FINAT Educational Handbook: Self Adhesive Labeling

FINAT, the international association for the self-adhesive labeling industry, announces the launch and availability of its fully revised and updated Educational Handbook.

Since its foundation in 1958, FINAT has contributed significantly to the dynamic development of the sector, and has enabled it to remain at the forefront of innovation today. The organisation provides leading sources of information for the sector and its supply chain, such as the Educational Handbook.

"The self-adhesive label sector continues to expand with new technologies, materials and external developments, bringing about a diversity of exciting new innovations and applications," says Kurt Walker, President of FINAT. “Keeping pace with accelerating change is a challenge for everyone in the industry, and knowledge, education and training are essential vehicles to stimulate future growth and development."

Educational Handbook Version 2.0

The present edition was commissioned to 4impression Training based in the UK. Among other sources, it draws from the range of ‘e-modules’ they developed on behalf of FINAT previously, and from the FINAT Knowledge Hub, the internet library of articles and archives accessible to FINAT members via www.finat.com.  

The new FINAT Educational Handbook aims to be the key reference source for the combined knowledge embedded in the association and covers the various stages and aspects of the unique self-adhesive labels and labeling process. This edition replaces the existing version that was first published in its original language (English) by FINAT in 1996 and later released in German, French and Spanish, with authorized translations in Italian and Turkish issued by the respective national associations.

To allow easy access to the numerous cross references and links provided in the text, this edition is made available in electronic format. This protected PDF file allows users not only to conveniently read this book on PC, laptop or tablet reader, but also to cross-link within the book or link from the present document to the underlying reference on the FINAT website or other source. In electronic format, the Educational Handbook will be a ‘living’ document to be updated at regular intervals, in response to new developments.

Future Oriented

“There have been significant changes in label materials and technology in recent years, aimed at meeting a growing demand for new label stocks, shorter runs, industry digitization, migration-free inks, rising costs and ever-faster moves towards a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly label-usage requirement,” comments industry expert Mike Fairley. “It is therefore an opportune time to produce a new and up-dated edition of the FINAT Educational Handbook to introduce and explain the latest industry thinking and technologies, especially highlighting the key advances made by digital printing.”

New Chapters, New Insights

Apart from the updated chapters such as digital printing, the new FINAT Educational Handbook has been completed with entirely new, or completely re-written chapters, including:

Embellishments

This new chapter on Embellishments explores a host of surface decoration techniques for self-adhesive labels. “Increasingly brand owners are seeking to differentiate their products in order to make them stand out on the retailer’s shelves. Fortunately new technologies have given the printer more opportunities to offer decorative embellishments to a wider range of market sectors and margins can be improved by offering customers a range of decorative choices. This chapter provides a deep and comprehensive insight into these choices including cold foiling, metallic inks and textured finishes,” says Robert Shimmin, Marketing Director, 4impression Training.

Design, Repro, Pre-press

Three completely re-written chapters on design, repro and press cover the critical early stages of a label’s evolution. Get it wrong at this stage and the results can be disastrous. The design process is extremely important to the success of a print job. There are many aspects which are interdependent and need to be brought together in a controlled way to ensure that the correct result is achieved. This chapter explores some of the issues that might be raised in the initial design stages of a label's development.

Repro is the process of finalising the artwork and producing working files from the design to the production specification with particular reference to colour separation, image quality, dot gain and image overlap which is known as ‘trapping.’ The repro process will ensure that the reproduction of the original label design, including the correct colour meets client expectations, within the tolerances of the chosen print process.

The pre-press procedure includes the creation of layouts, control and application of the step and repeat data, the imaging of films, the preparation and imaging of the printing plate ready for mounting into the printing press.

“It is important that designers, end-users and converters have a complete understanding of the design to print processes and the terminology used so that they can effectively communicate up and down the supply chain and ensure that each job consistency meets expectations”, Mr Shimmin continues.

Total Applied Costs

Often there is more than one way to decorate a product and each solution must be carefully evaluated before a rational decision can be made. Rather than looking at any one or more criteria in isolation a more appropriate approach is one that evaluates the total cost of labeling a pack to the required quality, performance and application speed, within a specified time frame. According to Mr. Shimmin, “some customers will continue to look at the price of the label and not the cost of the label, but it is clear that users are coming under pressure to consider a much wider range of cost factors when selecting the most appropriate method of decorating their product.”

Total applied costing includes a host of factors such as the cost and efficiency of label application, investment in capital equipment and machinery change parts, logistics and inventory control. This new chapter offers a new and invaluable perspective on the total cost of decorating a pack.

Substrates & Adhesives

A major advantage of self-adhesive labeling is its versatility, stemming from the range of materials and adhesives available. A completely re-written chapter on substrates and adhesives provides an overview of self-adhesive laminates and their characteristics, as well as the key issues involved in their production, selection and conversion. Adhesive and label substrate combinations must be compatible with the shape and surface characteristics of the item being labelled. It is important that both end-users and converters understand these relationships as they are key to making the right choices for product labeling.

Environmental Issues

The impact of packaging waste legislation and environmental concerns in relation to packaging is having an increasing impact on the selection of packaging components. The label as an integral part of the package must play a role in re-use, recyclability and disposal and must therefore be considered carefully during specifying process. This chapter provides an overview of the latest environmental legislation and its effect on the packaging supply chain.

“There is a need today to consider the total impact of labeling in the packaging supply chain and to develop co-operation across the supply chain to discover environmentally sound solutions,” says Mr Shimmin. “Schemes to recycle the liner used in self-adhesive systems as well as the introduction of linerless labeling are possible keys to its future sustainability. Readers will find these developments outlined in this new chapter on Environmental Issues.”

Continuous Learning

“With a thoroughly revised text and well-designed illustrations this latest Handbook will undoubtedly provide a regular reference source for all in the label and related industries and, in particular, a publication that should become necessary recommended reading for all new industry entrants and trainees. It’s thorough, comprehensive, well written, well designed and will certainly become a well-used resource for label industry suppliers, designers, label converters and all those that use labels on their day-to-day products and packaging,” says Mr. Fairley.

“FINAT Educational Handbook version 2.0 is the worthy successor to the pioneering standard work of Ron Spring and his editorial committee back in 1996,” concludes Kurt Walker.

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