Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions about, printing, or packaging? You are not alone. Luckily, we have the answers. 

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Our local experts in more than 10 countries in Europe have been collecting frequently asked questions and we are happy to share the answers with you.

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Ordering

A practical quoting range is 5,000/10,000/20,000 units. Ranged quotes highlight potential cost savings. Generally, the cost per 1,000 units decreases with higher volumes. Ensure the quoted quantities align with supply requirements, such as a 3-month supply.

Normally, traditional press printing doesn’t offer this option (due to setup requirements), while digital printing might be a possibility. We offer digital color proofs as well.

The leadtime depends on the order volume, type of packaging, the plant, and product intricacy. Our local teams will work with you to ensure the best balance between quality and efficiency to meet your deadlines. Should unique circumstances demand a shorter timeline, we are always ready to help you and discuss a solution to accommodate your needs.

While there is no specified minimum order quantity for the majority of products (except for foils), we will always recommend the most cost efficient option. This approach allows our teams of experts to provide proposals for various quantities based on your needs.

Shipping costs may vary depending on the final destination and product volume. For shipments exceeding 20kg, as well as international shipments and pallets, pricing will be determined at the time of dispatch. In most cases, domestic shipment prices for boxes and/or pallets are already included in the offered prices. If you require express delivery with a shorter turnaround time, we can arrange for an express carrier; however, the pricing for this service will depend on the volume, weight, and distance. Our teams are prepared to develop a quote based on your specific requests.

Preparing your order

Understanding the intended use or purpose of your labels is crucial, as it influences the selection of face stock, adhesive, and choices for printing and finishing. Consider where it will be applied and what outcomes you aim to achieve. The intended end-use application helps determine the best face stock and adhesives. While some face stocks might not be suitable for specific applications, there could be multiple alternative options available. Vital factors for consideration include details regarding the material or substrate to which the label will be attached, as well as the temperature conditions of both the product and its contents throughout application and usage.

Labels are typically quoted in millimeters, presented as width x length and diameters. This detail becomes especially relevant when labels are applied using machinery, influencing printing decisions. Inform us whether the size is of utmost importance or if there’s flexibility, allowing us to align with existing die sizes if needed.

It is important to understand if the label will be affixed manually or using a label applicator. This information aids in determining the appropriate roll direction, the position of the label on the roll, and the specifications for the backing sheet.

Self-adhesive labels can be delivered either on a carton roll or as sheets, depending on your specific application needs. Labels on rolls are typically applied automatically to the product. The core diameter of the roll can vary, with common sizes being 25 mm, 38 mm, and the most prevalent 76 mm.
To ensure a seamless application process, it’s important to inform us of your requested core diameter and also specify the maximum roll diameter that your labeling equipment can accommodate. This information will help us provide you with labels that align perfectly with your labeling setup.

Roll direction refers to the specific orientation or alignment of the materials as it is wound onto a roll. The roll direction can impact the appearance, functionality, or efficiency of the packaging process. Our local specialists are here to help you optimise your packaging operations considering all the possibilities available.

Using an Excel document with data in a single column (unless there are multiple areas of variable data on the labels), without spaces or extra information, ensures that the data is easily readable and can be seamlessly integrated into the label production process. The standardized format, where each cell contains only one piece of data, reduces the potential for errors and simplifies the integration of variable information onto the labels.

Different types of printers, such as thermal direct and thermal transfer, have specific requirements. Each printer type demands its own unique label stock to guarantee optimal performance and functionality.

General Questions

Our goal is to offer excellent value and competitive pricing. Sharing your current pricing, budget, or expectations helps us consider these factors when providing quotes or suggesting alternative options. Our team of specialists is here to assist you through this process, crafting a personalised solution that aligns with your requirements, ensuring superior quality and functional requirements.

Flexographic printing employs flexible plates and ink. It is most suitable for extensive volumes of identical designs but in some cases offers lower-quality results. Additionally, it lacks the capacity for variable printing. In contrast, digital printing is ideal for projects of any scale, accommodating various versions within a single run.

When considering your printing needs, it’s important to note that flexo printing requires a setup and plates for each job (incurring extra costs), whereas digital printing eliminates the need for plates and involves minimal setup. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that flexo printing machines boast higher speeds compared to their digital counterparts.

Our team is here to provide guidance and recommend the best and most economical printing solution based on the specific nature of your job and the desired run length.

Explore how our printing technologies can enhance your product packaging in more detail. 

Certainly, our commitment to the planet starts with the materials we use. We offer eco-friendly alternatives, including recycled, FSC®-certified, and chlorine-free options. By working with us, you’re making a conscious choice to reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing print quality. Read here all the possibilities to enhance your sustainability practices.

Yes, we offer a wide range of materials and adhesives suitable for all types of environments including extreme cold temperatures. We have the specialised materials, precise adhesive specifications, and required certifications to produce labels that can handle extreme temperatures. Our team of specialists can provide the details you need to meet your product needs.

Yes, we offer a diverse range of materials, finishes, and varnishes to craft labels that are perfectly suited for many different purposes. Waterproof labels offer reliability and functionality in environments where moisture is a concern, safeguarding important information, enhancing product aesthetics, and contributing to a positive customer experience. Our local specialist will assist you and create a tailored solution that meets all your product requirements. Click here to explore all the benefits of our waterproof labels

Yes, we offer a wide range of materials and adhesives suitable for all types of environments including extreme cold temperatures. We have the specialised materials, precise adhesive specifications, and required certifications to produce labels that can handle extreme temperatures. Our team of specialists can provide the details you need to meet your product needs.

Label winding refers to the orientation of labels on the roll and how they are dispensed. In most cases, for machine application, labels are printed in a narrow-edge format, where the longest side serves as the width. When labels are ‘wound out,’ the label is positioned on the outside of the roll, while for ‘wound in’ labels, the liner is on the outside, and the label is on the inside.

But don’t worry, you don’t need to make this decision on your own. Our specialists are here to guide you and recommend the best choice that aligns with your product needs.

Die cutting is a fabrication process that employs specialized machinery and tools to transform stock material through precision cutting. In label printing, die cuts play a pivotal role in crafting unique shapes and designs for labels. The process starts with a part called, unsurprisingly, a die.

There are various label unwind options, each named after the edge of the label that unrolls first. To better understand these roll directions, you can refer to our helpful label unwind chart below.  Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that labels can be positioned either on the inside or outside of the roll, depending on the applicator’s configuration. 

Labels printed on the outside of the roll are referred to as “wound out,” while those printed on the inside are considered “wound in.” This leads to a total of eight potential label unwind directions for your setup. As always, it is prudent to consult your applicator’s instructions before assuming whether the labels should be printed and die-cut on the outside of the roll. 

The term “shelf life” of a product typically refers to the duration during which you can anticipate the product maintaining its expected appearance, performance, and safety for use. This timeframe can vary significantly, primarily depending on the material used, especially the adhesive glue. Label material manufacturers generally suggest a reasonable expectation of a 1-year shelf life, considering the material’s production date, not when the labels are printed.

It’s important to note that the storage and application environment for your labels can significantly impact their lifespan. An ideal setting is one that is cool and dry. In contrast, hot, humid, or extremely cold environments may diminish the labels’ useful lifespan.

SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability and reduction of packaging are crucial aspects in today’s world and are definitely a part of every facet of our business. This approach demands a smarter way of working. From how we produce our products to how we run our plants. Our strategy prioritises minimising waste, conserving resources, and mitigating environmental impacts. This way, we are completely in line with the EU packaging & packaging waste directive.

Here are several important points of attention where we enhance our sustainability practices:  

Material Selection:

Opting for thinner and recycled materials can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of your packaging. Materials such as paper, cardboard, and certain types of plastics are preferred due to their recyclability or ease of decomposition. This allows us to more easily separate the label from the packaging, which facilitates the recycling process of the main packaging.

Packaging Design:

Minimising material usage can reduce the amount of raw material used without compromising performance. Lightweighting solutions for transportation and storage can help reduce energy consumption and emissions during distribution. The principles of ‘design for recycling’ influence not only the recyclability of the materials but also the available end-of-life options. A well-designed packaging can make the sorting, processing and reusing of materials easier, while poor design can result in extra waste and even hindrance to recycling efforts.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA):

Life Cycle Assessment measures the impact of packaging during the entire life cycle of a product. It takes into account factors such as raw material extraction, manufacturing processes, transportation, use phase, and end-of-life disposal or recycling. 

Minimising Packaging Waste:

Implementation of source reduction measures (e.g., using less and thinner material, less virgin materials), promoting reuse or refillable packaging systems, and encouraging consumers to recycle properly. 

Innovation and Technology:

Development of alternative materials and new manufacturing processes that minimise waste. A beautiful example of this are our home compostable coffee capsules. 

Circular Economy Approach:

This involves designing packaging with the intention of keeping materials in circulation for as long as possible through recycling or reusing. By closing the loop, valuable resources are conserved, waste is minimised, and environmental impacts are reduced.

Consumer Education:

Increasing awareness about recycling programs, promoting responsible consumption habits, and encouraging the use of reusable alternatives can help drive behavioural change and reduce the environmental impact of packaging.

We are aware that the printing & packaging industry has an environmental impact. But we can’t forget that packaging fulfills two very important roles in our daily lives:

  1. protection of the product (for example, to prevent the waste of food and other products, which would have an even much larger impact on the environment)
  2. an informing role, to make sure each product is consumed in the way it is intended

 

An honest approach to this matter can actively contribute to the solution. By addressing these points of attention, businesses can contribute to a more sustainable future:

Material selection: Using recyclable, biodegradable, bio-based or made from post-consumer or post-industrial recycled content.

Reduce and minimise: Simplified packaging designs with optimised sizes and shapes minimise empty space, reducing waste, transportation costs, and decreasing the carbon footprint. This is what we call design for recycling.

Recyclability: Prioritising materials that are easy to recycle, with the easy separation of the label from the packaging as the main goal. This way we can optimise the recycling of the main product.

Local sourcing: Source materials and manufacturing locally reduce transportation emissions and support local economies.

Waste reduction: Asteria is a thorough lean manufacturing group. Implementation of waste reduction strategies such as raw material waste, water management, and promoting reusing packaging materials are high on the agenda. 

Transparency: We are transparent about our sustainability efforts, goals, and progress. 

Supply chain sustainability: We ensure that our suppliers and partners uphold sustainable practices, from raw material sourcing to manufacturing and distribution.

Environmental, Social and Governance investing are very high on the priority list for Asteria. Our sustainability efforts are not limited to the products. We are highly concerned about anti-corruption, the wellbeing of our employees, as well as their thorough training and involvement. The environment is of the utmost importance as well. We measure our carbon footprint, prioritise material efficiency and design, reducing excess while meeting functionality and aesthetic standards. Collaboration with suppliers, lean manufacturing principles, and investing in closed-loop systems minimise waste production. This combined with the promotion of employee involvement, continuous improvement on all levels, the close partnership with EcoVadis and compliance with regulations to ensure a comprehensive approach to minimising waste, leading to a more environmentally responsible industry.

Sustainability is a consistent priority topic in our product manufacturing. With a daily focus on emissions reduction and continuous investment in the future, we aspire to be a sustainable partner for our clients, offering ecologically superior solutions. Our range of sustainable approaches is around the principles of ‘reduce, recycled, reuse’.

Reduce: advanced methods to minimise waste and optimise resource use (less virgin contents), significantly decreasing our carbon footprint (with 10%).

Recycled: by utilising substrates of materials with a certain percentage of recycled materials and collaborating with recycling facilities, we ensure our packaging is easily recyclable, supported by educational efforts.

Reuse (towards circularity): we craft durable labels and endorse a circular economy by facilitating the separation of packaging and label, which in its turn creates the opportunity for refilling or repurposing the packaging.

Our commitment to the planet starts with the materials we use. By choosing to work with us, you’re making a conscious choice to reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing print quality. We prioritise using responsible materials

We offer alternatives like recycled, FSC®-certified, and chlorine-free options that not only reduces your carbon footprint but also maintains print quality.

Our sourcing policy ensures reliable materials, including rPE (30% / 100% recycled PE), rPP (30% / 100% recycled PP waste) and rMC (recycled paper waste).

We believe that sustainable printing doesn’t stop at materials. Our production processes are meticulously designed to enhance sustainability practices. We invest in a responsible production:

  • We use energy-efficient machinery, coupled with environmentally conscious inks.
  • Our digital printing presses are CO2 neutral to maximise the environmental benefits of digital printing.
  • Our modern equipment significantly reduces waste generation, complemented by staff training in waste reduction techniques.
  • A strict water management allows us to collect and store rainwater through a purification system. Solvents, after evaporation, are reclaimed and distilled for reuse, while residual solvents undergo biodegradation via a biofilter installation.
  • Our heat recovery system converts the heat released by the printing presses into reusable energy.

The use of solar panels at some of our production sites accounts for over 25% of their energy consumption, which leads up to an impressive 31-ton CO2 reduction per year.

Asteria offers a wide range of washable labels.

When considering eco-friendly washable label options, prioritise those that align with your sustainability goals and the specific needs of your products. To be able to ensure the reuse towards circularity, the choice of the right glue for the right application is a crucial one. The aim is to head towards the perfect decomposition of the label and thus facilitate the recyclability of the product. Asteria has the right experience and expertise to advise you on the right type of glue to use for an optimal outcome in the context of sustainability.

Our printing and packaging solutions are crafted towards providing clients with a more sustainable end product. Through incorporating recycled materials, biodegradable options, minimalist designs, reusable packaging, efficient sizing, reduced plastic usage, eco-friendly inks, sustainable labels, streamlined supply chains, and transparent information, we aim to minimise environmental impact while ensuring product integrity, ensuring our commitment to responsible practices and a greener future. Our local specialists are dedicated to guiding you through every step of the way, ensuring a more sustainable finished product that meets all your business requirements. 

We are well aware that a lot of labels and packaging in the market are made in a ‘green atmosphere’. This doesn’t mean however that the labels are actually sustainable. We, at Asteria, inform our clients with the right background knowledge and offer them real sustainable solutions. By producing the right labels and packaging for you, we engage ourselves to make the end product more recyclable.

We are working in a very complex and ever evolving industry, especially when it comes to sustainability. Asteria has the right expertise and experience to guide you through this ever changing topic. Contact one of our technical sales people and they will give you well-informed and correct advice about how to make the right choice – for your company as well as for the environment.

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