ThinkDon is our periodic Question and answer forum with expertise in the world of large format package printing by our VP of Manufacturing, Don Ellis.

ThinkDon - From Huston Patterson Printers

ThinkDon is our periodic Question and answer forum with expertise in the world of large format package printing by our VP of Manufacturing, Don Ellis.

We have been experiencing a lot of cracking when folding our litho laminated boxes. What are some of the possible causes?

There are numerous factors that contribute to excessive cracking of litho laminated boxes. Some of those causes are:
  1. The litho label and corrugation have become too dry causing the fibers to break rather than bend around the fold. The loss of moisture could happen at the time of production or during storage, especially during the dry winter months.
  2. The die may be worn down or not designed properly for the mechanical process being used to die-cut the product. A die maker may be able to suggest a different width, depth or style of score that will facilitate a better fold on a particular piece.
  3. The amount of recycled fiber and the number of times paper stock has been recycled to manufacture corrugation continues to increase. The repeated recycling will continue to shorten the fibers causing them to fracture rather than be long enough to bend around a fold.
  4. The ink film thickness on a score or fold will make cracking more visible. Sometimes, it is possible to either re-design the graphics or change the ink percentages to achieve the same color but with a lower ink film thickness.