In a (chemical) manufacturing plant unmarked pipes are dangerous to both life and property. Numerous injuries have occurred due to ignorance of pipe contents, especially when external interventions are required in case of emergencies. Legislation such as ANSI/ASME try to maintain standards for this cross-industry. Many of these markings are unique to a certain production plant which makes this an interesting application for digital production. 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 face-stock 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 durable pipe marking label sample printed on a Xeikon PX3000 digital press.
- Substrate: Avery Dennison TRANSFER PET WH TOP - S8002-BG42WH
- Toner: PantherCure CMYK
- Finishing: SEI Laser Diecut
The Xeikon PX3000 has been the press of choice as its variable repeat length allows for any side label with a most efficient workflow due to its automated setup and is an affordable industrial printing press for professionals.
What is the value of digital printing?
Ever changing legislation makes it a challenge for specialized label converters to maintain a large stock of labels as they can quickly become obsolete. This makes them switch to print-on-demand which allows for last minute changes when this would be needed while avoiding obsolete stock and waste costs. Pipe marking is an interesting application for digital production since it’s the only process that allows to deliver a fully customized package for a specific environment. Furthermore, digital printing with Xeikon offers:
• exceptional label sizes thanks to Xeikon’s full-rotary printing technology
• a cross-over with flexo of at least 4,000 line meter (13,000 linear ft)
• no start-up costs
• no job changeover costs on the same print media
• ability to print unlimited number versions (SKU’s) in one go
• ability to print single and full color variable information, integrated in the label
| ||Durability requirements ||Durability performance of label* |
|Scratch resistance ||++ ||+++ |
|Heat resistance ||+ ||+ |
|Chemical resistance ||+ ||+++ |
|UV exposure ||++ ||++ |
|BS 5609 Section2& 3 certification ||No ||Yes |
|UL, CSA certification ||No ||No |
* + = medium durability, ++ = high durability, +++ = very high durability