Health & beauty labels can of course commonly be found in humid environments, for example in bathrooms. As such these labels need to be water resistant. In addition, they are often applied on squeezable containers (like a shampoo bottle) which creates an additional requirement of deformability. Therefore either co-extruded or PE facestocks are used for this type of labels.
Self-adhesive labels as such (aka ‘pressure sensitive labels’ or PSL) are made by printing onto a laminated construction of 3 layers: a release liner (otherwise known as the backing paper, carrier or glassine), a layer or adhesive and the facestock material. The laminate is printed and then converted in a roll containing the requested number of labels per roll. A web-fed process brings a high label application speed on the packaging line and allows for more embellishing processes. In addition, its flexibility of application is enormous, either during or after the filling process and on any type of surface/container just by taking another glue.
Here you can see a sample of a self-adhesive health & beauty label printed on a Xeikon CX3 digital press.
- Print dimensions: 43 x 120 mm
- Substrate: White BoPP facestock
- Toner: Cheetah toner
- Finishing: Xeikon DCoat Series, offline die cut. Cold foil was preprint on a flexo press
The Xeikon CX3 has been the press of choice because it is possible to print onto preprinted flexo material without special treatment with a high image quality (offset look-a-like).
What is the value of digital printing?
The number of different products and versions in health & beauty and toiletries are rising continuously. On top of that, retailers are sub-segmenting and pushing their own private (retail) brands in different ranges on the market (economical, high-end, family, etc.). As the consumer base in most economies isn’t increasing, the run lengths per SKU is declining which creates the need to look for other printing methods that are more cost effective, such as digital.
Furthermore digital printing with Xeikon offers:
- a choice in print technology Panther (UVIJ) for tactile, glossy look and feel or Cheetah (Dry toner) for offset look and feel
- high opaque white on both Panther and Cheetah presses
- cost efficient run lengths up to 4,000 line meter (13,000 linear ft)
Which is the preferred digital press for self-adhesive health & beauty labels?
The Xeikon CX500 digital printing press also know as ‘the Cheetah’. Its top speed of 30 m/min (98 ft/min) makes the Xeikon CX500 the most productive 5-colour digital label press in its class with the ability to imprint on flexo pre-printed material without any special pre-coating:
- dry toner technology: ability to print on the broadest range of conventional materials with the highest quality, while offering color strength
- high quality printing: complementing gravure and offset, 1200 dpi with wide color gamut, custom spot colors and one-pass opaque white
- highest productivity due to the wider web width (515mm ; 20.3”) allow for more labels across
The Xeikon PX3000 digital printing press also know as ‘the Panther’. Its top speed of 50 m/min (164 ft/min) combined with the X800 workflow makes the Xeikon PX3000 the most productive 5-colour digital label press in its class:
- UVIJ technology: without additional converting step it offers resistance to chemical fluid (e.g. lotions), while offering color strength
- high quality printing: 600 dpi with wide color gamut and opaque white
- complementing flexo in screen printing by its tactile and glossy look & feel
Which is the preferred digital production solution?
Below you can see an example of a full production set-up for self-adhesive health & beauty labels: roll-to-roll line including a Xeikon CX500 digital label press, a Web Varnishing Module which adds a high-quality UV or water-based coating for protection and a Print Medium Rewinder suitable for widths up to 516 mm (20.3").
The printed substrate is preprinted on a flexo press holding a recurring foil item representing the brand. The different versions of the health and beauty products are then imprinted in the desired quantity by the Xeikon CX500. The Xeikon Preprinted Stock Sensor ensures a proper alignment of the full color image in reference to the foiled items.