Though adhesives are a crucial part of the packaging industry, manufacturers need to ensure their work is environmentally friendly. Packaging & Converting Intelligence talks to Benno Blickenstorfer, chief technology officer at artimelt, about what his company's range of products can offer partners across the value chain.
Benno Blickenstorfer: Adhesives play a vital part in almost every form of packaging. They are needed to laminate filmic materials to provide the desired functions of packaging materials, or to encase printing layers. Adhesives are used to erect boxes from cardboard sheets.
When it comes to packaging decoration, pressure-sensitive adhesives enable various types of labels to be applied easily and efficiently. Adhesives are essential in fulfilling packaging's main functions: the containment, protection, identification, presentation and promotion of goods.
artimelt develops, manufactures and markets hot melt adhesives. It produces pressure-sensitive adhesives that are used for self-adhesive or peel-and-stick labels.
artimelt works with label laminate producers and printers to select the right adhesive for them. At the same time, the compliance requirements for food standards have intensified in recent years.
The company therefore works closely with its customers - and their customers - to properly assess and understand adhesive behaviour to ensure safety.
It develops highly specialised closure systems that include tamper-indication features; for example, for dutyfree or crime-scene-investigation bags.
artimelt also develops heat-seal coatings that are used to close pouches for medical devices. The adhesive in this particular application is adapted to the fibrous substrate, so it doesn't tear upon opening.
Almost all packaging becomes obsolete once the product has been used. The industry has therefore worked hard to reduce the amount of material it uses, to become more efficient, and to promote reuse or recycling. Bio-based and/ or degradable packaging components have also entered the market. artimelt believes that a holistic approach is necessary to make packaging more sustainable.
Although adhesives have an important function in packaging, they are typically invisible, and often forgotten. This means that a clear understanding of packaging, its construction, and end-of-life scenarios are the basis for sustainable projects. artimelt is keen to discuss these topics with brand-owners.
Hot melt adhesives are an environmentally friendly adhesive technology. They don't employ solvents or other carrier liquids that need to be transported and dried off after application. artimelt can further support the sustainability activities of the packaging industry in various areas. For example, it creates adhesives with a bio-based content of up to 95%.
It also offers adhesives with tailored properties to enable the removability of labels, and adhesives that are compatible with recycling processes. Some of artimelt's adhesives are particularly suitable for linerless labels, a development welcomed by its customers. Linerless labels are cost-effective, environmentally friendly and sustainable.
artimelt has over 35 years' experience in the development, production and application of hot melt adhesives. Its staff is personally committed to learning what their customers need, and its 'experience lab' provides an ideal testing environment for the exchange of knowledge, the conduction of coating trials and the preparation of prototype samples.
Defining and developing sustainable adhesive products is not easy; there is no single solution to every end-of-life problem. It requires open discussion and the broad involvement of stakeholders. artimelt is actively seeking, and forming, strong partnerships up and the down the value chain.