A problem that can occur after the labelling of neck- and front labels of bottles is the flagging or detaching of the label. This can happen immediately after the labelling process or after a certain time when the labelled bottles are kept in stock.
This was also the case with a customer of Royal Hoitsema Labels in The Netherlands. The brewery for whom they printed the labels was experiencing quality issues with the labels. As Royal Hoitsema were trying to solve this complaint, they contacted IGT Testing Systems to help them find a solution in the form of the IGT Cobb tester.
Without a doubt, Royal Hoitsema Labels is the Netherlands’ oldest, still active printing house.
The history of Royal Hoitsema Labels goes back to the start of the 17th century and originates as a book printer. In 1953, the company was granted the “Royal” designation on occasion of its 300th anniversary. In the sixties, Hoitsema changes its course. From book and offset printing to a focus on the label printing industry. Nowadays, Royal Hoitsema Labels is one of the largest label printers on the Dutch market. More and more renowned international companies discover the craftsmanship of the Netherlands’ oldest printing house, and before long, the company is active in various markets: tobacco, wines and beverages, soft drinks, canned products and dairy products. Even today, Royal Hoitsema Labels still produces countless paper labels, as well as cardboard packaging.”
Such an honour and a renowned clientele creates obligations. Therefore, the printing quality has to meet stringent requirements. Royal Hoitsema Labels guarantees a shelf life of 1 year in accordance with the specifications of the paper manufacturer, ink manufacturer and the manufacturers of the lacquer/ varnish. Unfortunately the printing company is not free in the choice of its materials. The breweries make direct deals with the paper manufacturers and indicate their choice of paper to the label printer. As there is no standard paper, a change in the choice of material can cause problems in the quality.
One of the incoming control specifications of the brewery is that you have to measure the so called Cobb60 value through an absorbency test. This was in this case specified as 7-22 g/m2. The Cobb60 value has to be between these values. This value is a very important parameter for labelling (glue, machine, humidity, etc.). The IGT Cobb tester is an absorbency-testing device, which is used for determining the absorption of liquid mediums, by paper from the top and bottom sides within a predetermined time.
In the case of Royal Hoitsema Labels, a serious problem occurred with a switch of paper material with neck label of one year old. Some breweries keep products on stock for quite a long time. The brewery in this case suggested that the age of the label could be a cause of the labelling problems. The Cobb60 value was measured in their laboratory and was regularly below 7 g/m2. It was suspected, that the currently used paper was more decreasing in Cobb value over time then the previously used type of paper. But this was just a suspicion and was not based on any concrete measurements.
Mr. Rolf Bügel, Quality Manager at Royal Hoitsema Labels: “With the purchase of the IGT Cobb tester, we now a device, to do a proper entry control. Quality control measurements to see if the material is conform the specifications as indicated by the paper manufacturer. Furthermore we have the intention to use the IGT Cobb tester for quality measurements of the end product; the labels if the surface is larger than 10 cm2. As we also print a lot of embossed paper, this also has to be measured.”
With the use of the IGT Cobb Tester, Royal Hoitsema Labels is no longer dependent on the values provided by the paper manufacturer. The measured results will help them to prevent complaints and discussions with customers afterwards.