The application of paper or paper-based labels to glass bottles or cans using wet-glue was one of the earliest methods of product labelling – and was the major label technology for many years. Even with the rapid rise of self-adhesive and other label technologies, cut-&-stack glue-applied labels are still the main method of volume labelling of bottles and cans with paper labels.
Historically used with paper labels, the technology began to evolve rapidly when the requirement to label plastic bottles – and use filmic labels – became necessary. Today, the latest cut-&-stack wraparound labelling systems can work with either paper or film labels.
Labels may be individual face, neck and back labels for application to beer, spirits, or wine bottles, or wraparound labels used extensively on canned foods and soft drinks, where the glue is applied to the label at the time of application.
Sheets containing many labels are guillotined if rectangular or square, or ram-punched into special cut-out shapes. Individual labels are then packed, ready for placing in a hopper on the label application machine.
Cut-&-stack glue-applied paper and paper-based labels are printed on either wet offset (most commonly sheet-fed) or gravure presses, with flexography beginning to make inroads. The labels are printed on plain paper, metallised paper or paper-laminate material, and are often varnished or lacquered to provide surface protection during labelling, handling and distribution.
Printing of film cut-&-stack labels would normally be with letterpress, flexo or gravure. Narrow to mid-web presses using combination printing – including screen process and hot-foil techniques – can also be used.
Lithotech produces paper cut-&-stack labels using a sheet-fed lithographic printing process to meet the price versus volume ratio that is generally found with this product.
- Printing in up to 5 colours
- Range of substrates
- Die-cut to any shape or size
- Varnish or machine coating to provide surface protection