Category Archive: Manufacturing

Elevate Your Productivity With Carton Sealing Automation Solutions

Introducing automation technologies to your packing and shipping workflow is an excellent way to increase efficiency and up your productivity. While there are many exciting automation solutions available, one of the most impactful is automated carton sealing technology.

Automated carton sealing machinery significantly reduces your reliance on manual labor and allows your facility to quickly and securely seal thousands of packages per day. Although automated carton sealing equipment has been available for years, recent advancements have made it more accessible and efficient than ever.

Modern carton sealing machinery can accommodate water-activated tape — a huge benefit to your business. 

Why Use Automation Equipment That Accommodates Water Activated Tape?

Investing in automation equipment that accommodates water activated tape enables your organization to:

Increase Productivity

Water activated tape creates a secure, tamper-proof seal on your cartons. By automating placing this tape on your cartons, you can increase productivity and maximize your facility’s daily output.

Decrease Packaging Costs

Automation technology allows you to reduce your reliance on manual labor and cut your packaging costs. Automated carton sealing equipment provides a strong return on investment and leads to thousands in annual savings. 

Reduce Waste

Water activated tape is recyclable, making it a far greener option than traditional carton sealing options such as plastic-based tape. When you pair water activated tape with automated carton sealing technology, you can limit product waste, as your equipment will place a precise amount of tape on each package. 

Where to Find Water Activated Tape

Whether you have already invested in automated carton sealing technology or are considering doing so, it is important that you have a reliable water activated tape supplier to support your efforts. Enter Holland Manufacturing, a leading industrial packaging material supplier.

Ready to Place Your Order?

Holland Manufacturing has a broad selection of cost-effective water activated tape solutions, including standard options and custom-branded products. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of water activated tape, contact us online or call us at 800-345-0492.

Sustainable Packaging Solutions

In recent years, sustainable packaging solutions have become incredibly popular among distributors, manufacturers, and retailers. These solutions include a wide range of packaging materials, such as paper wrappings, cardboard, and HDPE or PET plastics.

Unlike traditional packaging materials, sustainable solutions can easily be recycled, which enables businesses to reduce their carbon footprints. Many forms of sustainable packaging can also be manufactured from recycled materials.

Why Businesses Should Use Sustainable Packaging

Businesses should strongly consider replacing traditional packing materials with sustainable alternatives. By doing so, they can:

Reduce Their Carbon Footprints

Traditional plastics and other difficult-to-recycle materials have a negative impact on the world around us. Producing these materials contributes to global warming, and disposing of them exacerbates ongoing waste-management challenges.

Transitioning away from non-recyclable products to sustainable packaging solutions makes it possible for businesses to significantly reduce their carbon footprints and support worldwide sustainability efforts. 

Decrease Waste Management Costs

The average packaging facility produces significant quantities of waste. Managing this waste not only creates logistical challenges but can also be quite expensive.

Adopting sustainable packaging solutions allows businesses to reduce the amount of waste they produce and recycle a larger percentage of excess or unusable packing supplies.

Promote Brand Loyalty

Modern consumers are more conscious of environmental issues like waste production and global warming than ever. By transitioning to sustainable packaging solutions, companies can promote brand loyalty and demonstrate that they’re responsive to consumer values and preferences. 

Contact Holland Manufacturing for Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Holland Manufacturing can help your organization meet its sustainability goals by providing high-quality, sustainable packaging. Our competitively priced materials and exceptional customer service make us the ideal supplier for your organization.

To learn more about our products and services, contact us today. Connect with us online, submit a request for a quote, or call us directly at (800) 345-0492.

What Is Sustainable Packaging and How Can It Help You?

The term “sustainable packaging” refers to environmentally friendly materials that are used to ship, store, or wrap products. Most forms of sustainable packaging use paper-based materials

A few examples of paper-based sustainable packaging materials are non-adhesive labels and water-activated tape. These items do not rely on potentially harmful chemicals, but rather environmentally safe alternatives.  

While most sustainable packaging is paper-based, there are some exceptions. For instance, some companies have developed compostable or biodegradable plastic products that materials break down faster than traditional plastics, making them a good option for manufacturers and suppliers looking to reduce their carbon footprints.

If your organization wants to be more environmentally conscious, it should explore ways to incorporate sustainable packaging into its picking, packing, and shipping processes. Now, let’s take a closer look at some benefits of sustainable packaging.

Advantages of Sustainable Packaging

The most obvious perk of using sustainable packaging is that doing so enables your business to reduce its carbon footprint and create less waste. Decreasing waste is not only great for the world around us, but it will also strengthen your reputation among your customers.

Modern consumers are far more conscious of the brands they do business with. Retailers and vendors are as well. If you proactively embrace green initiatives by reevaluating your business practices and adopting sustainable packaging, you can establish your company as a forward-thinking brand. 

In turn, you will encourage customer loyalty and enhance your ability to compete in your industry. 

As you can see, leveraging sustainable packaging is good for the environment and your bottom line too. If you would like to learn more about sustainable packaging or order a sample and inspect these solutions for yourself, Holland Manufacturing can help.

To get started, call our team at (800) 345-0492 or request a sample online

Key Differences Between Corrugated and Folding Cartons

Corrugated and folding cartons are two of the most common packaging solutions you’ll encounter when choosing product boxes for your business. The question is, which solution best fits your needs? 

To help you answer that question and make an informed ordering decision, we’re providing a closer look at the key differences between corrugated and folding cartons.

Pros and Cons of Folding Cartons

The primary appeal of folding cartons is the thickness of the material (or lack thereof). Folding cartons are thinner than their corrugated counterparts. As such, they’re lighter and take up far less shelf space. They can also incorporate various branding elements, including stamping, embossing, and texturing.

However, folding cartons have two major downsides. Since they are thinner, they offer less protection than corrugated boxes and can generally only be used once.

Pros and Cons of Corrugated Cartons

Corrugated cartons are much thicker than folding cartons. Consequently, they’re heavier but provide much better protection for your products. They can incorporate some branding elements, such as your company logo. However, stamping or embossing them tends to be more difficult. 

Additionally, corrugated cartons can be reused several times. As such, they can offer long-term cost savings, though the initial per-unit cost is usually higher when compared to folding cartons. 

Because they’re so much thicker than folding boxes, corrugated cartons will take up more space on your shelves. Therefore, you might not be able to carry as much packaging material inventory and may need to reorder supplies more frequently. 

Choose the Right Carton Solution for Your Business

Both folding and corrugated cartons offer distinct advantages and drawbacks. Fortunately, an experienced packaging materials supplier like Holland Manufacturing can help you choose the ideal solution for your needs. 

If you need assistance selecting the right cartons for your business, contact Holland Manufacturing at (800) 345-0492 or request a quote online.

Guide to Barrier Packaging for Your Products

Keeping deliveries fresh is essential for perishable products. When a customer receives a meal kit, CBD oils, beer, or any other items that can spoil when exposed to the elements, they expect their shipment to be properly protected. 

How Barriers Make the Difference

Barrier packaging is what keeps sensitive and perishable items from harm or spoiling during transit. Barriers are usually made from a variety of materials in many levels of thickness, depending on the needs of the package. 

Often, coated films keep these items from making contact with the environment, though cooling packs may still be needed for temperature-sensitive products.

So what do barriers do?

Protect Against Moisture

For products that are sensitive to humidity and moisture, an impermeable protective barrier is crucial. It can be in the form of a pouch, bag, or a properly sealed film roll.

Keep Out Contaminants

Bacteria and viruses, as well as non-organic contaminants, can ruin a shipment. When food or other perishable items come into contact with harmful substances, they can quickly become contaminated.

Block Light

Not every barrier will do the job of blocking light — that’s usually up to the outside packaging  — but preventing light, especially UV light, from reaching certain products is essential for their longevity. Beer, for example, will become spoiled and taste unpleasant given too much light exposure.

Preserve Desirable Attributes

Cosmetic products, such as perfumes, are purchased solely based on their aroma. Without proper protective packaging, they can leak and lose what makes them so special.

Barrier Materials

Common barrier materials include polypropylene, or PP, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Each of these is food-safe and can prevent UV light exposure. They can be made to be layered and flexible or in rigid sheets, and they can also be added to paper or cardboard. Sometimes aluminum is used to add more oxygen and light protection. Don’t forget to seal your boxes with reliable tape, too!

Protecting Perishables with Holland Manufacturing

When you want to make sure your packages will arrive fresh, rely on Holland Manufacturing! Get started by giving us a call at (800) 345-0492.

Everything You Need to Know About Folding Cartons

Folding cartons are a critical tool in the retail industry. Modern folding cartons are simple storage solutions that provide:

Product Protection

At the most basic level, folding cartons protect your product from exposure to the elements. They also guard against abrasive forces that may be present during the journey to points of sale. 

However, folding cartons must be paired with quality packaging adhesives to ensure that they adequately protect the products stored within them. Otherwise, the cartons may open during transit, offsetting any protections they provide.

An Advertising Medium

Folding cartons are also a great advertising medium. You can use folding cartons to relay important information about your product to consumers. These advertisements can reveal what your product does, its intended use case, and more.

You should pair your packaging with custom-printed tape to boost your carton-based advertising. Think about it — what good is investing money in beautiful folding cartons, only to seal them with unsightly brown tape? 

By simply upgrading from generic tape to a custom-printed alternative, you can create a more cohesive experience for your target audience. 

Storage

The third and final function of folding cartons is to store your products during transit and at the point of sale. By storing your products in a folding carton, you can ensure that all auxiliary components remain with the key item until the time of purchase. 

Folding cartons also make it easier for distributors and other supply chain members to store your products while shipments await delivery to retailers. 

As you can see, folding cartons play a key role in protecting your products and marketing to your target audience. With that in mind, it is critical that you invest in quality cartons and packaging materials, like those provided by Holland Manufacturing.

Finding the Right Packaging

Holland Manufacturing provides top-quality tape, coating materials, and more. Call us at (800) 345-0492 or request a quote online to learn more.

Benefits of Non-Adhesive Labeling with Banding

Many consumer products are packaged using non-adhesive labeling and banding. This method can be a great way to maintain your products’ structural integrity without compromising your visual brand. Here are just a few of the benefits of non-adhesive labeling with banding:

Keeps Products Cleaner

Adhesive labels attract dirt and debris, which can alter the appearance of your product. Adhesive-free labeling ensures that your packaging is clean and inviting, and banding helps maintain the functionality and integrity of your package.

Better for the Environment

Banding, in particular, is environmentally friendly. A variety of recyclable materials and sustainable options are available, including biodegradable and compostable materials. And while ordinary adhesives can clog the machinery involved in the recycling process, non-adhesive labels can be recycled with ease.

Varied Materials

Adhesive labels typically rely on some form of plastic or polymer. But banding allows you to use paper or a wide array of other materials. You can choose pre-printed designs or showcase your brand, as well as select from eco-friendly or FDA-approved materials.

Adaptable for Multi-Packing

Banding is ideal for packaging multiple consumer products together since it’s stronger than traditional adhesives. The tension used to hold products together offers sufficient strength for packaging multiple product types, making it ideal for creating kits or other consumer packages.

Easy to Implement

Making the switch to non-adhesive banding is easier than you think. You can easily integrate the process into just about any production line, which minimizes the amount of manual labor or equipment you rely on.

Find Your Solution Today

Holland Manufacturing offers a variety of packaging supplies, in addition to a range of other materials, for use in commercial or consumer applications. To learn more, contact us today on the web, or give us a phone call at 800-345-0492.

10 Most Important Parts of a Product Label

OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has legal requirements for the labeling of HAZMAT (hazardous materials) and supplementing MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets). 

While many of the following examples are for HAZMAT products, many of them also apply to other industrial materials. These are legally required disclosures by product manufacturers for worker safety in general. It’s good to know what you can expect to find when familiarizing yourself with any product that’s new to you.

1. Pictograms

A pictogram is an image or images that transcend language barriers, making clear that whatever is inside the container bearing this label has properties that could be hazardous or require special consideration in regard to handling.

2. Signal Word

The signal word is a single word near the pictogram that communicates the potential hazard clearly. For example, DANGER or CORROSIVE. 

3. Hazard Statement

The hazard statement is a more in-depth disclosure of the properties of the material.

4. Precautionary Statement

The precautionary statement outlines the procedures that must be taken by those handling or using the material. For example, if care must be taken not to puncture the packaging, it’s more than likely that forklifts are prohibited.

5. Product Identifier

The product identifier is manufacturer information on the product itself and may include warnings about chemical composition. For example, the label may state that the product contains mercury.

6. Supplier Identification

Supplier identification will always include the manufacturer’s name and street address, as well as an emergency phone number.

7. Safety Control and Protection

First aid recommendations are usually included.

8. Fire

Instructions in case of fire are very important. With some industrial chemicals, water makes a fire much worse.

9. Directions for Use

Instructions for the end user are mandatory, such as ensuring adequate ventilation.

10. Supplemental Information

Any other information that would be helpful or assist in full disclosure is always appreciated. For example, if the product must not exceed certain temperatures in storage, those limits need to be stated.

Learn More About Labeling

Call Holland Manufacturing at 1-800-345-0492 to see how our products can help you get your job done better and more safely.

Wood Flooring Underlayment: What It Is and Why You Need It

It doesn’t matter how much or how little you spend on new wood or laminate flooring solution; you want to protect your investment for as long as possible. To do that, you need to control moisture and prevent buckling. But how?

What Is Underlayment?

There’s nothing worse than a relatively new floor that has already warped or begun to rot. The key to successfully keeping your wood and laminate flooring as new as possible is to install a high-quality vapor retarding underlayment beneath it. 

This layer not only protects your wood flooring from too much moisture but also keeps things nice and quiet because it absorbs sound. 

Avoid Damage

Properly installing underlayment before you put down any wood flooring product means you will have a vapor barrier that meters all moisture passthrough. 

If there is lots of moisture coming up through your floors — whether you’re on a crawlspace or slab foundation — you’ll more than likely experience buckling, warping, and sagging as your flooring tries to cope with the humid conditions. And even worse, if that moisture is allowed to pass through unimpeded, the subfloor will begin to rot.

Protect Your Investment

There are two options for wood flooring underlayment. You can choose to go with an asphalt-saturated kraft paper that gives ample protection, or you can choose a premium laminated product that sandwiches asphalt-saturated paper between two additional layers of kraft paper. 

Unlike polyvinyl and other poly films, these engineered underlayment products don’t trap moisture. Instead, they meter its transfer through materials, allowing only enough to keep your wood floors from either rotting or drying out. These engineered solutions are the ultimate solution for installing your wood or laminate flooring with total confidence.

Call Holland Manufacturing

If you want to know more about how to protect your wood floors from damage, call Holland Manufacturing at 1-800-345-0492 for a customized solution.

Everything You Need to Know about Water Activated Tape

What Is Water Activated Tape?

Water Activated Tape (WAT) is a paper-based tape with an adhesive that is dry to the touch until activated by water.  Water turns the dried adhesive into a tacky, fluidic adhesive that is designed to adhere to corrugated boxes.  Unlike some other tapes in the packaging market, water activated tape has a singular focus – secure closure of corrugated boxes.

Water Activated Tape is available in reinforced and non-reinforced varieties.  The reinforced product is strengthened by reinforcement fibers traditionally made of fiberglass or polyester.  The addition of reinforcement enhances the durability of the tape closure and is ideal for boxes bound for parcel shipping. The reinforcement is sandwiched between two sheets of kraft paper along with a laminate adhesive, thus fully encapsulating the reinforcing filament.

Non-reinforced water activated tape does not have any reinforcement fibers and therefore does not have the same level of durability as reinforced tape.  However, non-reinforced tape has some advantages including cost and environmental benefits.  The most common applications for non-reinforced tape are lightweight boxes and packages that are unitized on pallets, not bound for individual parcel shipping.

What separates Water Activated Tape from other packaging tapes, both the non-reinforced and reinforced grades, is the adhesive migrates into the fibers of the corrugated box.  Once the adhesive dries – within 5-7 seconds – the adhesive has fused the tape and box together.  The only way to remove the tape is to destroy the seal; leaving behind a tamper evident footprint that the box has been intentionally opened.

Water Activated Tape is sold in roll form.  There are several roll sizes that are popular with the most popular domestic US size being 72mm (2.83 IN) wide, 137m (450 FT) long.  The rolls are packaged in corrugated boxes and for the 72mm x 137m roll size there are 10 rolls per box.  Higher volume users often elect to purchase tape in longer length rolls to reduce the number of roll changes, increasing packaging station productivity.  500 FT, 600 FT, and even 1000 FT rolls are all common roll lengths in the water activated tape market.

 

Why is water activated tape used? Who uses it?

There are many reasons why water activated tape has seen a resurgence in popularity.  The driving force of the popularity is the growing demand for parcel shipping.  The eCommerce revolution has made it easier for customers to order the goods they desire and receive the items directly to their front door.  For the vendors, the eCommerce model has allowed for a cost-effective sales model without the expenses of store fronts and other associated overhead costs.

Water activated tape is ideal for eCommerce shippers.  Here are the reasons why:

  1. Security – no shipper wants their package to be tampered with. Today, shippers are sending all types of items including foods, pharmaceuticals, valuable electronics, and many other sensitive items.  The tamper evident closure of water activated tape assures the box stays closed until intentionally opened.  Security of closure is the #1 reason why water activated tape is used today for eCommerce packages.
  2. Branding – The appearance of your eCommerce packaging is statement about your brand.  Do you value your customer’s experience when they receive your package?  The majority of eCommerce shippers are turning to branded water activated tape to seal packages.  The paper based, water activated tape prints well and is easy to apply to the box without folding or creasing the tape – a major problem for plastic pressure sensitive tape.
  3. Environmental – there is a growing war against plastic packaging. Paper based packaging is trending due to its recyclability and sustainability given current forestry regulation and recycling practices within the paper making industry.  Corrugated boxes, paper void fill, and water activated tape create a secure, protective, and an environmental responsible package.  Consumers are pushing vendors to be environmentally conscious. We received a lot of questions from customers about the environmental factors and recyclability of water activated tape.  Here is how we answer this question:

Reinforced Water Activated Tape is an environmentally friendly product, especially when compared to plastic pressure sensitive tape.  The majority of the product’s construction is made from renewable resources. Reinforced tape, by itself, is not recyclable.  Non-Reinforced water activated tape is curbside recyclable.

Reinforced water activated tape is made of 4 basic components.

  1. Paper – this material is bio-degradable, recyclable, and repulpable.
  2. Corn Starch Based Adhesive – like paper, this material is bio-degradable, recyclable, and repulpable.
  3. Laminate Adhesive – This joins the papers together – this is a petro-chemical material. This does not help the environmental claims of the product.
  4. Fiberglass – This is not Recyclable, Repulpable or Biodegradable material.

 

In the application of the tape to a box, the tape is a small percentage of the overall weight of the box.  The curbside recyclable standards that we are aware of call for 80% of the overall mass must be recoverable in the recycling process in order to be considered recyclable.  The laminate and fiberglass are a very small percentage of the overall weight of the overall box – probably 1% or less of the weight.  Therefore, in its application, it is possible reinforced water activated tape can be considered recyclable.

A roll of tape on its own would not pass this standard as the weight of the laminate and fiberglass would exceed 20% of the overall mass of the tape roll.  However, rolls of tape are not showing up in the recycling stream normally.  The tape is intended to be adhered to a corrugated carton and in that application, curbside recyclability standards should be met.

Holland Manufacturing does not have current 3rd party testing to verify this hypothesis as most testing services will only test the product itself.  Holland is currently engaged in development work to see how best to further reduce environmental impact of reinforced WAT.

Non-reinforced water activated tape is recyclable, repulpable, and bio-degradable.  One could argue that non-reinforced WAT is the most environmentally friendly carton closure product.

The paper used in Holland’s WAT products is 100% virgin fiber based for strength and performance reasons.  All sources of kraft paper used by Holland are in compliance with SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) Standards.

 

  1. Ease of Application – Ecommerce shippers are under pressure to deliver products quickly and maximize the output of their labor force. Packing and carton closure needs to be efficient.  Water Activated Tape, when dispensed from a quality water activated tape dispenser, is presented to the packer at the correct length and is ready to be applied to the box.  This presentation of a finite length of tape is much different than using a pressure sensitive tape gun to apply carton closure.  Closing with a pressure sensitive tape gun depends on the skill, speed, and endurance of the packer, these variables, while still important, vary less with water activated tape.  This consistency is a key advantage of water activated tape carton closure.

Adding Your Branding

As mentioned previously, the opportunity to brand water activated tape provides packagers with a cost-effective method to engage customers.  An undeniable factor is that when a customer opens a package sealed with water activated tape, they are forced to look at the tape.  Custom printed water activated tape provides an opportunity to share a message, promotion, new product detail, cross-selling offer, and countless other options to make an impression on a customer you are already selling to.

At Holland Manufacturing, we custom print water activated tape with all types of designs and objectives for our customers.  Over the years, we have seen what works and what looks makes the biggest impact. In short, we recommend simpler designs to make the best statement for a brand.  There are many options and design choices.  To help customers, we have outlined the following design guide to provide ideas and concepts for your printed tape design.

Step 1:  Understand Your Canvas

In flexographic printing, photopolymer plates are used to imprint the images on the substrate (WAT).   The plates are fixed size making the width and length of the plate important and set the first characteristic of your design.  We can this width and length dimension the size of your canvas.

Water Activated Tape

The WIDTH of your print area coincides with the WIDTH of the tape.  The most common WIDTHS for Water Activated Tape are 2.83 Inch (72mm) and 3 Inch (76mm).

The LENGTH of the print area is called the REPEAT SIZE.  The REPEAT is defined as the distance from any reference point in the art to the next time that same reference point is printed.


Width Measurements

Step #2: Select a Tape Stock

Choice #1: Natural or White  


Water Activate Tape Model

Most packagers will match the tape substrate color to the color of the corrugated box for a more uniform appearance.  However, the recent trend in reverse flood coating and the desire for color contrast has led to the increasing popularity of white tape stocks for printed applications.

Natural tape stocks are typically stronger than white tape stocks as the bleaching process can weaken the paper.  Natural tape stocks are also less expensive

Choice #2: Reinforced or Non-Reinforced

Is your package going to be handled by a parcel shipping service?

If yes, Holland recommends a reinforced tape stock.  Several grades are available to match your maximum package weight to the correct tape strength for secure closure.

Non-Reinforced tape is typically used for lightweight boxes or packages that are not bound for parcel service shipping.

 

PURE WHITE REINFORCED TAPE

 

Need White? Demand PURE WHITE

Holland has developed Pure White grades of reinforced tape for unsurpassed optical brightness, color accuracy, and contrast for your print design.

Available in two strengths – H-30 and H-70 – Holland’s Pure White grades make a dramatic statement on any package.

Step 3:  Select a Print Style

Selecting a print style is a needed step for any printed tape design.  In recent years, a popular trend in printed water activated tape are designs with a high level of ink coverage.  The trend has established printed tape as a highly recognizable and prominent feature of a package.

Despite the popularity of flood coated tape designs, there are several design strategies to match your brand message from dramatic to understated.

Seasonal, Promotional, Short Term Campaigns

Another trend in printed water activated tape is promotional or seasonal designs.  Alert your customers to a special incentive, a product release, or simply brand the tape to the present time of year.  Beyond branding, the printed tape can deliver a clear message to your customers they cannot ignore.

Logo Printing

Timeless design where the logo is printed and repeated consistently.

Advantages: Understated Look, Sophisticated, Easy to Read, Natural Look

Flood Coat Printing

Heavy Ink coverage for the most dramatic tape design. 

Advantages:  Eye Catching, highly visible from a distance, brand impact

Pro Tip:  By printing a lighter background color and a darker accent color, you can avoid the cost of an engraved cylinder and still achieve the dramatic presentation of full coverage printing.

Random/Pattern Printing

Series of shapes, images, or logos in a full coverage layout.

Advantages:  Unique, recognizable, can be understated or dramatic, cost savings compared to a flood coat print.

Process Printing

Printing complex images for a true visualization of a product or service.

Advantages:  Eye-catching, detailed visuals for maximum customer experience

Facts about Process Printed Water Activated Tape

  • The complex images seen above are created from dot pattern layering of ink.
  • Most colors can be created with 4 color processes – meaning there are 4 printing plates printing Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks.
  • The printing plates for process printing are more expensive than standard plates for logo printing.
  • Holland typically produced process printed tape in our Williamston, SC location.

Step 4:  Vectored Artwork

Design your artwork in a vectored art file types such as .ai, .pdf (hi-res), .cdr, .svg or .eps.  A vectored art file allows the art to be scaled without a loss of resolution.  By providing these file types, it will save time and money.

Step 5:  Ink Color Selection

The proper ink color is critical for brand consistency. Holland offers a set of standard ink colors.  See our standard ink color chart below:

For customers that require a specific ink color, Holland uses the Pantone color system to identify custom ink colors.  As part of the Holland Proof Approval process, Holland will send an ink swatch sample of the ink printed on the tape of your choice.  Ink colors often look different when printed on kraft substates.

Pro Tip:  Water Activated Tape is classified as an “Uncoated” base stock.  When looking for Pantone Colors, select a color (s) with a “U” suffix for “UNCOATED” base stock.

Pro Tip:  If you have selected a Kraft Colored Tape when selecting an ink color opt for 1 shade lighter than you expect.  The kraft background will “darken” the appearance of the ink color.

More About Ink

  • Holland only uses the highest quality, water-based inks – good for the environment & our operations.
  • Top Coat Varnish – for heavy ink coverage designs, Holland recommends a clear coat varnish over the top of the print. This mitigates ink transfer and gives the tape a slight increase in gloss.
  • Natural Kraft Paper – There is variation in the shade of natural kraft paper. Our mill partners are highly consistent; however, Holland recommends our white tape stocks for customers with the highest sensitivities for ink color accuracy.

Step 6: Submitting Your Request Online

Holland has created an easy to navigate web tool for obtaining a quotation for printed water activated tape.  Follow the steps to receive a recommended tape grade for your application, set your printing requirements, uploading art files and provide your contact information.  You will receive a quote within 24 hours.

https://www.hollandmfg.com/custom-printed-water-activated-tape/

How to apply the product?

There are several ways to properly activate and use water activated tape.  The equipment and sophistication of the method varies depending on the user’s operational set up and budget.  We will start with the simplest method and progress to the most automated solution.

For new users of water activated tape that are not sealing a large number of boxes in a day, we often see the use of a sponge to wet the tape and scissors to cut the tape to length.  This is definitely not the most efficient way to use the product; however, with proper activation of the tape, the user can seal a box with the same level of security as more automated methods of dispensing and applying water activated tape.

Some keys to success with the sponge and scissor method are:

  1. Cut the tape to length before applying the water.
  2. The length of the tape should be approximately 6 Inches longer than the major panel length of the box. This will allow 3” to extend down the side of the box – needed for a secure closer.
  3. Water temperature matters – use warm, not hot water – 110°F is the ideal temperature.
  4. Wet the sponge and make sure that it is fully saturated – the sponge should not be dripping as you apply the sponge to the tape.
  5. Apply the sponge to the adhesive side of the pre-cut length of water activated tape. Use light pressure and move across the tape adhesive surface in one fluid motion at a moderate speed.
  6. Avoid more than one swipe across the adhesive surface. The repeated wiping of the sponge against the tape adhesive surface will remove adhesive from the tape and reduce performance.
  7. Apply the tape to the major panel flap of the box within a few seconds of the activation of the adhesive. Close the box and wipe the tape down with firm pressure to help drive with water activated adhesive into the corrugated box. The video below will show you the proper application of the tape.

Advantages of the Sponge and Scissor Method

  • Low Cost
  • Good for low volume users
  • Easy to move equipment to seal in different locations

Disadvantages of the Sponge and Scissor Method

  • Tape performance will be more variable if too much adhesive is wiped off the tape.
  • Slow and time consuming – only good for low volume applications.

Tape Dispensing Machines

Utilizing a tape dispenser that properly activates the adhesive with water and cuts the tape to the desired length is the most common method of applying water activated tape.

There are two basic types of water activated tape dispensers – manual and electronic machines.

The manual machine has a pull handle which the user manually pulls to dispense the tape.  The machine translates the lever pull into driving a feed wheel inside the tape machine, driving the tape across a brush system which wicks water from a reservoir system.  The mechanism is tied to a cutting assembly which cuts the tape to the desired length.  The machine is easy to use, portable, and cost effective.  We recommend manual machines to users that do not have access to electric or wish to have the machine portable.

The electric tape machine is similar to the manual machine with the same basic action; however, all actions are driven by a push button system.  The user presses the bottom on the keypad corresponding to the desired length of tape (inches).  The tape is quickly dispensed and cut to length.  The electric tape dispenser is the workhorse of the eCommerce industry used by the companies big and small to securely close eCommerce boxes.

The electric machine has some significant advantages over the manual tape machine.  First, the process is more consistent.  The tape is dispensed at a set speed, unaffected by the user’s action (speed of dispensing).  Next, electric tape dispensers typically have a brush heater which heats the water interface.  Warm water helps to activate the tape and enhances adhesion to the corrugated box.  Finally and most importantly for high volume eCommerce packagers, the speed and reduction in packager fatigue make the electric machine the clear choice for volume shippers.

Automated Case Sealing

While tape dispensing machines are the dominate method for using water activated tape, there are applications that demand more automation.  For these applications there are automated case sealers that close boxes with water activated tape.

Automated case sealers can help operations that have high volumes and wish to automate the sealing of the boxes.  At Holland Mfg, we utilize case sealing equipment to close the high volume of water activated tape cartons we produce.  For our application, the case sealer is well suited as we are sealing similar size boxes that are heavy and most are filled with automated case packers.  Our operations are not pick and pack which is the most common use of water activated tape.

Here is a short video case sealer operation:

There are some disadvantages to automated case sealers.  First, they are expensive.  Next, they have many moving parts that can become a maintenance challenge if neglected. Finally, there are several machines on the market, not all of them reliably perform.  Holland uses and recommends the Schneider Packaging case sealer as a highly robust, reliable, and well-built unit.

Keys to Success in using Water Activated Tape

Water Activated Tape is a unique packaging product as the user completes making the adhesive in the field by activated the adhesive with water.  This fact introduces an added variable which requires recognition and attention by the user.

It sounds trivial, but water activated tape requires water to work correctly.  Over the years, our technical team has troubleshot several user issues where not enough water or no water remained in the tape machine reservoir.  The first key to success with water activated tape – make sure you have enough water.

Next, water activated tape is activated best with water that is warm, not hot, not cold.  We recommend a water temperature of 110°F for optimal adhesive activation.  This point accentuates the advantages of the electric tape dispenser.  These machines have a brush heater that warms the activating water, this improves the adhesive tack time.  By using a manual tape dispenser without a brush heater, the water in your machine will equalize with the ambient room temperature.  The adhesive will still activate and achieve a secure bond to your corrugated box; however, the tack time will be slightly longer.  Users will see the tape slide on the box slightly longer before the adhesive sets.  This could be an advantage for some applications where a longer open time (time before the tape adhesive sets) provides the user a chance to straighten the tape on the corrugated box.  Imagine a long strip of tape intended to seal a long box; the added open time gives the user more time to reposition before the tape adhesive sets.

Properly maintaining your tape machine (manual, electric or a case sealer) is imperative to your success with water activated tape.  Most machines have brushes that apply the water to the tape.  The brushes need to be clean to properly apply the water to the adhesive.  Over time adhesive will build up in the brushes and that adhesive residue can restrict the water from activating the tape.  The brushes need to be removed and cleaned.  Soaking the brushes in hot soapy water and then thoroughly rinsing the brushes is the best method to clean the brushes.  If the build up is excessive, consider changing the brushes.  Additionally, brushes will wear and should be replaced; frequency will depend on usage.

Success is also dependent on the selection of the correct water activated tape product.  As previously described, there are both reinforced and non-reinforced tape grades.  The majority of applications are better serviced with reinforced tape, but advantages for non-reinforced tape do exist including environmental and cost.  Regardless of tape style, there are various grades available within each classification.  It is recommended to select a grade of tape that can securely close the heaviest box that will be shipped. All grades the Holland produces have a recommended box weight limit.  In today’s shipping environment, packages take abuse.  The cost differences between reinforced water activated tape grades is not overwhelming so a conservative approach with slightly more robust tape is recommended.

For more information about application success, please check out the following video.

Current Trends in the Carton Closure Market

Water Activated Tape has seen a renewed level of interest by the packaging market due to ecommerce.  The product is not new.  Water Activated Tape has been used for more than 70 years.  During the 1980’s and 1990’s the product fell victim to the rise in popularity of plastic pressure sensitive tape.  The cost difference and ease of hand application of pressure sensitive tape made the product compelling for many users at the time.

Today, however, for ecommerce packaging, water activated tape is a clear choice.  Excelling in pick and pack situations which the same worker is filling and closing the box, water activated tape is the best option – at least according to the top e-commerce companies in the world – Amazon, Walmart, Mercado Libre, Target, and others.

As previously mentioned, branding has become very important to eCommerce shippers.  As retailers transition from a traditional in-store experience for customers to goods arriving in a corrugated box, packaging must be memorable, engaging and represent the brand.  Printed water activated tape is therefore quickly gaining market share from the non-printed water activated tape product.   A current trend with printed tape is the preference for nearly full ink coverage.  This style of printing is highly recognizable, often colorful and contrasting tape helps to highlight the brand among a sea of eCommerce packages.

Related to the rise in printed tape has been the noticeable interest in white reinforced tape.  With the importance of branding and integrity of color accuracy for a brand as well as visual impact, white reinforced tape provides an ideal substrate.  Holland has developed a True White reinforced tape to meet the needs of the market.  The market response has been excellent for this product and should be considered by any brand attempting to maximize visual contrast and impact of their printed tape.

Another trend seen in the water activated tape market is the user preference for a longer length roll.  Traditionally, 375 LF and 450 LF rolls have been the predominant roll lengths in the market.  Today, users are under more pressure to increase efficiency and reduce downtime.  An easy and effective way to do this is to increase the roll length to reduce roll changes.  500 LF, 600 LF, and 1000 LF roll lengths are become increasingly popular.

Likely the most prevalent trend in the overall packaging market is the effort to reduce the use of plastic.  Water activated tape is obviously a great closure method in the war against plastic packaging.  This trend is having ripple effects across the industry.  Long term, this trend will push more paper-based material into the packaging market which will stress paper supplies.  Paper mills are large facilities requiring time and tremendous capital to start. A likely trend is the steady increases in costs of paper-based packaging materials as demand outpaces the development of additional paper making capacity.  The trend could impact corrugated boxes, paper void fill, paper-based mailers and water activated tape.  Hopefully costs will be contained, and the users recognize the value of paper based materials.

Similar in scale to the war on plastic is the drastic labor shortages existing within the US packaging market.  Automation will become increasingly important and relied upon in the next decade.  This factor is a challenge for water activated tape as the product is most effectively used in pick and pack operations and is handed applied.  The continued development of automated case sealers applying water activated tape will be important to the product’s continued success as a carton closure method.  Solutions do exist; however, increasing reliability and controlling upfront equipment costs will be important factors for equipment manufacturers.

Summary

Our hope is that this information is helpful in educating users about water activated tape.  As a manufacturer of water activated tape for more than 60 years, Holland is fully committed to help customers of all types and size have success with the product.  For more information about water activated tape, please visit our website www.hollandmfg.com.  For assistance or questions, please email sales@hollandmfg.com or give us a call at 1-800-345-0492.