T

he packaging engineer must begin to collect data from all the team members at the beginning of a labeling project in order to select and specify the best material and label supplier for the project.  If all requirements are fully documented, this information will provide suppliers all the information needed to recommend the best material option and an accurate quotation for the project.  

The information required is summarized below, listing all the areas of consideration where information is to be provided by team members.  The lists contain information that applies to all types of labeling formats and applications, and are intended to be used for new package designs. No individual labeling project will require everything listed.

1. Sensory Considerations Examples
Visual Clear, Translucent, Opaque, Glossy, Matte, Flat, Artwork
Touch Smooth, Textured, Flexible
Smell Scratch ‘n Sniff Labels, Scented Plastics
2. Decoration Considerations Examples
Target Volume Low, Medium, High
Printing Process Flexo, Gravure, Digital, Letterpress, Die-Cutting, Scrap Removal
Artwork Number of Colors/Coatings/Effects/Embossing, Registration “Eye Spots”
Label Type Pressure-Sensitive, In-Mold, Wraparound, Shrink, Roll-On Shrink-On, Booklet
Special Requirements Hot Stamping, Silk Screening, Holographic Image, Special Inks, UV Curing, Distortion Printing, Print Trapped in Lamination
3. Primary Package Requirements Examples
Specification Engineering Drawing indicating all Container Dimensions and Geometry
Material(s) Container Material, Colorants, Additives (UV inhibitors, Anti-Stats, Fillers, etc.)
Labeling Space Defined usable label space based on equipment placement tolerances (usually requires avoiding compound curved surfaces)
Pre-Labeling Treatment Flame Treating, Corona Treating, etc. (this may not become obvious until after label adhesion testing)
4. Product Interface Considerations Examples
Compatibility Compatibility with the Material, Graphics, and Adhesive (if required)
5. Technical Requirement Considerations Examples
Technology RFID, EAS, Printed Electronics
6. Machinery Considerations Examples
Printing Number of Color/Coating/Hot Stamping/Silk-Screening Stations, Laminating, Die-Cutting, Scrap Removal
Labeling Machine Speed, Roll Width, Max Roll Diameter, Core ID, Backing Material Strength, Coefficient of Friction, Static Charge, Adhesive Application
7. Secondary Processing Considerations Examples
Process Sterilization, Retorting, Radiation, etc.
8. Life-Cycle Performance Requirements Examples
Physical Scuff-Resistance
Environmental Temperature, Atmospheric Pressure
9. Regulatory Requirements Examples
Artwork Required Minimum Type Sizes
Copy Cautionary Language, Use Instructions, Multiple Languages, Environmental Markings, Date Coding, Expiration Dating, “Best Used By” Dating

Coding, Labeling & Printing Equipment

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