A lasting impression
Titles, types, and texts in black and white: "Hot off the press" is a centuries-old tradition that started with Johannes Gutenberg. The latest news in the papers, the colorful labels on food, the stylish posters on advertising pillars: tesa has been supporting the printing industry with innovative know-how for many decades. Today, tesa is the only supplier with a full range of double-sided tesa® Softprint plate mounting tapes and tesa® Twinlock printing sleeves for flexographic printing. Or with tesa® EasySplice for the roll-to-roll flying splices. Already much earlier, newspaper printers and paper goods factories thought in (and of) clichés. The bestseller for bonding printing or rubber plates was, of course, called tesaprint®.
To make any printer's life easier, there are innovative products that help save time and money. And even though the printed word of the print media is now having to cede a large chunk of the field to digital news, advertising is increasingly being placed on the Internet and this industry is therefore struggling hard in some segments, the printing presses are nevertheless continuing to run diligently.
Ever more packaging and labels made of a wide variety of materials are being printed – the demand is big, especially in the food industry. tesa provides perfect print support with a wide range of products. In addition to adhesive solutions for plate mounting and splicing for flexographic printing, there are also products for roller wrapping, edge sealing, plate cleaning or failure flagging for efficient and reliable printing processes.
A large part of all flexible packaging materials – such as liquid packaging boards or plastic films – are printed using the flexographic printing process. This also applies to labels and corrugated cardboard, where flexible printing forms (clichés) are used. With its plate mounting solutions, tesa meets the high requirements for the best possible print quality and process efficiency. One for all, so to speak, because following the acquisition of Twinlock in 2018, tesa is the only company able to offer its international customers both: double-sided adhesive tapes as well as tesa® Twinlock printing sleeves.
The tesa® Softprint assortment is already a classic: Its specific product lines for flexographic printing are constantly being further developed and adapted to new requirements. The double-sided plate mounting tapes consist of high-quality foams for optimal printing results. They are divided into two thickness categories: 380 μm is mainly used in label printing, 500 μm in packaging printing. The specially developed adhesives enable secure bonding and easy handling.
An alternative in flexographic printing is offered with tesa® Twinlock. The technology consists of a classic printing sleeve or a printing cylinder of any manufacturer. In the first step, these are covered with a polyurethane foam. In a second step, a special polymer coating follows, on which the printing plate is later mounted. The particular advantage is that the adhesion level and compressibility of the tesa® Twinlock sleeves are permanently retained. It can be re-used after a short cleaning process. In addition to environmentally friendly reusability, the innovative concept ensures cost-efficient and consistently high-quality print jobs over the years.
A different kind of cliché: People like to say that paper is patient. Yet, it often needs to be processed quickly. And tesa has a solution for this as well. During the "roll-to-roll flying splices” in some cases, web speeds may reach up to 2,000 meters per minute – the beginning and the ending paper web must be securely bonded together. For more than 20 years, tesa® EasySplice has proven its innovative strength in the printing and paper industry, making it the world market leader. tesa® EasySplice ensures the reliable splicing of paper or film webs during production and later in further processing and printing. The innovative product assortment is constantly optimized and adapted to the increasing demands of the industry.
Already back in 1890, Dr. Oscar Troplowitz had machines do the label printing in his factory for the first time and thus made the manufacturing process of Beiersdorf products much more efficient. And certainly in the spirit of the far-sighted "brand maker", many innovative adhesive solutions for the printing industry followed later. Like the tesaprint® adhesive tapes still used today, for example. In 1949 tesaprint® was ready for printing, so to say, and advertised its "indispensability in rotary printing". The double-sided adhesive rubber film was used to bond the rubber sheets in paper goods factories, but above all for the "immovably fixed" bonding of the original clichés in newspaper printing plants. And that ensured that the images, which were rasterized on a zinc plate – an unbelievable luxury at the time – could appear particularly clear and distinct in the newspaper. Black on white.
From flop to bestseller
The world's first technical adhesive tape comes from the Beiersdorf creative workshop – and was intended for defective two-wheelers. In the 1890s, the company actually wanted to market a new plaster, but it stuck too strongly to the skin and irritated it. The pharmacist Troplowitz quickly modified it and used it to create the first technical adhesive tape, the "Cito Sportheftpflaster" (sports adhesive plaster) with its new purpose to repair bicycles. An innovative sensation, because back then pneumatic tires often got punctured on the streets. This attitude continues to work at tesa today. In our series "125 Years of Innovations", we use selected examples to show you our innovation spirit and will present you with quite a few surprises!