The future is linerless
Tuesday 14. January 2020 - It is a growth rate with almost gigantic consequences: Global parcel volumes are currently growing by 17 percent per year - if only because of the booming e-commerce sector. Within the next six years, the sheer volume will double: from the current 100 billion to 200 billion parcels per year. This is the forecast of the latest Parcel Shipping Index, which was published in mid-October.
At Logimat 2020 (Hall 4, Stand C80), self-adhesive specialist HERMA will be demonstrating how this growth can be made more environmentally compatible, at least in terms of the shipping labels required, with a labelling system that does not require any backing material at all but operates reliably at the high cycle rates required in modern logistics centres. The HERMA InNo-Liner system, which has been specially developed for shipping labels, thus makes a decisive contribution to saving thousands of tonnes of siliconised paper documentation material and its disposal. “Shipping labels are usually rather large-format, so this application can save huge quantities of material in one fell swoop”, explains HERMA managing director Dr. Thomas Baumgärtner, who also heads the adhesive material division. “Not to forget: The corresponding label rolls are much lighter and smaller without backing material. This saves countless tonnes of the climate-relevant gas CO2 during transport, for example”. It was also against this background that the HERMA InNo-Liner System was awarded the German Packaging Prize in the sustainability category in the autumn.
Highly reliable cycle rate
What distinguishes the new system from previous linerless solutions is not only its high, reliable cycle rate of at least 40 labels per minute. It is also its fundamentally easy to understand and simple concept: “The activation unit for the initially non-adhesive pressure-sensitive adhesive, for which a patent has been applied for, works purely water-based. This means: no solvents, no heat and no other agents with any undesirable side effects”, explains Martin Kühl, who is responsible for the Labelling Machines Division at HERMA. “The label user is practically free to choose the label paper and no longer has to rely on siliconised thermal paper, which has always severely limited the possibilities for printing. Moreover, such a label is no more expensive than a classic self-adhesive label.”
The HERMA InNo-Liner system is based on a special multilayer adhesive design of the adhesive material, also patent pending, and the specially developed micro-spray unit. Only in this interaction does the adhesive achieve the desired extremely high adhesion. “To our knowledge, we are now the first and currently also the only ones to offer a complete linerless system that functions stably under the requirements in logistics centres in terms of speed and process reliability,” says Dr. Baumgärtner. “If you send a lot of parcels on their way every day, there are all the arguments in favour of a quick changeover to this resource-saving method of shipping labelling.