Piggybacks Hold Their Ground
Alternative solutions are closing in, but these little piggies still have a toehold in the market.
Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Build a thinner, less ex-pensive alternative to the piggyback label, and you'll have the entire forms industry in your backyard. Like the better mousetrap, however, constructing a product that can completely replace the original remains an elusive task.
Not that manufacturers aren't trying. In the ongoing effort to make products better, faster and cheaper, two alternatives to the standard five-layer piggyback label construction—face stock/adhesive/liner/adhesive/base material—have been developed.
The newest is a linerless version. Rather than applying the label on top of a carrier that has been adhered to a form, the label area of the form is coated with a release coating to which the label is applied. The result is a thinner product that is less expensive to produce. The second alternative is the integrated label. Generally thinner than the linerless, it is usually the least expensive option.
Yet, despite their attributes, neither the linerless nor the integrated label has been able to steal away all of piggyback's business—yet.
Steve Skuros, a member of Chicago-based Chicago Tag & Label's order entry team for more than a decade, has witnessed a steady increase in changeover from piggyback labels to integrated and linerless products. A trend, he noted, that will only continue.
"As distributors become more comfortable with linerless and integrated products, learning more about their advantages and their limitations, the orders for standard piggybacks labels will likely decrease," he said.
Kent Salomon, CFC, marketing service manager at Atlas Tag & Label, Neenah, Wis., noted that the majority of the piggyback labels manufactured at Atlas are continuous, fan-fold, pinfed-style with an imaging liner. Yet, as more and more companies switch from impact printers—pressure must be applied to the label in order to utilize the imaging function—standard piggyback labels are rarely requested by new customers.