Matrix Matters: Guidelines for Waste Matrix Removal

Waste matrix stripping or removal is an important part of the label converting process. And, while it may seem like a simple part of the process on the surface, failures in waste matrix removal can easily lead to lowered productivity and increased costs.

Additionally, there are a number of parameters that can affect matrix removal, including label shape and size, facestock, adhesive, release liner, the type of die-cutting process used, converting speed, and more.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to every matrix removal scenario, there are a few guidelines to follow that will aid in more successful matrix stripping.

  1. Stay within the printer manufacturers’ guidelines or form design. Typical matrix width is 1/16” or less.
  2. Too much matrix removed can induce picking and feeding issues.
  3. The more liner that is exposed, the worse the issues will get. Exposed, unsupported liners can become bent or ‘dog-eared’ during jogging, packaging, handling, inserting into the printer tray, or during picking and feeding through the printer, which can result in jamming.

Other considerations include choosing a label base stock that includes a layflat laminate. There are instances when, once the face is removed, the liner may curl on its own. For this reason, consider a label that features a non-ooze adhesive that will eliminate the need for matrix removal.

For example, Mactac’s MP-910 adhesive is a patented non-ooze permanent adhesive designed to virtually eliminate all sheet edge adhesive bleed and the need to strip a matrix around the edge. It features excellent adhesion to a wide variety of substrates. Learn more about this general-purpose adhesive in our Roll Label Converter Catalog!