Adhesives that don’t do their job can create a sticky situation for packagers, retails and consumers, or, in some cases, a less than sticky situation. Adhesives that fail can lead to product loss, shipping problems, equipment slow-downs and consumer complaints. Adhesives must adhere and also be flexible enough to allow packagers to correct mislabeling, hold up to consumer use and work with a variety of materials.
Put the squeeze on ‘em
Squeezable packaging permeates the food and beverage market and allows products to stand out from the crowd. Consumers have come to expect the convenience of a squeeze bottle for everything from condiments to beverage enhancers. This demand has increased the need for adhesives that stand up to squeezing while still making a mark on the retail shelves. MACtac’s Performance Adhesives Group (mactac.com) has launched new squeezable films with its MP880 adhesive to meet this growing packaging need. The films feature a clear adhesive that works with PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP and other materials. The film offers bold graphic appeal as well as long lasting shelf appeal. The adhesive also provides extended open time, which is time in which the label can be cleanly removed in case of mislabeling.
“This high-performing, stand-out adhesive film does offer a visual advantage over paper labels,” says Kim Hensley, product manager, MACtac Performance Adhesive Group. “However, the film and adhesive combination most notably offers excellent non-water whitening properties needed to maintain clarity even with extended exposure to water, also providing its value compared to paper packaging.”
Close the deal
Reclosable packaging is another consumer convenience that sets products apart on the shelf. Consumers want packages to close easily so the product inside stays fresh without requiring clips, bags or additional containers. To help packagers achieve this, Battelle (battelle.org) with Mondelez International developed a low tack adhesive (LTA) that only sticks to itself.
“Unlike traditional pressure sensitive adhesives, the new low tack adhesive is not messy, tacky or expensive. For example, it won’t pick up crumbs from crackers or cookies, that make traditional adhesives ineffective,” says Cindy Conner, senior market manager in Consumer, Industrial and Medical Products at Battelle. “All consumers need to do is press it together to create an effective and consistent seal that stands the test of repeated cycles of opening and reclosing.”
The LTA is not only affordable to manufacture and apply, but it is also easy to introduce into existing packaging lines. For films using conventional printing and coating technologies, packagers can pre-apply the adhesive then follow up the process by curing it with ultra-violet energy. The adhesive has not yet met regulatory compliance for food packaging, but it can used with a variety of other packages such produce packaging, detergent packaging, snack bags and others.
Don’t gum it up
Adhesives stick. They wouldn’t be much good if they didn’t, but that stickiness can cause buildup on equipment and slow the packaging process. FLEXcon (flexcon.com) has introduced a new generation of V-01 adhesive. V-01 adheres to a variety of container types and runs without buildup on converting and dispensing equipment. It also offers open time to cleanly remove misapplied labels so containers can be re-labeled. V-01 also stands up to moisture, making it a good fit for food, beverage and household packaging.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to listen to our customers’ needs and then develop products that will not only help them capture new business but also reduce cost and to run efficiently,” says John Bennett, vice president, FLEXcon. “V-01 is our answer to the many challenges our customers face in supplying the consumer packaging market with competitive pricing and superior performance both on the press and in the end use.”
Regardless of the application, adhesives have the chance to make or break a package. From holding on to brand recognition and vital information with reliable labels to reclosing and protecting products, adhesives are sticking around to improve packaging and the ease of producing that packaging.
Get it right in one shot
The recycled content of corrugated boxes poses a unique challenge for tapes. The recycled fibers mean good things for the environment but don’t always stick to the tapes meant to seal the box. Scotch Recycled Corrugate Tapes from 3M (3m.com) are designed to solve just that problem. By using a proprietary, tackier adhesive specifically for recycled corrugate, 3M tapes allow packagers to use just one strip of tape on a box. This tape even works with boxes that are 100% recycled content and hold up in a range of climates including cold plants to hot trucks.
“Companies don’t want to worry about something as basic as whether a tape will stick, especially when they ship thousands of boxes a day,” says Brian Kenady, US marketing manager. “3M Scotch Tapes give our customers the confidence to know their boxes will stay shut through the entire shipping lifecycle.”