Wet Glue Labelling

Wet Glue Labelling

Wet glue labelling machines come in three main varieties. Most apply glue which is liquid at room temperature. Others use a solid glue, heated to become a liquid. The third type of wet glue labelling machine is the pre-gummed label applicator, which is far less commonly used.

The standard wet glue labeller applies labels from a stack to containers at very high speed. It is a technique principally used on rigid packaging, such as glass or durable plastic bottles. The beverage industry, in particular, commonly uses wet glue labelling, as these machines are ideal for use in wet environments where containers are filled with liquid.

Another benefit of wet glue labelling is that it allows for the application of decorative labels, which can be of complex shapes, with embossing or other textural elements. It also allows such labels to be adhered to containers of irregular shapes. It is often the case that more than one label is required per container, which requires the use of several applicators.

Wet Glue Labelling Methods

Various types of Wet Glue labelling are used in packaging environments. The three main types are described here. 

Hot Melt Label Applicators

Hot Melt label applicators which use glue heated from a solid to a liquid state are often used in wraparound labels covering most of a container. Several kinds of hot melt adhesives are available to suit different purposes, such as particular packaging materials or the conditions within the factory environment.

Pre-Gummed Label Applicators

In the past, pre-gummed label applicators were common. Labels are pre-coated with glue, then water is applied either through dipping or spraying to activate the adhesive properties of the glue. As techniques and materials have developed, however, the pre-gummed labelling method has waned in popularity in favour of more effective ways of glue labelling products.

Self-Adhesive Labelling

A fast-growing labelling system, self-adhesive labelling requires less resources to set up, and, unlike wet glue, requires no magazine within the machine. That said, self-adhesive labels are more expensive, as they include the cost of the liner and the ready-applied adhesive. Whilst there are many benefits to self-adhesive labelling, it is slower and less flexible than wet glue labelling. Wet glue labelling typically outputs 600 units per minute, whilst self-adhesive labelling outputs at around 500 per minute. 

Find Wet Glue Labelling Suppliers with PPMA Group

See a full list of PPMA member companies who supply a comprehensive range of Wet Glue Labelling Machines.

Common Terminology

  • Pressure sensitive labels
  • Adhesive
  • Applicator
  • Wraparound labelling
  • Self-adhesive labelling
  • Litho
  • Laminate
  • Release coating
  • Reel-fed applicator
  • Hot-foil stamping
  • Sheet-fed
  • Combination press
  • Rotary sink screen
  • UV flexo
  • Gravure
  • Foiling
  • Embossing
  • Embellishment
  • Booklet labels