There is nothing worse than having your beautifully designed label not stick to your product except having the label you purchased to be removable stick like grim death. There is a huge difference in the label adhesive needed for a retail fiber box vs. a jet engine part.
Using the correct adhesive can literally mean the difference between life or death when trying trace back a bad batch of parts or product to recall.
So where do you begin when deciding what adhesive will work for your situation?
Answering some of these questions will go a long way in steering you in the right direction:
What is the item you are labeling made of; is it paper, metal, glass, wood, plastic or something else? If it is plastic, what kind? If you do not know, look for a recycle symbol on the bottom. If there are no markings, ask your supplier. Is it metal? Is the metal painted? If painted, is it powder coated paint? If so, how extreme are the dimples (orange peel affect)? Powder coated paints can be smooth, rough or anywhere in between.
Is the label permanent or do you want your customer to be able to remove the label? We once had a request from a document company for a label that would need to stick to a piece of paper and still need to be removed 5 years later.
What kind of temperature requirements are there? Most customers can tell us the expected min/max that they expect the label to endure, but are stumped when we ask what the application temperature will be. For some adhesives, there needs to be a minimum temperature for the initial bond or the label will fail.
How durable does the adhesive need to be? Will the label be exposed to UV (outdoor light)? What about oils, solvents or other chemicals?
How long do you need the adhesive to last? Retail products and their packaging tend of have very short life cycles, while industrial equipment will still be in operation many years after they have been purchased.
Nobody expects you to become an expert in label adhesives, but knowing what information is needed in making a smart adhesive choice will go a long way in avoiding disasters.