Koehler Paper introduces bluishBlue4est pro label to the market

Environmentally friendly thermal adhesive material for labels

The Blue4est Pro for self-adhesive labels expand the environmentally friendly Blue4est product portfolio.

Koehler Paper, announces the launch of its new product Blue4est Pro in the Thermal Paper division. Blue4est Pro is a paper-based label material that is also known as facestock. It is being used for the new generation of environmentally friendly labels because it is produced without chemical developers. This means that it can be disposed of as wastepaper and is also approved for direct contact with food. As with the Blue4est POS till receipt, the Blue4est Pro self-adhesive label can be instantly recognized by consumers as environmentally friendly by its blue color.

Together, Blue4est Pro and Hermatherm Nature represent the new generation of environmentally friendly labels

The partnership between Koehler Paper and Herma has given rise to the world’s first, and as yet only, thermal adhesive material without chemical developers. This is yet another example of outstanding development work by the Koehler Innovation and Technology division of the Koehler at the headquarters in Oberkirch, Germany. It is some years ago now that Koehler Paper, the world market leader in the field of thermal paper, first invested in the development of an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional thermal paper – the blue Blue4est POS till receipt paper. “We are pleased to now be expanding our
environmentally friendly Blue4est product portfolio with Blue4est Pro for self-adhesive labels. This brings us one step closer to our vision of a ‘Blue Market,’ a supermarket that only uses environmentally friendly blue till receipts and labels,” says Sebastian Früh, deputy director Thermal Paper Division at Koehler Paper, adding, “Our excellent collaboration with the family-owned company Herma proved extremely fruitful.” The labels can initially be used for fruit and vegetable scales. Further applications will follow soon.

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Safe for direct contact with food due to the lack of chemical developers

As with the Blue4est till receipt, Blue4est Pro is produced entirely without developer chemicals, which is why it is also approved for direct contact with food. It is based on the same Blue4est principle as the blue till receipt from Koehler Paper. It has been used in retail as an environmentally friendly alternative for some time. With Blue4est, the text is not produced through a chemical reaction to heat but instead, it uses a purely physical reaction. An opaque functional layer on the paper becomes transparent when subjected to heat, which results in the black layer below becoming visible. Moreover, Blue4est Pro features an additional layer that protects the paper from mechanical damage for use as a self-adhesive label. Compared to current conventional thermal papers, Blue4est is not only particularly friendly to the environment, but the printed image is also extremely resistant to environmental influences such as sunlight and moisture. Where printouts are stored in normal storage conditions, they remain legible for more than 35 years.

Everything points to the color blue at Herma

Koehler Paper and Herma launch the world’s first sustainable thermal ad-hesive material for labels.

Hermatherm nature is the product name of the world’s only thermal adhesive material for labels from Herma, which was developed in close partnership with Koehler Paper. It is approved for direct contact with food as Hermatherm nature (900) is guaranteed to be free of all chemical developers for the printed image. Labels produced on this basis can be used in all current thermal printers without any problems. Another advantage is that the 62Dps multi-layer permanent adhesive used by Herma shows an extremely low tendency for migration and is also approved for direct contact with dry, moist, and greasy foods. Despite its low tendency for migration, the multi-layer technology means that the permanent adhesive demonstrates excellent adhesion, even in cool environments. “Based on our experiences with the coating and cutting process, Hermatherm nature (900) is just as straightforward in terms of its handling as conventional thermal adhesive materials,” says Herma head of Development Dr Nicole Metzler. Despite the colors and the associated lower contrast, there were no barcode reading errors in a large-scale application test under real conditions. Corresponding labels went through without any issues at all.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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