footprint) products. This 1.6 mil product line offers a 20 percent reduction over the traditional 2.0 clear and silver products, and a 30 percent reduction over the traditional 2.3 mil white product, and the company says all have the same solid performance characteristics and aesthetic qualities as the traditional 2.0 mil clear and silver, and the 2.3 mil white products. The 1.6 mil white film offers opacity equal to the 2.3 mil white film. The films offer excellent resistance to shrinkage, moisture, humidity and product contents.

Avery Dennison
Avery Dennison has introduced its Prime Film Portfolio of BOPP and Machine Direction Oriented

An Avery Dennison Global MDO film application
(MDO) films anchored with the new, proprietary S7000 adhesive. The portfolio consists of clear, white and metalized facestocks on PET liners. In particular, the new semi-conformable Global MDO constructions deliver excellent clarity, conformability for container squeeze, and dispensing stiffness to enable high-speed converting and dispensing.

For more rigid containers, new BOPP products have been designed with S7000 to offer excellent performance in both converting and dispensing even as materials become thinner. The S7000 adhesive delivers 50 percent less ooze and best-in-class wet-out performance across the entire portfolio.

“Thin is not simple,” says Tina Hannan, film product line director, Label and Packaging Materials, North America. “Thinner constructions typically have trade-offs in ooze, dispensing and wet-out, but with our focus on the ‘Science of Thin,’ we have created a portfolio that doesn’t compromise performance.”

UPM Raflatac
UPM Raflatac has significantly invested in expanding its Prime, VIP and Specials labelstock portfolios to accomplish its objective of becoming a full product line supplier to its Americas customers. In its Prime business, UPM Raflatac has introduced thinner, high-performance products to meet market expectations for sustainable, cost-effective packaging. UPM Raflatac’s new range of thin films come in clear, white and metalized, and range from rigid to conformable. Offered on 0.92 PET liner, these labelstocks are more than 20 percent thinner than conventional materials, translating to a greater number of labels per roll and fewer roll changes. Therefore, label converters achieve productivity gains, while also reducing material, logistics, packaging and warehouse costs. Brand owners benefit by using more sustainable packaging materials and decreasing waste.

UPM Raflatac’s RP74 is a permanent adhesive for thin films, where clarity is essential to showcasing label art and product quality. RP74 offers premium wet-out properties and is ideal for use with labelstocks constructed with a PET liner, the company says.

UPM Raflatac’s new RP75 permanent adhesive is designed for in-line application of film labels to freshly blown polyolefin bottles. Industry experts have confirmed that there’s no bubbling or darting of labels when they are applied to warm bottles. In-line application of these products enable converters to eliminate pre-labeled bottle inventories and accelerate the conversion process, enhancing their profitability.

Technicote recently announced the launch of its new Technicote Membership Card polypropylene film base, a pressure sensitive coupon product designed for direct mail packages that require cards to be affixed to continuous forms or cut sheets.  The product consists of two thin layers of polypropylene film bonded together with a specialty dry-release adhesive. The film construction is then coated with Technicote’s TP170 adhesive and 40# SCK release liner. The familiar dry-release adhesive pattern of Technicote’s IRC film base has been incorporated into Technicote Membership Card, but modified to provide a tight release for successful converting and auto-dispense processes. It is suitable for flexo printing, as well as signature compatible. Technicote Membership Card is stocked in Technicote’s Cuyahoga Falls, OH, manufacturing plant for quick turnaround.

Technicote also recently introduced a new selection of films recommended for chemical drum and barrel applications. Featured on the company’s new DL400 adhesive, the materials are designed to withstand harsh weather and environments such as extreme heat, brutal cold, high moisture, dangerous chemicals, UV light and solvents.

This drum label product line includes three label facestocks: 2 mil White TC Polyester is a glossy white top-coated film that is compatible with water-based flexo, UV flexo, and thermal transfer print methods; 4 mil Flexible White NTC Vinyl is a smooth, matte white, non-top-coated film with polymeric plasticizers that requires converter applied top-coat or ink recommended by ink supplier prior to printing; and 3.5 mil White Techni-Flex Polyolefin is a matte white label film that offers moisture resistance, chemical, and smudge resistance, as well as dimensional stability and squeezability.

The DL400 is an aggressive emulsion acrylic adhesive that has been specifically formulated for use in durable label applications such as chemical & barrel drums, lawn & garden equipment and household & commercial appliances. According to the company, this adhesive offers outstanding adhesion to painted steel drums, fiber drums and a variety of plastic drums under high moisture conditions, as well as direct exposure to chemicals, solvents and UV rays.

 An Innovia CZ Plus film label
Innovia Films
Innovia Films manufatures two families of specialty products: BOPP and cellulose-based films, which are supplied into the labels, packaging, tobacco overwrap and securities markets. Innovia features HP Indigo-compatible digitally printable, squeezable, downgauged rigid, compostable films, made from renewable resources, and more recently, a range of IML films, including low distortion.

Rayoface continues to be at the forefront of the company’s developments in PS labeling. It is suitable for both conventional and digital printing processes. In addition to this line of specialty label films, the company also offers Rayofoil metalized label films, NatureFlex compostable films, RayoForm in-mold label films, Cellophane cellulose films, and Rayoart films for graphic arts.
The company says its latest products are “driving cost out of filmic labels by increasing efficiencies throughout the conversion process.” Rayoface CZ Plus and WZ Plus squeezable films offer an inherently printable surface and outstanding print performance without the need for a topcoat.

Acucote Inc. offers a variety of film-based facestocks for pressure sensitive applications. Offering prime to industrial films, Acucote’s film facestocks serve technologies such as flexographic, offset, UV, inkjet, thermal transfer and direct thermal.

Acucote’s white, clear and metalized polypropylene prime film facestocks enhance the appearance of packaged products while matte films such as the 3 mil matte polypropylene provide an enriched texture. Flexibility and conformability can be obtained with Acucote’s 2.2 mil flex polypropylene and 3.2 mil Endure polyolefin. Both are available in white gloss and clear matte finishes.

Applications requiring outdoor resistance and durability can be satisfied with Acucote’s polyester and vinyl films. Two mil polyester films are topcoated to enhance printability for both flexographic and thermal transfer print systems. Acucote stocks white, clear, metalized, laser printable and tamper evident polyester films.

Variable print topcoated products include a variety of base films. Polypropylene, polyester and polyolefins service a wide range of applications. Direct thermal printable films include: 1.57, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.2 mil white polypropylenes; clear direct thermal is also available. Acucote’s thermal transfer print receptive films are designed to be applied for extended periods of time in harsh outdoor conditions. These films include polypropylene, polyester and polyolefin base films. All are topcoated to receive the thermal transfer print systems.

Ritrama’s film products include a new line of 1.6 mil downgauged, topcoated polypropylene materials available from a stocked inventory in clear, white and chrome from Ritrama’s Cleveland Roll Label Converting Center. These films are available with AP901 acrylic permanent adhesive, which feature high clarity and cohesion with strong adhesion to PE and PP based substrates. These constructions offer added sustainability with the addition of the 0.92Mil PET liner. These materials are targeted for many markets including beauty and accessories, beverage (including spirits), food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, ag-chem and industrial.

Ritrama has recently announced the addition of its wine label range of materials. This portfolio of materials include 21 different stocked constructions which are comprised of uncoated, coated, and metallized papers as well as clear and metallized polypropylenes. The company says these constructions, which are available with AP903 acrylic permanent wine label adhesive, offer excellent adhesion to glass and bottles that are immersed in ice-buckets or stored in high humidity conditions, without the risk of label lifting or peeling off the substrate. The polypropylene materials are available with AP901 acrylic permanent or SBA solvent beverage adhesive.
Ritrama will soon be announcing its newest line of materials to the digital roll range of constructions, with the introduction of materials certified by EFI Jetrion.

Over the past few years, Multi-Plastics has been working to develop a line of EnviroSafe products, which are designed to address the realities of actual disposal environments. Multi-Plastics’ says its EnviroSafe products are green product innovations (GPIs) that do not compromise on product performance or processability.

“This was the primary objective with this line because too many green products are inferior to the traditional product they are trying to replace and cost a substantial amount more,” says Robert Weber, national sales manager.

Most recently, Multi-Plastics has added biodegradable polystyrene to their unsupported, narrow web line of label products. LCF 22DG is engineered with an additive to accelerate the initial degradation and ultimately achieve biodegradation within common disposal environments.  The company says it understands there are many who are skeptical of environmental claims, and has therefore sought an independent third party lab validation according to ASTM D6954-04 test guidelines. In addition to being biodegradable, these materials are also recyclable and have a better yield than other environmentally friendly products available on the market, the company says.

Additionally, Weber adds, there are no process changes necessary. EnviroSafe LCF 22DG will process the same as traditional polystyrene label films using the same inks and adhesives. “While there is a nominal percentage increase to the overall MSI cost of the labels when compared to traditional OPS films, the bottom line costs of productivity and ease of processability will be far lower than other well-known ecological choices,” he says. LCF 22DG is available in clear or white, matte or gloss in thickness of .00105" to .010".
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