UPM Raflatac has come a long way to become what it is today – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of self-adhesive label materials.
The history of UPM Raflatac is an inspiring story about ingenuity and vision. It’s also a story of thousands of people around the world who have all contributed to shaping the company in its present form. However, there is one man whose vision and commitment played a fundamental role in creating the foundation for UPM Raflatac’s labelstock manufacturing in Tampere, Finland in 1972.
The vision of a young chemist
Juhani Strömberg was a young chemist at a company known at the time as Raf. Haarla. Strömberg experimented with adhesives to find alternatives to the solvent-based adhesives which prevailed in the label industry. Development work resulted in the water-based permanent adhesive RP 51 and other revolutionary innovations that elevated the company to a new competitive position in the self-adhesives market. These innovations also established the company’s position as the frontrunner in the development of sustainable solutions. A hallmark of UPM Raflatac to this day.
Growth powered by proprietary technology
In 1976 the company merged with United Paper Mills, and label production became a separate unit called Raflatac. By the end of the decade, Raflatac had industrial-scale labelstock manufacturing and exports to Western Europe. Thanks to the resources of a major forest industry company, state-of-the-art proprietary technology and successful business acquisitions, the next decades saw Raflatac on a rapid growth path into a major player in the European label business.
Labels for the whole world
In 1996, Raflatac became part of UPM – one of the world’s leading forest industry groups. In the 21st century the company has continued to evolve both the variety of its product offering and its geographical scope. A string of investments in new production facilities has made UPM Raflatac a truly global player in the label materials industry. And the company is still growing and expanding into new, emerging markets in South America and Asia.
The story of UPM Raflatac has only just begun!