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How TIJ is challenging labelling

An ongoing strike by the Paperworkers Union in Finland is straining supply of self-adhesive labels for packaging across Europe. Label industry association, FINAT, has reported that lead times for paper-based label materials are now three months or more, causing concern for consumer goods suppliers. But there is an alternative.

 

The European label industry is dependent on a relatively small number of materials producers, making it vulnerable to disruption in the supply chain. So a strike called by paper mill workers in Finland, one of the world’s leading paper exporters, is hitting hard. A very real worry now is that a labels shortage will have a knock-on effect on the supply chain for consumer goods – a sector that still relies heavily on labels for coding on secondary packaging.

Labels

Historically, many suppliers have chosen to print barcodes on white adhesive labels rather than directly on the packaging in the belief it offers greater optical clarity. A strength of printing barcodes on white paper labels is that they can be applied to almost all surfaces and remain easily readable – essential as any difficulty scanning a barcode can cost the retailer time and money.

Until recently, printing technologies such as Thermal Inkjet printing were viewed as being unable to achieve a high contrast on non-white packaging. But TIJ has made great advances in recent years, and now offers some significant benefits over self-adhesive labels.

Labelling vs TIJ printing

TIJ vs labels

Saving on cost – The upfront purchase cost for a TIJ printer is lower than a label printing machine, as are the running costs. Unlike label machines, there are no costly consumables. The only on-going cost is ink cartridges.

Saving on space – TIJ printers take up a lot less space on the production line than label machines. This is especially true for edding compact printers. All our advanced TIJ functionality is housed in a compact unit; so much so, that we also offer a portable option.

Versatile – Historically, TIJ was only able to print on paper and cardboard, but the technology has advanced a long way. edding compact printers achieve high resolution results on almost any surface, including glass, metals and plastics.

Minimum downtime – Label machines are complex machines that require a lot of care. In contrast, TIJ machines have no moving parts which means zero expensive service contracts and only minimal maintenance.

Environmentally-friendly – Label machines use a lot of paper in the production of labels, and generate a lot of waste, such as label backing sheets and used print ribbons. With clean TIJ technology there is no need for paper, and waste is kept to a minimum.

Optical clarity – With edding’s ink expertise, it is now possible to print high resolution, easily readable barcodes against almost any colour background. edding’s range of solvent-resistant and UV-resistant inks also guarantee permanent print results.

To find out how edding compact printers can meet your coding needs contact us here.