When shopping, many of us are so focused on buying what we need that we don’t think the process of how the items that we use are packaged and delivered. There is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to making sure that the containers that we use are able to go from the manufacturing plant to the store while remaining in good conditioning. Along with the containers, special care also goes into the labels that come with many of our consumer products.
Label rub testing is used in manufacturing as a way to test the durability of the labels and their ability to withstand the shipping and handling process. The test involves using a machine that holds the label in place while another label of similar size and weight is rubbed back and forth against it to create friction between the two labels. This is used to stimulate the vibration and motion that occurs during the transportation process. The number of rubs that the bottle can endure without damage is an indication of how many miles it can be transported without damage. For example, if the trials average out to be about 100 before the bottle is damaged, then it means that the item can travel only about 100 miles. Most places require a result of a minimum of 2000 rubs to pass the test but can require as much as 5000 rubs for longer transportation routes.
Along with testing the strength of the label, the results from the test can be used to find out if the ink or the material used in the label is able to withstand being used for transportation. For an embossed and foil stamped label, the parts most susceptible to damage are the areas located near the highest point of the label. But just because a label does well in the rub and scruff test doesn’t always mean that it is ready for use. Labels may require additional preventive measures, such as additional furnishing or varnish coating in order to help with preservation.
It is necessary for the printer that is used for the labels that are used in the rub and scruff test to be able to consistently print out labels that all match each other in the color and thickness of the ink that is used. This way, the label design is not already faded before the labels are rubbed against one another. It is also necessary that all the trials are performed in the same way in order to make sure that the results between trials are comparable to one another. This testing process is one that is needed in order to make sure that the labels used for the products are able to remain in good condition when the products are on the shelf. It is one of the many things that make a difference in how we shop because it helps shape the perception that we have of the items that we buy.