Innovations in Label Paper Stock & Narrow Web Finishing

New products entering the substrate marketplace in packaging, forms and labels are being engineered by researchers for sustainability, performance, and cost efficiency.

Substrate Market Evolving but Paper Still a Big Factor

The newest paper substrates are thinner while maintaining the same operational attributes of previous products. With sustainability is on everyone’s mind these days, a primary benefit of thinner paper substrates is they use less material and help the environment.

As Print Service Providers, PSPs, web finishers and the adhesive industry continue to consider ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals, the substrate marketplace will continue to develop labels with recycled content.

New Paper Products Engage at Point of Sale

New paper labels are engaging consumers at the point of sale. Innovative textures pleasing to sight and touch are on the rise.

Companies say R&D into the positives of a package’s touch and feel is driving the effort with more products on the way. And many substrate suppliers have maximized their products to do extremely well with many applications such as conventional, UV and water-based inkjet.

Paper is a better substrate to accommodate digital printing than ever. As digital printing expands, so does the need for well suited paper.

Pandemic Spawns Need for Antimicrobial Paper

As Covid swept across the globe, the spread of contagious diseases became a real concern. Consequently, antimicrobial papers are now viable in a number of product applications. Primary label papers, including semi-gloss, are also available in antimicrobial versions Also, due to Covid, the EU mandated a heavy tax on single-use containers. There is chatter the United States may do the same. At some point consumer demand may require single-serve products to be packaged in a way that checks off all of the sustainability requirements.

Of course, sustainability is driving innovation. Recycled content or other advanced uses of utilizing waste materials into paper are a big part of many R&D programs where waste from one process becomes the raw material for new products. Researchers still have to figure out how these recycled waste substrates perform on the press. This could be a big hurdle.
Another company has unveiled hemp paper made with 25 percent hemp and 75 percent post-consumer use wood.

U.S. regulators are watching the process closely. The USDA Bio Preferred Certification program authenticates the content through third-party testing. Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the goal is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products.

The two major parts of the Program are:

  • mandatory requirements for federal purchasing agencies and contractors
  • a voluntary labeling initiative for biobased products.

Tamarack® Offers Web Finishing Equipment for Various Substrates

Tamarack® Products was founded in 1969 and is a leading global manufacturer of specialized equipment used in the packaging, label, and business form industries. Recognized worldwide for providing high-quality machinery, Tamarack® designs and manufactures systems for inline film/window patching, RFID inlay insertion systems, web finishing equipment and more. We offer more than 50 years of experience in designing, engineering, and manufacturing patching, gluing, and die cutting equipment that adds value with elements such as see-through windows in envelopes and cartons and adding cards and labels to business forms.

Tamarack® offers quality equipment coupled with exceptional customer service, providing installation, and testing to ensure process success. Contact us to learn more about Tamarack’s customized and integrated patching equipment solutions that meet the demands of today’s innovative printing and packaging substrates.