Pressure Sensitive Troubleshooting Guide

by Lilly Blum

Back in October, we walked you through troubleshooting shrink. Well, we are back and ready to take on troubleshooting pressure sensitive labels! Issues for these self-adhesive labels can happen during application, placement, and post application. Whether it’s wrinkling, inconsistent placement, scuffed labels, or they aren’t adhering to your container, we’re here to cover it all! We’ll walk through the most common problems and their potential causes.

Wrinkles – During Application

No one likes them. Not on clothes, not on skin, but especially not on your labels! Wrinkling occurs during the application of pressure sensitive labels to your container. If your labels are wrinkled the first thing you should try is adjust the peel blade (see below for a visual!). Make sure it is parallel to the package. If that doesn’t solve it, try moving the peel blade closer to your containers. Another culprit for wrinkling labels is speed. Your labels might be running too fast, try reducing the application speed to prevent wrinkling.

 Diagram of Label Applicator

Incorrect Placement – aka Registration

Are your labels ending up all over your packaging? Try speeding things up to get a more accurate placement! If you’re not seeing consistent label placement, double check that your packages are not moving during the application, if they are, adjust or tighten the top carrying bell. If your placement still isn’t cutting it, try cleaning the sensor. Doing some spring cleaning might improve your placement and prevent more than one label from ending up on one container. If you do have multiple labels on a package and you’ve tried cleaning the sensor, your next step is to retrain your equipment so it can ‘see’ through the label stock and liner.

Disappointing End Results – Post Application

Once your labels are applied you might think you’re in the clear. But some problems with pressure sensitive labels aren’t noticeable until after the label is applied. If you notice scuffing or scratches, you might need to continue your spring cleaning on the wipe down pad and wiper.  If cleaning doesn’t fix the issue, you may need to replace the wipe down pad or wiper or contact your vendor!

Are some of your labels missing or falling off? Check your specs, the material you’re running might be too thick, or you may need a stronger adhesive. There also might be water or moisture on the surface of your container causing the adhesive to become ineffective, remove any water and check your dryers!

Bubbling is the final post application issue we’re covering today. The root cause might be poor contact pressure with the wiper. Check the angle of your wiper and adjust as needed. You may need to check that peel blade again! Adjusting the placement of it might produce a smoother result! Bubbling might not be caused by your labels or machines; it may be your containers causing the poor application.

We hope some of these solutions allowed you to troubleshoot your issue to help get your labels back up and running! Even though pressure sensitive labels can be tricky, we all know why you choose them – they come in just about every shape, size, and color with a wide variety of design embellishments. Add a tactile varnish, textured ink, or matte coating to give your product a different feel than the competition. How about foil stamping or using a metalized film or paper to really make your product shine? Even add functionality with a peel and reseal label!

If you’re still having difficulties troubleshooting pressure sensitive labels, our Technical Services Representatives are available to help you get to the root of the problem!

Whatever you choose for your labels, pressure sensitive can do it all. If you’re curious to see what Inland has to offer contact us or sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter to see our latest capabilities. We’ll even send you free samples!