- November 30, 2004, Nsenga Byrd Thompson, Associate Editor
A new wide web embossing system gives AET Films the edge in providing converters with easy-to-use holographic film.
AET Films believes that embossed holographic materials are under-utilized in both flexible packaging and label production so they have installed a custom-made embossing system. One of the factors that has limited the use of holography in packaging and labels is the existence of "shim lines" in the pattern. Unless registered to the print web, these shim lines can result in unacceptable defects periodically moving through the graphics. AET has invested in an embossing process that eliminates these distinct shim lines from most holographic designs.
"We worked with a supplier in the industry on the development [of the embosser], which involved a lot of new technology that didn’t exist in the marketplace," says Martin Aleksis, business director at AET Films. "We’re trying to change the nature of the supply chain in holography. We want to have holography more widely used in flexible packaging and labeling."
AET Films is a leading global supplier dedicated solely to the manufacture of oriented polypropylene (OPP) films. The company manufactures clear, opaque, metallized, and embossed films for a variety of packaging and labeling applications. "We are focused on making rolls that are easier for converters to use. We know what converters need to put on their machines to run cost effectively," says Aleksis.
Now AET is looking at bigger diameters with flatter and wider webs to help more converters move into holography.
"We know what’s needed in the film design to make it become a good package," explains Aleksis. "So now we can combine our film and packaging technology knowledge with holography. That’s the difference we think we can bring to the market. We’re going to make a holographic package that end-users can be assured will run on their equipment. It’s reducing the risk of going to holography because there’s a film supplier who’s involved in all steps of the process," he says.
The embossing system, which was installed last year and includes new technology to the industry, has been a learning experience for AET, comments Aleksis. "Learning how the machine operates and learning the physics that go on can be quite a challenge. This is quite a customized machine—built around polypropylene and built around our product—so we spent a good deal of time learning how it operates and now we’re really seeing the benefits of bringing it in. We’ve grown through it because it’s still quite a small industry."
AET is dedicated to driving holography into what Aleksis says is an industrial process, rather than a craft. "There’s a great hunger and a desire from the consumer marketing companies to use holography. We’re trying to make it easier to use holography now," said Aleksis.
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