What causes neck label detachment?
Several factors can contribute to neck label detachment, and brands, label manufacturers, and designers must consider various aspects from the point of production to the end of its functional lifespan to prevent it.
The first thing to bear in mind is that misuse of materials can have considerable consequences. When paper is manufactured, the pulp fibers are interlaced to provide strength and mechanical resistance, allowing it to be printed and embellished without being stressed to the extent that the fibers break or damage. However, this effort to make the paper suitable for printing also results in something known as a "memory effect." In other words, labels applied on a curved surface tend to return to their original flatness, especially on small-diameter applications like bottle necks. The memory effect of paper fibers is also heightened by the fact that sparkling wines usually face challenging conditions, a few of which we will explore shortly.
Another factor to consider when using materials incorrectly is the choice of the adhesive itself. Certain adhesives are better suited for neck label applications than others; just because one performs well for one application doesn't mean it will work for another. Thus, designers and label manufacturers must conduct extensive research and testing to find the best adhesive for their unique applications.
The environment in which bottles live throughout their lives can also contribute to neck label detachment. Extreme temperature conditions or fluctuations can significantly alter the adhesive quality of labeling materials stored in reels, resulting in detachment. As such, optimal stock conditions at the label manufacturer's and winery's warehouse before the labels are applied are crucial to maintaining initial adhesive characteristics. Moreover, labeling materials and labels have an expiration date, and the adhesive performance of these materials decreases over time, leading to detachment issues. Therefore, it is imperative that labels are used before expiration and stored in ideal conditions to prevent any loss of adhesive quality.
Moisture and dust on the bottle's surface can also reduce the adhesive bond, making it essential for brands to ensure that the surface is spotless and dry before applying the label. Glass imperfections such as convex and concave surfaces can cause adherence issues, requiring careful consideration during the labeling process. Understanding the impact of the environment on neck label detachment and implementing appropriate solutions can help reduce detachment complications and maintain a premium brand image.
Furthermore, inks and varnishes used in the label print and embellishment process can lead to neck label detachment due to chemical incompatibility and mechanical stress, resulting in increased label stiffness and memory effect. Label makers and designers should run preliminary tests or seek expert support to ensure the inks and varnishes do not obstruct the label substrate and its mechanical properties. On top of this, design factors such as unique shapes, and heavy embellishments such as excessive 3D silkscreen varnish or embossing can compromise the adhesive bond, resulting in label detachment.
Finally, pressure plays a crucial role in preventing neck label detachment during the label application process. Labeling machines should be set to apply labels with enough pressure on the bottle neck, as insufficient tension can result in improper label application and loss of adhesive stickiness. Proper consideration and implementation of these factors can significantly reduce the occurrence of neck label detachment and maintain a premium brand image.