Revisit our history

​In four decades, UPM Raflatac has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of pressure sensitive labels, developing and leveraging the latest innovations in adhesive technology. Our story is one of creativity, hard work and dedication. It is a story of thousands of people around the world who are creating exciting new labeling solutions for our customers, and who are searching out new ways to help them grow their business. However, our story is also the story of one man, a young chemist in Tampere, Finland, who set the stage for UPM Raflatac’s growth by constantly experimenting with label materials. That quality – of challenging the status quo with new approaches – is what has fueled our growth and made us so successful today. Let us share his story.

Capturing the vision of a young chemist

A chemist at the company Raf. Haarla, Juhani Strömberg ran trials with adhesives to see if he could find alternatives to the solvent-based products which were prevalent in the label industry in the early 1970s. Strömberg’s work resulted in the development of the water-based permanent adhesive RP51 and other revolutionary innovations that elevated the company to a new competitive position in the self adhesive label industry. These developments established the company’s dedication to creating sustainable production approaches and labeling solutions. As part of UPM, the Biofore company, UPM Raflatac’s commitment to sustainability continues to this day. 

Leveraging our proprietary adhesive technology

In 1976, the company merged with United Paper Mills, and the label production business became a separate unit called Raflatac. By the end of the decade, Raflatac had achieved industrial-scale label stock manufacturing capabilities and was exporting its products to Western Europe. Thanks to the resources of a major forest industry company, state-of-the-art, proprietary adhesive technology and successful business acquisitions, the following decades saw Raflatac grow rapidly into the position it occupies today – one of the preeminent manufacturers of paper and film laminates.

Creating labels for the whole world

In 1996, Raflatac became part of UPM – one of the world’s leading forest industry companies. In the 21st century, UPM Raflatac has continued to expand its geographical scope and product base. A string of investments in new production facilities has made UPM Raflatac a truly global player in the self adhesive label industry. Today the company is growing and expanding into new, emerging markets in South America and Asia. 

Stay tuned for future installments, as the story of UPM Raflatac’s growth and success has only just begun!