Product testing is an absolute necessity within most industries. One needs to ensure that a product lives up to all of the claims made for it. Likewise, there’s also an aspect of personal pride to product testing. People often pour their heart and soul into creating what they feel is the best representation of any given product. Those people take an understandable amount of pride in the fruit of their labor. They want people to enjoy their creations. Product testing is a method by which people can rest assured that any given sample of their company’s output will be consistent with the totality of it.
However, there’s one aspect of product testing which people tend to forget about. The label on packing is almost as important as the product within. After all, a label tells people what to expect from a product. If it’s something to be ingested then it will also warn people about allergens or contraindications. People can find ingredients, usage tips and brand information from a label. However, the same people who insist on product testing often neglect proper label testing. This lack of attention to labels tends to come from lack of awareness rather than intent. People are often surprised to find out how easily label testing can integrate into overall product testing.
Label testing is done through a device commonly known as an ink rub tester. They’re typically used to test abrasion on the printed surfaces of paper, paperboard, film and other materials. To understand how an ink rub tester works one must first consider the nature of ink. When ink is printed onto a surface it essentially bonds to the substance’s substrate. A test will likewise measure the rub resistance bonding of ink onto that surface.
The output of this testing process is known as rub resistance. Rub resistance is best defined as the ability of printed material to stand up to anything involved with handling or transportation. Consider the case of something printed using low quality ink or paper. Many people are familiar with the way newsprint can adhere to one’s fingers. This shouldn’t happen with higher quality label printing though. If it did than the constant handling would quickly render the label unusable. This isn’t a significant issue for papers which are intended to be quickly used and discarded. It’s something quite different if a label needs to hold up for years.
Ink rub testing isn’t simply focused on ink. The exact functionality of any given testing unit will vary. However, many ink rub systems can even test the substrate on which something has been printed. Standard ink rub testing tries to determine if a label will fade or smudge with standard use or transportation. The more advanced substrate testing seeks to find out why a rub test might have failed. This can help people further streamline their printing.
The testing process can also help identify particular issues with handling. The tests work with a number of different variables. Consider the case of someone who notices that a small percentage of his labels seem to randomly smudge. This can be difficult to analyze based on anecdotal evidence. using strict testing procedures can narrow down the variables involved in smudging. He’d simply need to determine which variables are involved in smudging instances and test them all in combination with the other variables.
In the end, product testing is an essential part of modern business. However, product testing isn’t strictly limited to the item being sold. Packaging and labels are often just as important as their contents. Expanding testing to labels is simply ensuring that the totality of one’s project lives up to expectations.