28 Feb 5 Temperature-Related Labeling Issues
Temperature & Labeling
Spoiler – Weather and temperature affect labeling! No matter where you are on the globe, hot or cold, humid or dry, chances are pretty good that the weather in your part of the world may cause your label adhesive to fail either during or after application. But there’s more; it’s not only the adhesive that may falter. Different face stock materials also react to surrounding temperatures in various ways.
Now that you know, you can prevent a fair amount of trouble with a bit of proper planning. The key is to “be” the label. Think of where you are labeling, where the product will be stored, and end its life cycle. Trust us, it sounds weird but going through this process and mentioning them to your printer will help you avoid a few nasty headaches.
Often warmer temperatures can affect the peeling of the label stock from the liner during the application process. As the adhesive on the label gets hotter, it affects the consistency of the glue, making it softer and tackier and less likely to be cleanly released from the label roll, causing applicator head jams and damaged labels.
Winkling is a common effect of temperature on the liner, adhesive and face stock – even before applying to the product surface. That’s right; a 24-48 hour acclimatization period is often the first precaution you can take to prevent puckering. However, the problem may also be due to the type of material you are applying to. Some plastic containers expand and contract with the temperature. Opting for a label made of a similar substance as the container may help alleviate the issue.
Humidity, unstable environments, and quick temperature changes are often the culprits. The liner (backing) and face stock (label material) lose and gain moisture at different rates and cause the label to curl. In hot and humid conditions, the curl may also be accompanied by the adhesive “oozing,” which often causes applicator jams. Storing your labels in airtight bags and monitoring them for condensation may be the first step in overcoming the dreaded curl.
Temperature can cause imperfections that you do not want out to market. They are a poor reflection of your brand and a waste of time and money. Luckily, taking preventative steps to limit temperature sensitivity is possible. Above that, there are label suppliers and labeling machine suppliers who have seen it all – and would certainly be willing to help you out of a sticky situation.