So, WHAT is the big idea about WAT?Water activated tape (WAT) is a paper carton sealing tape (white or natural kraft) available in various widths and thicknesses and which may contain multiple layers with fiberglass reinforcement. When the adhesive on the water activated tape is wetted, it penetrates the carton material, forming a permanent bond with the carton. It bonds instantly to both virgin and recycled fiber surfaces, generating an immediate, destructive bond which is what makes it a highly effective theft deterrent.
Companies are increasingly using water activated tape to ship their products ordered over the internet for reasons including tamper-evidence, theft avoidance, branding their cartons, sustainability, and additional strength. Any company in virtually any industry can benefit from using WAT, but its most typically found in the food, clothing, health care, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, electronics, public safety, furniture, and defense industries.
From a security perspective, all pressure sensitive tapes can be defeated with a heat source like a blow dryer. Unknown to the shipper or receiver, packages can be opened and re-sealed. Besides goods being removed from cartons due to theft, unwanted materials could be placed inside creating possible security or health risks. But, WAT is tamper-evident, so if cartons are compromised during shipment there is usually some kind of evidence showing that something has happened to the carton and, potentially, its contents.
Additionally, water activated tapeis more cost effective than traditional pressure tapes. Despite needing a brief moment for the adhesives to penetrate the carton, a WAT dispenser is superior to a typical tape hand dispenser with studies showing thesedispensers are 21% more productive.And if youre looking strictly on a cost-per-foot basis, three inch wide plastic tape is about the same price as three inch wide water activated tape, however, in practical applications, most packers will use at least two strips of traditional plastic tape, quickly making the cost-per-carton-sealed more expensive than WAT, which never needs a second strip across the same seam.
Typically, even before the customer gets to yourperfectly designed product box - the one you've labored over, spent thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and design on, the one that will really give them the initial feel for your product and could make or break the loyalty relationship - theyre met with the protective packaging that it is shipped in. And if that impression isnt of the highest quality, what holds promise that the contents of that box will be?
Packaging tape is a critical element to producing a secure seal that can withstand the distribution network. Unfortunately, its not always a top-level concern, but failure to do so can result in case sealing issues such as packaging tape not sticking and loose case seals. According to UPS, improper tape application is the leading cause of closure failure on a shipped box. Inconsistently sealed boxes create weak seals, leading to production downtime, carton reworks, material waste, heightened labor costs, and higher risk of product damage, contamination and theft in transit.
Thats why its so important to choose the right packaging tape.
There are several factors to consider before choosing a tape for your application, especially as various conditions can affect the quality and security of your seal. These factors include grade, environment, adhesion surface, application method, and tape quality.
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