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Glossary

A

  • ABRASION RESISTANCE
    The degree to which a label surface - including printing and protective coatings - is able to resist rubbing or wearing away by friction.
  • ABRASIVENESS
    The tendency of a paper, coating or ink to abrade or wear away die edges, slitting blades, printing type, etc., by friction.
  • ACCELERATED AGING
    Test procedures for subjecting P.S. label stock to special environmental conditions in order to predict the course of natural aging in a far shorter period of time.
  • ACETATE
    A plastic synthesized from cellulose dissolved in acetic acid which exhibits rigidity, dimensional stability and ink receptivity. Transparent or matte films, sometimes used for label stocks.
  • ACRYLIC
    A general chemical term of a particular family of thermoplastic resins based on acrylic acid and its derivatives.
  • ACRYLIC ADHESIVE
    Pressure-sensitive adhesive based on high-strength, acrylic polymers. Can be coated as a solvent or emulsion system.
  • ACRYLIC EMULSION
    A water-based latex make with acrylic polymers, used in coatings and adhesives.
  • ADHESION
    A measurement of the force required to remove a label from a substance.
  • ADHESIVE (Glue, Gum)
    A substance capable of holding materials together by surface attachment. (American Society for Testing Materials).
  • ADHESIVE, COLD TEMPERATURE
    An adhesive that will enable a P.S. label to adhere when applied to refrigerated or frozen substrates...generally +35 F or colder.
  • ADHESIVE, HIGH TEMPERATURE
    An adhesive that will enable a P.S. label to withstand sustained elevated temperature (+200 F or higher).
  • ADHESIVE, PERMANENT
    An adhesive characterized by relatively high ultimate adhesion. Sometimes it can be removed when the degree of force used overcomes its bonding ability but generally it is not removable.
  • ADHESIVE, PRESSURE SENSITIVE
    A type of adhesive which in a dry form is aggressively tacky at room temperature. It has the capability of promoting a bond to dissimilar surfaces on contact, with pressure.
  • ADHESIVE, REMOVABLE
    An adhesive characterized by relatively high cohesive strength and low ultimate adhesion. It can be removed easily from most surfaces. Some adhesive transfer could take place depending on the affinity of the adhesive to the surface.
  • ADHESIVE STRIKE-THROUGH
    When adhesive penetrates through the face material of a pressure-sensitive lamination.
  • ADHESIVE RESIDUE (Adhesive Deposit, Adhesive Transfer)
    The adhesive remaining behind on a substrate when a P.S. label is removed.
  • ADHESIVE SPLITTING
    Condition where part of the adhesive remains on the face stock and part on the substrate when the label is put under stress or removed.
  • ALIGNMENT
    The relative position of a scanner or light source to a bar code.
  • AMBIENT TEMPERATURE
    A term used to denote the temperature of the surrounding air.
  • ANCHOR COAT (Barrier Coat)
    A coating applied to the face material on the side opposite the printed surface to provide increased opacity to the face material and/or to prevent migration between adhesive and the face material and/or to improve anchorage of adhesive to a face material.
  • ANVIL
    A hardened steel roll upon which the bearers of a rotary die cutter ride which also provides the hardened surface to support the die cutting.
  • APPLICATION TEMPERATURE
    Temperature of a substrate or label material at the time the label will be applied. All adhesives have a minimum application temperature rating.
  • APPLICATOR
    A device that automatically feeds and applies pressure sensitive labels to a product.
  • ASPECT RATIO
    The ratio of height to width of a bar code symbol. A code twice as high as wide would have an aspect ratio of 2; a code twice as wide as high would have an aspect ratio of 1/2 or 0.5.
  • AUTOCLAVE
    Container for sterilizing, i.e. in label application, label must endure a cooking process by superheated steam under pressure.

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B

  • BACK SLIT
    See split back.
  • BACKING
    Refers to the carrier sheet of material in a pressure sensitive lamination as opposed to the face material. Usually has a release coating applied so that the adhesive will not stick too tightly to it. Release liner, backing paper, carrier, etc.
  • BAGGINESS
    A slack, floppy area usually caused by gauge variation. The material has been stretched and is actually longer in that area.
  • BASE
    The major constituent, other than pigments and filler, comprising the non-volatile portion of an adhesive coating or sealer compound.
  • BASE ROLL
    See anvil roll.
  • BASIC SHEET SIZE
    The size of a sheet of paper which is used to determine paper weight. Sizes vary depending on the type of stock.
  • BASIS WEIGHT
    The weight in pounds of a ream of paper cut to a given size. Most backing papers used in pressure sensitive laminations are based on a ream size of 24" x 36"/500's. Face papers are more typically 25" x 38"/500's.
  • BAR
    The dark element of a printed symbol.
  • BAR CODE DENSITY
    The number of data characters which can be represented in a linear unit of measure. Bar code density is often expressed in characters per inch.
  • BAR CODE
    An array of rectangular bars and spaces which are arranged in a predetermined pattern following unambiguous rules in a specific way to represent elements of data which are referred to as characters.
  • BAR CODE READER
    A device used to identify and read bar code symbols.
  • BAR LENGTH
    The bar dimension perpendicular to bar width.
  • BAR WIDTH
    The thickness of a bar measured from the edge closest to the symbol start character to the trailing edge of the same bar.
  • BAR WIDTH REDUCTION
    Reduction of the nominal bar width dimension on film masters or printing plates to compensate for printing gain.
  • BARRIER COAT
    A coating applied to the face material on the side opposite the printed surface to provide increased opacity to the face material and/or to prevent migration between adhesive and the face material and/or to improve anchorage of adhesive to face material.
  • BEARER
    Type-high supports mounted or molded around each end of printing plate to help carry part of the impression load and to help prevent bounce. Also the load bearing surface(s) of a rotary die, usually positioned at each end of the die.
  • BEARING BLOCK
    A device that holds the die in place in the die station.
  • BIDIRECTIONAL READ
    The ability to read data successfully whether scanning is done left to right or right to left.
  • BLEED
    When the printed image extends beyond the trim edge of the label, it is called bleed.
  • BLEEDTHROUGH
    Migration of materials from an adhesive or substrate into a face material, resulting in a mottled appearance of the face stock and possible detrimental effects to the adhesive.
  • BLOCKING
    Condition where the labels in a roll of material stick to the backside of the liner above them. Usually due to adhesive cold flow, incomplete die cutting of the adhesive, improper drying of inks or improper drying of coatings.
  • BURSTING PERF
    A fold perforation that permits mechanical bursting.
  • BURSTING STRENGTH
    The pressure required to rupture a material specimen when it is tested in a specified instrument under specified conditions. It is largely determined by the tensile strength and extensibility of the material.
  • BUTT CUT LABELS
    Rectangular labels in continuous form separated by a single knife cut to the liner across the web. Also face cut, knife cut.
  • BUTT LABELS
    See butt cut labels.
  • BUTT ROLL
    See stub roll.
  • BUTTED RECTANGLES
    Die cut rectangles butted to each other with no around and/or across matrix to remove.

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C

  • CALENDER FINISHED
    A term applied to any paper with a surface glazed by means of a calendar stack.
  • CALIPER (Thickness, Gauge)
    Thickness, usually measured in mils or thousandths of an inch. A mil is sometimes called a "point." A 10 mil tag might also be called a 10 point tag stock.
  • CARRIER
    Sometimes used to refer to the liner materials of pressure sensitive labels.
  • CAST COATED
    A high-gloss enamel finish.
  • CAST-COATED PAPER
    A paper, the coating of which is allowed to harden or set while in contact with a finished casting surface.
  • CAST FILM
    Plastic sheeting manufactured by the casting process, as opposed to the extruding process.
  • CAST VINYL
    Vinyl sheeting manufactured by coating a liquid vinyl acetate or similar ester onto a casting paper and curing in a heated oven.
  • CAVITY
    Usually refers to the engraving on a rotary die cutter that die cuts a single shape.
  • CENTRAL IMPRESSION
    A press with a number of printing units around a large cylinder that serves as the impression cylinder against which the substrate rides.
  • CHARACTER
    A single group of bars with spaces which represents an individual number, letter or punctuation mark.
  • CHECK DIGIT
    A digit included with-in a symbol whose value is based mathematically on other characters included in the symbol. It is used to perform a check to ensure the accuracy of the read.
  • CHEMICAL RESISTANCE
    The resistance of a P.S. label to the deteriorating effects of exposure to various chemicals under specified conditions.
  • CHILL ROLL
    Metal roll or drum cooled internally with water, etc. Often used after the press dryer to cool the printed web prior to die cutting, rewinding, etc.
  • CIRCUMFERENTIAL REGISTER
    See running register.
  • CLAY COATED
    A term used to describe a paper with a clay coating on either one or both sides.
  • CLEAR AREA
    A required clear space, containing no data marks, which precedes the start character of a symbol and follows the stop character. Also known as the "quiet area."
  • COATED PAPER
    General term applying to all papers which have been surface coated with pigments.
  • COATING
    In printing, an emulsion, varnish or lacquer applied in-line or off-line, often over a printed surface to give it added protection.
  • COATING WEIGHT
    The amount of weight of coating per unit area. This is expressed in various units including grams per square meter or pounds per ream.
  • CODE 128
    A full alphanumeric bar code capable of encoding all 128 ASCII characters.
  • CODE 39
    A full alphanumeric bar code consisting of nine black and white bars for each character symbol.
  • CO-EXTRUSIONS
    Film produced by more than one extruder through a common die. Films have been made with as many as 13 layers.
  • COHESION (Cohesive Strength, Internal Bond, Shear)
    The internal strength of an adhesive, its resistance to flow, and the resistance to failure or splitting when labels are removed or under stress.
  • COLD FLOW (Ooze)
    The flow of a P.S. adhesive under pressure or stress.
  • CONDITIONING
    Process of subjecting material to specific temperature and humidity conditions for stipulated time.
  • CONFORMABILITY
    The ability of a P.S. material to yield to the contours of a curved or rough surface.
  • CONTINUOUS CODE
    A bar code or symbol where the space between characters (intercharacter group) is part of the code.
  • CONTINUOUS LABEL
    Fan-folded labels manufactured from a continuous web of label stock which is not cut into units prior to execution. Continuous labels are mostly used for data processing applications.
  • CONVERTER
    Refers to that type of manufacturer who produces plain or printed rolls, sheets, bags or pouches, etc., from rolls of film, foil or paper, including pressure sensitive labels and tags.
  • COPIER LABEL
    A label designed for overprinting by a plain paper photo-copier.
  • CORNER RADIUS
    Describes the arc or curvature of the die blades where they meet so that they can impart a rounded corner to a die cut label.
  • CORONA TREATMENT
    Altering the surface characteristics by exposing the surface to a high voltage discharge (corona) resulting in an increase in surface energy (dyne level).
  • CROP MARKS
    Marks made on the outer edges of artwork to designate the area to be printed.
  • CROSS DIRECTION
    The direction across the web. Papers are weaker and are affected more by changes in relative humidity in the cross direction than the grain direction.
  • CURL
    The tendency of material by itself or in a laminate to bend or partly wrap around the axis of its directions. Curl is often caused by humidity or improper tension.
  • CUT-OFF
    In web printing, the cut or print length corresponding to the circumference of the plate cylinder and/or die cutter; equipment.
  • CUT RULE
    Steel rule blades designed to cut material being produced on flat-bed die cutting equipment.
  • CYLINDER
    In flexography, most rollers in the printing press are called rolls with the exception of ones on which the rubber plates are mounted, and the one which receives the impression. These are usually referred to as cylinders, i.e., plate cylinder, impression cylinder.

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D

  • DEBOSSED
    An indent or cut in design or lettering of a surface.
  • DELAMINATION
    The separation of a material into layers in a direction approximately parallel to the surface. The partial or complete separation of the layers of a laminate.
  • DIE
    Any of various tools or devices used for imparting or cutting a desired shape, form or finish to or from a material. A device in converting machinery used for cutting only the face material of a pressure sensitive laminate or for punching out shapes from the entire laminate or any other material.
  • DIE ADAPTER
    A device used to modify a die station of one type of press so that it will accommodate dies originally designed to be used on different presses.
  • DIE BLADES
    Sharpened, thin steel blades used in flat or rotary dies. Also refers to blades on machine engraved or EDM manufactured rotary dies.
  • DIE CUT
    To cut labels with a die. A term used to describe a label formed by die-cutting.
  • DIE CUT LABEL
    Pressure sensitive labels mounted on a release liner from which the matrix has been die cut and usually removed.
  • DIE-CUTTING
    the process of using dies or sharp steel rules to cut any shape for labels.
  • DIE HOLD-DOWN ASSEMBLY
    A steel block incorporating bearing which apply pressure to the bearer surface of a rotary die cutter through pressure screws.
  • DIE LIFE
    Mileage expected from a new die and that expected following a resharpening of a die.
  • DIE LINES
    A hand drawn or computer generated layout of the die cut shape or shapes on a clear or matte finish acetate or mylar.
  • DIE STAIN
    Used to check die cutting accuracy. Usually done with diluted ink applied to the die cut surface of the backing or liner material. The ink wicks into any fractures of the silicone coated surface, thereby exhibiting the problem areas.
  • DIMENSIONAL STABILITY
    The property of a material which relates to the degree of its growth or shrinkage from temperature or tension.
  • DISCRETE CODE
    A bar code or symbol in which the spaces between characters (intercharacter gap) are not part of the code.
  • DISPENSER
    A device that deeds pressure sensitive labels, either manually or automatically, making them ready for application. It can serve as a package for the labels as well (dispenser boxes).
  • DISPENSING EDGE
    A relatively sharp edge around which a backing material is pulled in order to dispense a pressure sensitive label from that backing. Sometimes referred to as a peeler plate.
  • DOUBLE COATED
    A pressure sensitive product consisting of a carrier material with similar or dissimilar adhesives applied to the two surfaces and wound with a silicone release paper.
  • DRIVING SIDE
    That side of a flexographic press on which the main gear train(s) are located. Also gear side; opposite of the operator side.
  • DWELL (Residence Time)
    1)The time during which P.S. material remains on a surface before testing for permanence or removability. 2)The time during which a hot-stamp, embossing, head, or thermal die remains in contact with the surface of a P.S. material.
  • DYE TEST
    See die stain.

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E

  • EDGE CURL
    See curl.
  • EDGE LIFT
    The tendency of the edge of a label to rise off the surface of the substrate. This condition occurs most frequently on small diameter curved surfaces. Resistance to edge lift is dependent on the bond strength of the adhesive and the flexibility of the face stock. (Butterflying, Wing Up).
  • EDM DIE
    Die produced using Electronic Discharge Machining.
  • EDP
    Electronic Data Processing - Pressure sensitive labels, usually blank, for use on computer printing equipment. Webs are usually perforated, fanfolded and hole-punched ( "line holes" ) for pin-wheel feeding.
  • ELONGATION
    The distance a material will stretch lengthwise before breaking, expresses as a percentage of original length. Elongation is not necessarily an indication of conformability.
  • EMBOSSED
    Condition in which the image is raised above the surface.
  • EMULSION ADHESIVE (Aqueous, Water Based)
    A dispersion of fine particles or globules in another liquid. Many P.S. adhesives are emulsion systems.
  • ENGRAVING
    A general term normally applied to any pattern which has been cut into or incised into a surface by hand, mechanical or etching process.
  • EYEMARK
    A small rectangular printing area usually located near the edge of a web or design, to activate an automatic electronic position regulator for controlling register or the printed design with subsequent equipment or operations.

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F

  • FACE-CUT LABEL
    Any pressure sensitive label where the face material is cut to the liner.
  • FACE MATERIAL
    Any paper, film, fabric, laminate or foil material suitable for converting into pressure sensitive label stock. In the finished construction, this web is bonded to the adhesive layer and becomes the functional part of the construction.
  • FACE SLIT
    A slit in the face material of a pressure sensitive product to facilitate removal from the backing.
  • FACE SPLIT
    See face slit.
  • FACE STOCK
    See face material.
  • FAN FOLD
    See continuous labels.
  • FEED SLOTS
    Round or rectangular holes or slits put in pressure sensitive label stock to maintain the register of pressure sensitive labels while they are being printed or imprinted.
  • FILM
    Acetate, polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, vinyl, and other polymeric materials used as face stocks.
  • FINISH
    The surface property of a paper or film determined by its texture and gloss. A gloss finish, for example, can be shiny and highly reflective, while a matte finish is generally dull and reflects little light.
  • FIRST READ RATE
    The percentage representing the number of successful reads per 100 attempts.
  • FISH EYES
    Round or oval deformations in an adhesive, coating or ink.
  • FLAT PACK
    A continuous web folded at a cross perforation at regular intervals. See fan fold.
  • FLEX
    Another term for deflection of rolls or cylinders in press. Also, bending qualities or characteristics of any material, including printing substrates.
  • FLEXIBILITY (Conformability, Pliability)
    Property of face stock material that indicates how readily it conforms to curved surfaces.
  • FLEXIBLE DIE
    See magnetic die.
  • FLEXING
    Condition that can occur on a die when the die circumference is less than the width of the cross-blades. Causes the center of the cross-blades to fail to cut properly and consistently.
  • FLEXOGRAPHIC PRINTING
    Method of rotary printing which employs flexible plates, rotary die cutting, rapid-drying inks, in-line laminating and other converting operations.
  • FLOOD COAT
    The coating of an entire surface with ink, adhesive, coating, etc.
  • FLUORESCENT PAPER
    A paper that is coated with fluorescent pigment which not only reflects a visible wavelength, but is activated by most of the remaining absorbed light to re-emit it as color of a longer wavelength which results in reinforcement of the reflected color.
  • FOIL
    A very thin metal sheet that can be used as a face stock material in label production.
  • FOIL PAPER LAMINATE
    A foil laminate to a sheet of paper used as a face stock. The foil is usually topcoated to improve ink receptivity.
  • FOOD CONTACT ADHESIVES
    Adhesives meeting specified sections of the Food & Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations cover direct food labeling as well as incidental contact. Special product recommendations are necessary for specific applications.
  • FOUR-COLOR PROCESS
    Printing with yellow, magenta and cyan inks plus black, using screens to create full color images.
  • FREEZER ADHESIVES
    Adhesives that can be applied and will function at temperatures below the freezing point. They are usually removable at room temperature.

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G

  • GEAR CHART
    A handy reference compilation of the various printing lengths, or repeats obtainable within the different gearing systems.
  • GEAR SIDE
    See driving side.
  • GLASSINE
    Super calendered, smooth, dense, transparent or translucent paper manufactured primarily from chemical wood pulps which have been beaten to secure a high degree of hydration of the stock. Sometimes used as a backing paper.
  • GLOSS
    Characteristics of the surface which causes it to reflect light at a given angle.
  • GRAM
    Unit of weight in the metric system; the weight of one cubic centimeter of water at standard conditions. 28.35 grams equal one ounce.
  • GRAIN DIRECTION
    The direction taken by the majority of the fibers in a sheet of paper. Synonymous with machine direction, the opposite of cross direction.
  • GRAVURE PRINTING
    Intaglio printing process employing minute engraved "cells" which carry the ink to the printing surface. Rotogravure employs etched cylinders and webfed stock. Sheetfed gravure, as the name implies, involves individual sheet feeding.
  • GUARD BARS
    The bars that are at both ends and center of UPC and EAN symbols. They provide reference points for scanning.

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H

  • HANG TAG
    A term used to describe fold-over labels generally used for product identification. These products usually 'hang' in the retail marketplace.
  • HARDNESS
    Degree of hardness. Shore and Rockwell being two scales used to measure and compare hardness.
  • HEAT SEAL (Heat Activated Labels)
    Label paper that has a plastic coating which melts under heat to form the bonding agent.
  • HEAT RESISTANCE
    Property of a material which inhibits the occurrence of physical or chemical changes caused by exposure to high temperatures.
  • HEAVY COAT WEIGHT
    A higher-than-standard weight of coating per unit area.
  • HOLDING POWER (Shear, Adhesion)
    Ability to withstand stress, as in holding rigid label materials on small diameter cylindrical objects. Involves both adhesive and cohesive strength.
  • HOT MELT ADHESIVES
    Thermoplastic materials with 100% solids that liquefy when heated and resolidify on cooling to form a bond with the face sheet the adhesive was applied to and a pressure sensitive lamination which includes a release coated backing sheet.
  • HOT STAMPING
    A printing process in which the image is transferred to a label material by a combination of heat and pressure.

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I

  • ID
    Inside diameter.
  • IDLER ROLLS
    Roller mechanisms on converting machines used to support, smooth or direct the web in its course of travel through a machine. Not driven.
  • IMPACT PRINTING
    Any printing system where microprocessor-controlled hammer impacts against a ribbon and a substrate.
  • IMPRESSION
    The image transferred from the printing plate to the substrate or the adjustment required to effect the same.
  • IMPRESSION CYLINDER
    In printing, the cylinder on a printing press over which the material feeds to pick up the impression from the inked plate.
  • IMPRINTING
    Technique which applies variable copy to blank or pre-printed labels with a secondary device.
  • IN-LINE PRESS
    A press coupled to another operation such as sheeting, die-cutting, creasing, etc. A multi-color press in which the color stations are mounted horizontally in a line.
  • IN-MOLD LABELS (IML)
    Special type of labels which are pre-applied to plastic bottles during the blow-molding operation.
  • INDEX HOLES
    See feed slots.
  • INDEX PUNCH
    See feed slots.
  • INFEED NIP
    A mechanism designed to control the forward travel of the web into the press.
  • INFRARED
    The band of light wavelengths too long to be seen by the human eye. Represented by waves that are between 750 and 4 million nanometers.
  • INK JET
    A method of printing using liquid ink projected a drop at a time against a substrate.
  • INTERLEAVED BAR CODE
    A bar code in which characters are paired using bars to represent the first character and spaces to represent the second.

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J

  • JOURNALS
    The end shafts on which a roll rotates, usually within the needle bearing or busing of a die block.

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K

  • KEY MARK OR TRIGGER
    A code bit(s) that tells the scanner if the code is in a position to be read; used with some fixed beam readers.
  • KEY-LINE
    In artwork, an outline drawing of finished are for labels to indicate the exact shape, position, and size for such elements as halftones, line sketches text etc.
  • KISS CUT
    A die-cutting operation which cuts through the face sheet to a liner but not through the liner.
  • KNIFE CUT LABELS
    See butt cut labels.

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L

  • LABEL
    The functional portion of a pressure-sensitive construction compromising the face material and adhesive, die cut into various shapes.
  • LABEL STOCK
    Pressure-sensitive laminate from which labels are produced, usually refers to roll stock.
  • LABELING MACHINE
    Dispensing apparatus that, by means of driving or pulling the backing, delivers a pressure-sensitive label and applies it to a product.
  • LAMINANT
    An adhesive for combining and bonding a combination of films, foils, plastics, papers or other materials. Pressure-sensitive constructions are often called laminants.
  • LAMINATE
    A web material formed by bonding two or more materials together as in pressure-sensitive construction. To apply one layer of material over another.
  • LAMINATION: A plastic film bonded by heat, adhesive, and/or pressure to a printed web for protection or appearance. Two or more materials bonded together functioning as one.
  • LASER PAPER
    Paper suitable to accept laser printing.
  • LASER SCANNER
    An optical bar code reading device that uses a low energy laser light beam to illuminate the code.
  • LATEX
    An emulsion of rubber or resin particles dispersed in an aqueous medium. A natural or synthetic elastomeric dispersion in an aqueous system.
  • LATEX PAPER
    Paper manufactured by two major processes; one of which is where latex is incorporated with the fibers in the beater prior to formation of the sheet, and the second of which is where a preformed web of absorbent fiber is saturated with properly compounded latex. The papers are characterized by strength, folding endurance, resistance to penetration by water, flexibility, durability and resistance to abrasion.
  • LAY FLAT
    A label material with good non-curling characteristics making it suitable for automatic overwrapping, insertion or any other form of further processing requiring a flat sheet (stay flat).
  • LEGGING
    The stringing out of a P.S. adhesive. This can occur when the label is being removed from a substrate or release liner or when the matrix is being removed during die cutting and stripping.
  • LETTERPRESS PRINTING
    Printing process in which ink is applied to a surface from raised portions of rigid printing plates or type.
  • LIFT TAB
    Ungummed edge of a label designed to make removal from the release liner easier. Sometimes used with order picking labels.
  • LINE HOLE PUNCHING
    See feed slots.
  • LINER
    See backing.
  • LITHOGRAPHIC PAPER
    A paper coated on at least one side, suitably prepared for lithographic printing.
  • LAY FLAT
    A label material with good non-curling and non-distortion characteristics.

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M

  • MACHINE DIRECTION
    The direction of any material parallel to its forward movement on the press. Also Web Direction.
  • MAGNETIC CYLINDER
    A cylinder used in diecutting that is magnetized to accept and hold in place flexible steel dies. Also used for metal-backed printing plates.
  • MAGNETIC DIE
    A thin, flexible, steel cutting plate that is held on to a base cylinder magnetically. Quite common in EDP label production where identical repeats are frequently used.
  • MAKEREADY
    On printing presses, all operation prior to running; such as mounting plates, adjusting the in-feed, edge guide, putting ink on the fountain, adjusting the impression, setting up the die cutting, color machine, etc. All preparatory operations preceding production.
  • MANDREL
    A shaft upon which cylinders, or other devices, are mounted or affixed. Also unwind or rewind shaft on to which rolls of materials (or labels) are mounted.
  • MARGINAL PUNCHING
    See feed slots; pin feed.
  • MASTER ROLL
    A full width roll that has finished the primary manufacturing process and is usually untrimmed and unslit.
  • MATERIAL
    Usually refers to unconverted stock, pressure-sensitive or not.
  • MATERIAL SPLICE
    An area where tape has been used to attach two rolls of material together to form one continuous web.
  • MATRIX (WASTER SKELETON)
    The face material and adhesive surrounding a self-adhesive label, usually removed after die-cutting.
  • MATTE FINISH
    A low-gloss or no-gloss finish. A UV-curable clear coat may also be used to produce a matte or textured finish.
  • MEMORY
    The property of a material that causes it to attempt to return to its original dimensions after being distorted.
  • METAL FOIL
    Thin, flexible layer of metal, such as aluminum, sued as face materials. Thinner gauges are often laminated to paper for strength.
  • METALIZED FILM
    A plastic or resinous film that has been coated on one side with a very thin layer of metal.
  • METALIZED PAPER
    A label substrate consisting of a lacquered CIS paper on which a very thin film of aluminum has been deposited.
  • METALIZING
    Applying a thin coating of metal to a non-metallic surface. May be done by chemical deposition or by exposing the surface to vaporized metal in a vacuum chamber.
  • MICROMETER
    A mechanical device for measuring thickness (usually in thousands of an inch).
  • MICRON
    A unit of measure. On millionth of a meter or about .00004" (25 microns = 0.001").
  • MIGRATION (Bleed)
    The movement of one or more components of the P.S. adhesive into either a substrate or face material.
  • MIL
    Unit of thickness measurement used for thin materials. 1 mil=0.001 inch=100 gauge.
  • MOISTURE CONTENT
    The moisture present in a material as determined by specified methods.
  • MOISTURE VAPOR TRANSMISSION
    A measure of the rate of water vapor transmission through a P.S. label.
  • MOLD RELEASE AGENTS
    Materials used in the manufacture of molded objects to facilitate their removal from the mold. Mold release agents can, in some instances, cause serious adhesion problems.
  • MONO WEB
    A brand name for a printed pressure-sensitive label web that is self wound. A release coating is applied over the print so that the adhesive on the back will not stick to the printed surface. The actual die cutting becomes a function of the label application equipment. This process is covered by a patent.
  • MOTTLE
    Non-uniform coloring or coating of a face material or of the printing on the label.
  • MOVING BEAM BAR CODE READER
    A device which searches for a bar code pattern by sweeping a moving optical beam through a field of view.

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N

  • NEGATIVE
    A photographic image of originals on paper, film or glass in reverse from that of the original copy. Dark areas appear light and vice versa.
  • NEOPRENE RUBBER
    A polymer of chloroprene, it is used as an adhesive base. Commonly used where oil and gasoline resistance is required. Resistance to swelling action of aromatics (pure and fuels) is poor but much better than natural rubber. Also used to coat doctor or metering rolls.
  • NIP
    Line of contact between two rolls. Often referred to as the pull or draw rolls of a web press.
  • NON-WOVEN MATERIALS
    Usually refers to paper 'tissues' or synthetics such as tynek.

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O

  • OEM
    Original Equipment Manufacturer. One who produces a component or components used in the making of a finished assembled product.
  • OPP
    Oriented polypropylene.
  • OD
    Outside diameter of a cylinder, roller or roll of labels.
  • OLEFINS
    A group of unsaturated hydrocarbons of the general formula CnH2n, and named after the corresponding paraffins by the addition of 'ene' or 'ylene' to the stem.
  • OOZE
    Adhesive moving out of ends of rolls or stacks of sheets causing ends to feel sticky and possible causing material to block. Adhesive cold flow.
  • OFFSET PRINTING
    Process of indirect printing in which an impression on a flat plate is printed on a rubber-blanketed cylinder, from which it is impressed, i.e. offset, upon the surface to be decorated.
  • OPACITY
    The measure of the amount of light that can pass through a material. The hiding property of an ink film; property of film allowing printed material to show through in varying degrees.
  • OPAQUE INK
    An ink that is not transparent and reflects only its color regardless of what colors it overprints.
  • OPERATING SIDE
    That side of a label press on which the printing unit adjustments are located. Opposite of driving side or gear side.
  • OPTICITE FILM
    Trademark of a label film supplied by Dow Chemical (polystyrene type).
  • ORIENTATION
    The alignment of bars and spaces to the scanner. Often referred to as vertical (picket fence) or horizontal (ladder).
  • OVERLAMINATING
    Applications of a clear film to a label stock for the purpose of protection or to enhance graphic quality, usually done in-line on the press.

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P

  • PSI
    Pounds per Square Inch.
  • PATTERN ADHESIVE
    See pattern coated.
  • PATTERN COATED
    Refers to the width and spacing arrangement of strips of adhesive laid down parallel to machine direction and across the width of pressure sensitive label stock during its manufacture. Also refers to adhesive coating applied in a pattern which is not related to web direction.
  • PEEL ADHESION (Adhesion)
    The force required to remove a P.S. label from a standard test panel at a specific angle and speed after the label has been applied under specified conditions (Pressure-Sensitive Tape Council). The strip of test material is usually one inch wide, and the angle of measurement can be 90 to 180 degrees from the surface.
  • PEELER PLATE
    A sharp edged, flat piece of metal around which the backing or carrier material is threaded, the prime function being a mechanical device which causes a pressure-sensitive label to be dispensed from the backing material.
  • PENETRATION
    Change of appearance of the face material due to movement of one or more components from the adhesive or the labeled surface. Bleed through, migration.
  • PERFORATED
    Refers to a series of small incisions make in laid-on labels and/or their release liner to facilitate tearing along a pre-determined line, or for fan folding.
  • PERMANENCY
    A measure of an adhesive's ultimate holding power or bond strength. A permanent adhesive will develop a bond that makes label removal difficult or impossible without distorting the face stock.
  • PERMANENT ADHESIVE
    An adhesive characterized by having relatively high ultimate adhesion to a wide variety of surfaces.
  • PHOSPHORESCENT FACE
    A face material coated with phosphorescent ink that emits light in a visible spectrum.
  • PHOTOPOLYMER
    Plate material that is photsensitive and upon exposure, its compounds polymerize to form a tough, abrasion resistant surface which becomes the inking media.
  • PIGGYBACK
    Multi-ply P.S. laminate consisting of a face stock; a layer of adhesive; a standard release liner; a layer of adhesive; and a standard release liner. This type of product provides a single label that can be applied to a substrate using the adhesive on the middle liner; then the top ply is removed and applied to a different substrate using the adhesive on the face stock.
  • PIGMENT
    Finely ground, solid particles used to give color opacity to printing inks and coatings, usually insoluble in such a mixture.
  • PIN FEED
    See feed slots.
  • PINCH ROLL
    See nip roll or pull roll.
  • PITCH DIAMETER
    The measurement of a gear or cylinder, determined by dividing the circumference by Pi (3.1416).
  • PLATE
    The image carrier in letterpress and flexographic printing.
  • PLATEN PRESS
    Printing press in which a flat surface bearing the paper is pressed against a flat surface bearing the inked type.
  • PLIABILITY
    See flexibility.
  • POLYCARBONATE
    A high clarity film having the versatility of acetate with the durability of polyester.
  • POLYESTER
    A strong film having good resistance to moisture, solvents, oils, etc. Usually transparent, although available with opaque ester formed by polymerization or condensation. Excellent strength, clarity and dimensional stability.
  • POLYESTER LINER
    A polyester film that is silicone release coated. It provides an excellent die cutting surface and is also used on overlaminating films to provide a smooth, glass-like surface of adhesive.
  • POLYESTER OVERLAM
    A clear, glossy polyester film coated with clear acrylic adhesive. Can also be supplied with a matte surface.
  • POLYETHYLENE
    A tough, stretch plastic film having very good low temperature characteristics, also used a great deal for producing semi-rigid recyclable bottles.
  • POLYMER
    A compound formed by the reaction of simple molecules called monomers, having functional groups that permit their combination to proceed to high molecular weights under suitable conditions. A long-chain molecular structure.
  • POLYPROPYLENE
    Similar to polyethylene but stronger and having a higher temperature resistance. Various thermoplastics are polymers of propylene; excellent clarity. Also used in various thickness in the printing of labels as well as backing or liner materials.
  • POLYSTYRENE
    A thermoplastic produced by the polymerization of styrene. The electrical insulating properties are outstanding and the material is relatively unaffected by moisture.
  • POLYVINYL
    Refers to a group of resins formed by polymerizing various vinyl monomers.
  • POLYVINYLIDENE CHLORIDE
    Usually a very thin transparent film with excellent resistance to acids, water and organic solvents. Saran.
  • POROSITY
    In paper the degree of air permeability measured in terms of air floe through the sheet.
  • PRESSURE BRIDGE
    The steel support mechanically secured over the die stations, through which the pressure screws are threaded.
  • PRESSURE SCREWS
    Steel shafts threaded through the pressure bridge which are used to apply pressure (in rotary die cutting station) to facilitate die cutting.
  • PRESSURE SENSITIVE LABEL (Self-adhesive Label)
    A label product that is processed through roll or sheetfed equipment utilizing a P.S. material which has a protective backing. The manufactured product is generally in the form of rolls, sheets, or fanfolded packs.
  • PRESSURE SENSITIVE LABEL STOCK
    The combination of face material, pressure-sensitive adhesive and release liner from which pressure-sensitive labels are manufactured.
  • PRESSURE SENSITIVE LAMINATE
    See pressure-sensitive stock.
  • PRESSURE SENSITIVE TAPE
    A combination of a pressure-sensitive adhesive with a carrier. Tapes are either self-wound or utilize release liners or films.
  • PRIMARY LABEL
    Label that acts as the main identification of a product. Often designed to attract attention and contains information to appeal to a buyer and is usually applied at the time of its manufacture.
  • PRIMER
    Coating applied to the face material on the side opposite to the printing surface to improve anchorage of the adhesive and prevent migration of adhesive components into face material.
  • PRINT TREATED
    A proprietary chemical alteration of the surface by the film manufacturer done during the film making process.
  • PROCESS PRINTING
    Multi-color printing utilizing a variety of printing screens, depth of etch, etc., and usually using yellow, magenta, cyan and black inks to give an optical effect of all colors and hues being present in a composite picture.
  • PROTECTIVE COATING (Overcoat, Overprint Coating)
    Coating that protects printing on and the face material of a pressure sensitive label from abrasion, chemicals and moisture.
  • PULL TAB
    Area on a face stock that facilitates easy removal of the label, usually a cut area on a sheeted label. Also called a peel tab or tear tab.
  • PUNCHED OUT LABELS
    Anvil cut or sheeted labels. Also referred to as metal-to-metal cutting due to the die cutting edge coming in contact with the anvil.

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R

  • REAM
    Five hundred sheets of paper.
  • REAM WEIGHT
    The amount which one ream of paper weighs.
  • REFLECTANCE
    The measured level of light reflected by a paper or imprinted characters thereon, expressed in percent of a standard reference material.
  • REGISTER
    A term in pressure sensitive label production that describes exact, corresponding placement of successively printed images and/or successively die-cut pressure sensitive labels.
  • REGISTER MARKS
    Symbols attached to original copy prior to photography, used for positioning films in register, or registering two or more colors when printing.
  • RELATIVE HUMIDITY
    The amount of water vapor present in the atmosphere, expressed as a percent of maximum that could be present at the same room temperature.
  • RELEASE
    The force required to free or separate a pressure-sensitive label from its release liner, using a specific measuring device.
  • RELEASE COAT (Release Lacquer, Lacquer, Silicone Coat)
    Material coated on the liner which allows P.S. labels to release.
  • RELEASE LINER
    The component of the pressure-sensitive label stock which functions as a carrier for the pressure-sensitive label. Prior to application, it protects the adhesive, and readily separates from the label immediately before the label is applied to product.
  • REMOVABLE ADHESIVE
    A pressure-sensitive adhesive characterized by low ultimate adhesion and clean removability from a wide variety of surfaces.
  • REMOVABILITY
    A relative term to describe the force or condition under which a P.S. label can be removed from a substrate. A removable label is one in which no damage or staining occurs to the substrate or face material and no adhesive residue is left on the substrate upon removal.
  • REPEAT
    The printing length of a plate cylinder, determined by one revolution of the plate cylinder gear.
  • RESIDUE
    Adhesive left on substrate when a label is removed.
  • RESOLUTION
    1. The dimension of the smallest element which can be printed using a particular technique. 2. The narrowest element dimension which can be distinguished by a particular reading device.
  • ROCKWELL HARDNESS
    A method of determining the surface hardness of a substance. Degree of hardness.
  • ROLL LABEL
    Pressure-sensitive labels that are produced in a continuous roll form.
  • ROLL-TO-ROLL
    A method of running materials through a printing machine. A roll of material is fed into a printing unit, is printed, then is rewound into a roll as it exits the machine.
  • ROLL-TO-SHEET
    A method of running material through a printing machine. A roll or material is fed into a printing unit, then is sheeted as it exits the printing machine.
  • ROTARY PRESS
    A press that in normal use features a roll-to-roll operation.
  • ROTARY PRINTING
    Accomplished by means of a cylindrical impression cylinder and a cylindrical printing plate.
  • RUBBER BASE ADHESIVE
    Pressure-sensitive adhesive based on natural or synthetic rubber. Can be coated as a solvent, hot melt or emulsion system.
  • RUNNING REGISTER
    That control on a flexographic press which accurately positions, while in the run mode, the printing of each color station in the direction of the web travel. Also called circumferential register or longitudinal register.

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S

  • SCK (Super-calendered Kraft)
    A bleached, white paper used as a release liner with most standard roll label products.
  • SANDWICH CONSTRUCTION
    Panels composed of a lightweight core material to which two relatively thin, dense, high strength faces or skins are adhered.
  • SCORE
    To make an impression or a partial cut in a material for the purpose of bending, creasing, folding or tearing.
  • SCORE CUT
    See score.
  • SCORING
    See score.
  • SCREEN PRINTING
    Method of printing in which the ink is forced through a design on a taut screen and onto the object to be printed. This process results in a heavy ink deposit that provides excellent outdoor durability.
  • SELF-ADHESIVE LABEL
    See pressure-sensitive label.
  • SELF-WOUND
    A roll of material with a single liner, which is coated on both sides with a release coating and a carrier having a pressure-sensitive adhesive on both sides. Also a material that has pressure-sensitive adhesive applied to one side and then rolled up on itself (no liner).
  • SERVICE TEMPERATURE (Exposure Temperature)
    The temperature range that a P.S. label will withstand after a 24-hour residence time on the substrate. The range is expressed in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius.
  • SHEAR CUT
    Term that describes a cut of a continuous web of stock using an action similar to the action of scissors.
  • SHEAR STRENGTH
    The internal or cohesive strength of the adhesive.
  • SHEETING
    Process whereby rolls of P.S. base stock are converted into sheets of finished labels by cutting them to the desired length in the sheeting stations on a rotary press.
  • SHELF LIFE (Storage Life)
    The period of time during which a product can be stored under specified conditions and still remain suitable for use (normally one year).
  • SILICONE
    A polymer of organo-siloxane used as an ink additive to aid ink flow out. Also used for pressure-sensitive adhesives capable of withstanding extreme temperatures. A polymeric material with exceptionally high repellency properties towards adhesives used extensively in the coating of release liners.
  • SILICONE COATING
    A unique polymer system which can be a very effective release coating.
  • SILICONE STAIN TEST
    A water based stain used to test silicone coating coverage and continuity on die cut paper release liners.
  • SLIT
    To cut rolls of stock to specified widths. Either rotary or stationary knives or blades are used with mechanical unwinding and rewinding devices.
  • SLIT BACK
    See split back.
  • SLIT FACE
    See split face.
  • SLOT
    A cut make in a material of a specific size and location. May have the face material removed when used to feed through imprinters.
  • SMUDGE RESISTANCE
    The resistance of a printed surface to smearing.
  • SOLVENT
    A chemical substance capable of thinning or reducing the viscosity of ink, coating or adhesives. Specifically, a solvent is a liquid that dissolves another substance.
  • SOLVENT ADHESIVES
    Adhesives' components are dissolved in a variety of organic solvents for coating. Rubber or acrylic-based systems can be coated this way.
  • SOLVENT RESISTANCE
    The resistance of a P.S. label to the action of specific organic liquids.
  • SPLIT BACK
    Slits in the release liner to facilitate its removal by hand.
  • SPLIT FACE
    Slits in face or pressure-sensitive product usually for facilitating removal from the release coated backing.
  • SPLIT LINER
    See split back.
  • STACK PRESS
    Flexographic press where the printing stations are placed one above the other, each with its own impression roll.
  • STACKER
    Device on the take-off end of a press that automatically stacks sheeted labels.
  • START/STOP CHARACTER
    A bar code character that provides the scanner with start or stop reading instructions as well as code orientation. The start character is usually at the left-hand end and the stop character at the right-hand corner of a picket-fence oriented code.
  • STATIC
    Electrical charges generated in handling materials which cause materials to cling together. Can jump to humans or equipment causing shock or fire if solvents are present. With reference to films, causes them to cling to one another or to other insulating surfaces.
  • STATIC CLING
    An induced property of a film which enables it to grab onto a smooth clean surface without using a pressure-sensitive adhesive. Static cling is a phrase applied to both mechanical grabbing and grabbing by electrical static.
  • STATIC ELIMINATOR
    A device for neutralizing static electricity.
  • STEEL-TO-STEEL LABEL
    See anvil cut or sheeted labels.
  • STEPPED ANVIL
    An anvil which has had either the bearer or body area reduced in order for die blades to cut to different depth than originally intended.
  • STICKYBACK
    Double-faced adhesive coated material used for mounting printing plates to the plate cylinder.
  • STUB ROLL
    A short roll of face material or pressure-sensitive label stock.
  • STYRENE
    A liquid unsaturated hydrocarbon (CgHg). See polystyrene.
  • SUBSTRATE
    The surface to which a label is applied; adherend. Converters also refer to the face stock being printed as the substrate.

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T

  • TACK (Quick Stick, Quick Tack)
    The property of a P.S. label which causes it to adhere to a surface instantly with a minimum of pressure and contact time.
  • TAGS
    Any identification that is only partially affixed to the product/item. System tags: converted through roll-fed production equipment. Merchandise tags: converted through narrow web roll-fed production equipment.
  • TAMPER-EVIDENT LABEL
    A pressure-sensitive construction made of materials which will partially destruct upon removal, indicating that a package, label or container has been tampered with.
  • TEDLAR
    Du Pont's trademark for bi-axially oriented polyvinyl fluoride. One of the most durable, chemical-resistant, protective films.
  • TENSILE STRENGTH
    The force parallel to the plane of the specimen required to break a given width and length of stock under specified conditions.
  • TENSION
    The mechanical control of unwinding a rewinding paper, film, foil and other roll materials. The stress caused by a force operating to extend, stretch or pull apart.
  • THERMAL
    A printing system where dots are selectively heated and cooled and dragged upon heat-sensitive paper. The paper turns dark in the heated areas.
  • THERMAL TRANSFER
    A printed system like thermal except a one-time ribbon is used and common paper is used as a substrate; eliminates the problems of fading or changing color inherent in thermal.
  • THERMAL TRANSFER PAPER
    A face paper specifically designed to accept heat-activated ink from the ribbon of a thermal-transfer printer.
  • THERMOGRAPHIC PAPER
    A label paper having a heat activated coating that will accept an image from a thermal graphic printer.
  • THROUGH CUT
    A die cut in a pressure sensitive label which has been made through all components of the label stock and liner.
  • TIE
    A term used to denote the uncut portion of a perforation.
  • TOLERANCE
    Dimensions within a given range of preset standards.
  • TOOLING
    Usually refers to die cutters, butt cutters, etc., used to cut out the labels.
  • TOOTH COUNT
    Refers to the actual number of teeth there are on the gear which is attached to the dies and printing cylinders. Each tooth count refers to a separate and actual repeat length.
  • TOP COATING
    A chemical coating applied to the surface to improve ink and toner anchorage.
  • TOP LAMINATION
    See overlaminating.
  • TRACTOR FEED
    See pin feed.
  • TRANSLUCENT LABEL
    Material capable of transmitting light yet not totally transparent.
  • TRANSPARENT LABEL
    Material capable of transmitting light so that the objects can be distinctly seen through the specimen.
  • TRIGGER OR KEY MARK
    A code bit(s) that tells the scanner if the code is in a position to be read; used with some fixed beam readers.
  • TYVEK
    Du Pont's trademark for spun bonded polyolefin material frequently used as a face stock where very high tensile strength is required.

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U

  • U.L.
    Underwriters Laboratories.
  • ULTIMATE ADHESION
    The resistance to removal of a label after adhesion has been allowed to build for a period of time. The time required to reach ultimate adhesion varies with the adhesive, substrate and labeling conditions, but is approximately 24 hours.
  • ULTRA-VIOLET RESISTANCE (UV)
    The ability of a material to withstand extended exposure to sunlight (ultra-violet) without degradation, hardening, or excessive discoloration.
  • UNBLEACHED
    A term applied to paper or pulp which has not been treated with bleaching agents.
  • UNDERCUT PLATE CYLINDER
    See plate cylinder.

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V

  • VARNISH (Lacquer, Clear Coat)
    The vehicle or carrier component of an ink that can be applied over printed labels to form a clear protective or durable film.
  • VARNISH
    A clear protective coating, usually glossy, applied to a printed we in-line on a label press just prior to die cutting.
  • VINYL
    Synthetic plastic products which can be made in film, sheet or other forms. Vinyls can be manufactured in rigid or flexible constructions. Generally more flexible and formable than polyesters. Also known as PVC or polyvinyl chloride. A tough durable plastic film having excellent resistance to oils, chemicals and many solvents. It has excellent abrasion-resistance, and can also be colored. Its high stretch is due to the addition of plasticizer.

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W

  • WEATHERABILITY
    Capability of a label to withstand the effects of outdoor conditions such as sunlight, heat, cold, humidity, rain, snow, and time.
  • WEB
    The paper, foil, film or other flexible material, from a roll, that moves through the machine in the process of being formed, converted, printed, etc.
  • WEB DIRECTION
    See machine direction.
  • WEB TENSION
    The amount of pull or tension applied in the direction of travel of a web of paper through a web press.
  • WRAP-AROUND LABEL
    Label that extends completely around the labeled surface.

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Y

  • YELLOWING
    Gradual color change in the original appearance of a P.S. label, characterized by the development of yellowish and brownish hues.

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