- On May 5, 2020
- In Uncategorized
- By Claudia
THE growing use of shrink sleeves is a noticeable trend among cosmetics manufacturers as they adopt hybrid packaging strategies, in which this labelling technique exists alongside more traditional self-adhesive and wet-glue label formats.
As a supplier to these markets, SA Litho Label Printers is well positioned to satisfy such multifaceted labelling requirements.
‘It’s of the utmost importance that customers’ interaction with our business is convenient and that we can meet their exact needs,’ comments Jon Williams, SA Litho’s sales manager. ‘To this end, we’ve increased our product offering, allowing all packaging needs to be sourced from one central point.’
SA Litho’s digital printing technology means lower volumes and just-in-time ordering patterns are easily accommodated, while variable data printing and HP’s SmartStream Mosaic software capabilities cater for personalisation and promotional requirements.
In addition, the company’s state-of-the-art flexo printing technology offers efficiency and cost-effectiveness when it comes to longer runs, while providing a range of eye-catching decorative finishes, such as foil and matte or gloss varnishes.
With 360-degree exposure and unlimited design opportunities, shrink sleeves act as a marketing billboard, allowing brands to engage with consumers – not only at point of purchase but also at point of consumption.
‘We’re seeing increased use of shrink sleeves for new product launches and limited edition campaigns, often refreshing existing brands and exciting consumers in new ways,’ Jon continues.
Shrink sleeves also offer practical advantages. As labelling regulations become more stringent, especially in the pharmaceutical and personal care markets, shrink sleeves provides more space to provide prescribed information while maintaining aesthetic appeal.
The application of a tamper-evident sleeve to a container cap is an effective way to alert consumers to potential product tampering or counterfeiting activities.
Additionally, as demand forecasting becomes trickier and SKU volumes ever-smaller, shrink sleeves allow for greater procurement flexibility, and an efficient alternative to printed bottles and cans.
As Jon relates, it has become common practice for SA Litho’s customers to order blank bottles and cans, paired with shrink sleeves, as an alternative to printed bottles and cans. This approach allows the same bottles and cans to be used across all variants with shrink sleeves providing differentiation, effectively reducing shortage or oversupply situations.
An added benefit of shrink sleeve packaging is the ability to reverse print. Printing graphics on the inside of the sleeve ensures additional protection against scuffing as the product is handled throughout its life. This is especially important in the cosmetics and personal care sectors where products enjoy longer lifespans.
As this is a highly technical process, the learning curve associated with shrink sleeve production is steep. For this reason, SA Litho has invested in state-of-the-art equipment and continuous training.
Maintaining predictable quality
SA Litho’s leading-edge technology includes an AccraSeam shrink sleeve seamer and an ancillary DM12 inspection system. This automated line-up delivers predictable quality and superb production efficiency.
The AccraSeam perfectly seams material and holds lay-flat tolerances at speeds up to 600m/h, making it the fastest commercially-available seamer. The accompanying DM12 inspector boasts an automatic seam inspection capability.
Predictable quality throughout the seaming process is critical, as the seam must be strong enough to withstand the application process while not so hard that it results in unacceptable rough edges.
Among SA Litho’s satisfied customers for shrink sleeves is Indigo Brands.
The company’s executive in charge of innovation, packaging development and strategic planning, Nathan Bradley, is happy to confirm the value of this decoration technique.
‘Shrink sleeving remains a preferred method of decoration for both our Yardley and Lenthéric personal care brands,’ he says.
‘The ability to provide 360-degree decoration ensures we achieve the shelf impact expected of a market leader. As it’s not easy to achieve dependable quality standards in shrink sleeving, we chose to work with SA Litho, that not only has the print capability but, importantly, the conversion capability to provide a consistently high-quality sleeve suitable for automatic application,’ he adds.
Loubser, G 2020, “Shrink Sleeves Enhance Cosmetics”, Packaging and Print Media, April, 51-52