At first glance, tube labels have the same label application issues as "regular" labels. If you are having problems with your tube labels, inspect your labels, check your containers, and consider the environment just as we mentioned in part one of this post. Tube labels, however, can come with some of their own application problems. The best way to avoid the problems mentioned below is to use a fully squeezable film material with an adhesive specifically designed for tube applications. Keep that in mind when considering some of the causes and solutions below for tube label application issues.
Some common issues with label application for tube labels include:
1. Wrinkling When Squeezed
As with regular labels, folds or ridges in your tube labels indicate wrinkling. The most common cause of wrinkling in tube labels is the use of a semi-rigid label material such as polypropylene. Always check with your label printer before specifying a material for your labels, but in general a polyethylene or polyolefin material should be used. Both are fully squeezable in all directions. Never use paper for tube labels.
2. Labels Fall Off
Labels rarely fall off of squeezable tube containers. In general, tubes require a label that will wrap all the way around the container, if not overlap, and this wrap helps keep the label on. However, if your label is too small, the tension caused by squeezing the tube may make it fall off. Even if the label overlaps, if the amount of overlap is insufficient the tail of your label may pop up and pull away from the container. If your label does overlap, make sure there is an unvarnished area under the tail so it can adhere properly. Your label printer can help you specify the right amount of overlap and help you address any design concerns prior to production. As with glass or plastic containers, greasy or dirty tubes, less than ideal environmental conditions, and incorrect material pairings can also cause your tube labels to fall off of your container.
Flagging in tube labels is usually caused by a material/ adhesive combination that isn't ideal for tube applications. An adhesive that isn't strong enough on a material that doesn't flex will cause your labels to pull away from the tube. Talk to your label printer before specifying a material. It is always a good idea to test your label material on your tubes before production to help identify any challenges that might come up during application.
As with regular labels, tube labels might also flag if your label is too large or if it isn't the right shape for a tubular container. Your label printer can help you design a custom label that is the right size and shape for your tube. Your printer can often help you make a mock up of your label so you can test the size and shape on your tube before production.
Taking a little time to talk with your label printer and get everything right the first time will go a long way to ensuring the success of your label product. Remember, if you do have label application issues it is important to inspect your labels, check your containers, and consider the application environment so you and your label provider can quickly and easily identify a solution.