A coating cure for shrink sleeve complications

With a solution from Kustom Koatings, customers can control friction for smoother application


Shrink sleeve applications are providing plenty of high-value opportunities for label converters who can use their existing equipment to produce visually stunning labels with 360-degree surface area.

But as with any opportunity, there come challenges.

Controlling coefficient of friction (COF) is one downstream obstacle for shrink sleeve applications. COF is the measure of slip, or how one surface moves across another. High COF means it’s less likely to slip or move over a surface. Low COF is what shrink sleeve converters are aiming for to get these printed sleeves to glide over fast-moving bottles on an application line.

Because shrink sleeves are reverse printed, this means the inside of the label contains the ink coverage. This presents a problem with high-speed application lines when bottles or tubes fly down the line. Some machines run as fast as 700 containers per minute, so in order for the shrink sleeve to quickly cover the bottle or tube, it’s got to have a low enough COF. Full ink coverage – or uneven ink coverage with open space for a window – can hamper this, slowing down application lines.

We’ve introduced a new coating from Kustom Koating that controls the amount of friction on a shrink sleeve and avoids downstream application logjams.

KK390 in clear gloss and KK350W in white, have a lower COF than the competition. In field testing with our customers using HP Indigo inks, these coatings had a COF of below 0.2, well below the target COF for most brand owners. What’s more, the clear does not create any haze, while the white is a cost-effective alternative to printing additional hits of digital white ink.

For more information on these two innovative products, contact the S-OneLP experts at labelsandpackaging@sone.com or at 941-256-7900 (AMs) or +31 43 799 5005 (EMEA).