Our primary goal at BlueTrace is to streamline operations for our customers and save them valuable time. A significant aspect of achieving this goal is minimizing the time required to create tags and attach them to shellfish containers.
The journey of finding a reliable and durable paper product for our mobile printers has been an ongoing endeavor. However, the main challenge we encountered was the lengthy process of sourcing the perfect paper stock, obtaining samples, and conducting thorough testing.
But here's the exciting part: After collaborating with three vendors and meticulously testing five different paper stocks and perforation patterns, we have finally discovered a thicker paper stock that surpasses expectations in terms of durability and ruggedness for shellfish tags and labels. Now, let me delve into the process we underwent and the ultimate decisions we made...
What we were looking for:
- Given the fast-paced nature of our customers' operations, it is essential to source a paper stock that can withstand the rapid and sometimes messy tearing at the perforation.
- Our paper needs to endure the significant strain exerted by metal clips or zip ties inserted into the hole punches.
- We require paper that offers both vertical and horizontal tear resistance, striking a delicate balance between thickness and strength, without compromising the number of tags on each roll.
What we decided on:
- We selected a game-changing paper stock for our customers: a robust, 6mil paper stock that is way harder to tear.
- This stock can have custom branding applied to the back. To ensure the ink doesn't smudge, a lamination is required.
- Although fewer tags fit on each roll due to the thicker stock, we will continue to provide 1500 tags per case.
What paper that failed our testing looks like:
Check out one of the 4mil paper stocks that DID NOT pass my rigorous tests for speedy tearing. Notice that on a few sheets, the rip was not clean.
Winner, winner chicken dinner!
Here is how the new 6mil paper stock fared when pressure tested in my "printer lab" (a fancy word for my basement). Good news: IT PASSED!
We'll be rolling out this durable paper stock to customers in Oct 2023.