Every Trick in the Book

AIMCAL rewards the brightest products and the best technologies in its annual competitions as members prove they know just how to use... Every Trick in the Book

The Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) honored Proma Technologies with the Peter Rigney Product of the Year award during a banquet March 21 during its winter meeting at PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

AIMCAL presented 11 awards in its 2002 Vacuum Metallized or Coated Product Competition, expanded this year to include applications beyond packaging and labels. The association says this broader scope was necessary to recognize outstanding applications from areas including graphic arts, electronics, security, and other nonpackaging products.

In the Technology of the Year competition, AIMCAL presented Flex Products, Thin Film Products Group, with its Technology of the Year award. This award goes to the most significant new technology having an impact on the converting industry or the consuming market.

Peter Rigney Product of the Year
A holographic label and marketing brochure for Wearz 4-Ever Finishing System from Parks Corp. earned Proma Technologies, Franklin, MA, the Peter Rigney Product of the Year Award. This award, named for the late publisher of PFFC, is presented to the one entry voted most outstanding in material, technique, and design.

Both label and brochure utilize Proma's 60# metallized HoloPRISM paper, litho-printed in four-color process with opaque white, to communicate to consumers that this clear finish for wood is ten times more abrasion resistant than competing brands. Labels applied to the containers camouflage the fact the “cans” are actually injection-molded plastic with friction-fit metal lids. “We really haven't seen metallized labels in the paint aisle before,” commented one judge.

Ruth Kemp, marketing programs coordinator at Proma, says, “The label and brochure work together to grab the attention of the shopper.”

Oak Printing Co., Cleveland, OH, and Connemara Converting, Bensenville, IL, also participated in the project, as did end-user Park Corp., which provided the graphic design.

Food Category — Marketing Award
Vacumet, Wayne, NJ, won the Marketing Award in the Food Category for metallized polyester (MPET) used for a rotogravure-printed, stand-up pouch for dry soup mix from Inn on the Creek Foods, Midway, UT. Judges cited the absence of stress cracks even in seal areas, where there is considerable variation between thin and thick layers.

Kapak Corp., Minneapolis, MN, converts the 48-ga PET/ink/adhesive/48-ga MPET/adhesive/300-ga linear-low-density polyethylene pouch with tear notch and zipper reclosure feature. The metallized lamination not only protects the soup mix ingredients but also serves as an excellent substrate for high-end graphics designed by Kapak to provide strong shelf impact with eye-catching metallized tints. The lamination takes into account the antistatic and slip characteristics needed for excellent machinability/sealability on the equipment at contract packager RYT Way in Lakeville, MN.

Food Category — Technical Award
Graphic Packaging Corp., Golden, CO, was recognized for two similar, yet different, susceptor packages for the Technical Award in the Food Category. The first, President's Choice Fruit Pie Active Microwave Package, consists of a susceptor-equipped pie “plate” and a folding carton with a susceptor patch positioned inside over the top of the pie.

This Micro-Rite® package allows frozen pies to be “baked” in the microwave without opening the carton and shortens cooking time considerably compared to conventional oven baking.

Press-formed pie plates consist of 48-ga PET/susceptor metallization/adhesive/9-micron pattern-etched aluminum foil/pattern resist coat/adhesive/24-pt solid bleached sulfate (SBS)/blue porcelain ink design/overcoat.

The carton susceptor is a similar structure on 35# coated paper instead of SBS. The combination of metallized susceptor construction with pattern-etched aluminum foil controls the distribution, absorption, reflection, and transmission of microwaves so crusts bake without over-browning the edges, and the filling heats to an appropriate temperature.

Other participants in the fruit pie package include film supplier DuPont Teijin Films, Wilmington, DE, metallizer CPFilms, Martinsville, VA, and package designer, Laurence Lai, Mississauga, Ont., Canada.

Graphic Packaging also was recognized for a pot pie package for Pepperidge Farm, Norwalk, CT, which relies alone on a rather deeply drawn susceptor tray, replacing a previous susceptor container that tended to result in overly browned crust yet cool filling.

The Qwik-Wave® “dish” consists primarily of 48 ga PET (from DuPont Teijin Films) and SBS. The difference: The top foil layer is eliminated in the Qwik Wave structure. Instead, the susceptor metallization is pattern demetallized in the flange area and floor of the container.

This demetallized pattern provides more uniform heating by allowing more energy to bypass the crust and heat the pie interior so the filling warms to the right temperature before the crust browns too much.

Nonfood Category — Marketing Award
Hazen Paper Co., Holyoke, MA, earned the Marketing Award in the Nonfood Category for a holographic display carton used to launch a new Glacier Shower Head from Moen, North Olmsted, OH. Hazen, the converter, laminates 10-pt SBS to acrylic top-coated, 1-mil holographic PET from Spectrateck, Los Angeles, CA, and CFC, Chicago. “The 1-mil film prevents cracking on carton scores, especially the 360-degree top fold,” explains Hazen account manager Jim Conte. This film/paper structure is then laminated to E-flute corrugated with a die-cut window to showcase the shower head that is packaged by Rock Tenn Alliance, Winston-Salem, NC. The holographic, corrugated carton securely holds and protects the product while standing out in the crowd among dozens of choices in stores.

Nonfood Category — Technical Award
Unifoil Corp., Passaic Park, NJ, picked up the Technical prize in the Nonfood Category for an embossed, flexo-printed package for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Winston-Salem, NC, for Winston cigarettes and a line extension called Winston 2. To produce a steel-like appearance, Unifoil transfer metallizes 12-pt tobacco-grade SBS from Westvaco Corp. (now MeadWestvaco), Covington, VA, using metallized film from Crown Roll Leaf, Paterson, NJ. This UniLustre process transfers both metal and a print-receptive coating formulated to meet RJR toxicity requirements as well as functional printing and gluing considerations. RJR Packaging Div., Winston-Salem, provides both package design and contract packaging services.

Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Category — Marketing Award
A trio of holographic set-up boxes designed by New York-based Elizabeth Arden for Red Door, Sunflowers, and Fifth Ave. fragrances earned Proma Technologies the Marketing Award in the Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Category. PROMA metallizes 60# paper, supplied by ITW Holographics, Chalfont, PA, which is then laminated to board by converter Hazen Paper. Different tints set each fragrance apart. Depending on one's vantage point, the holographic pattern shifts from matte to sparkly and catches the attention of passing shoppers.

”The label really pops,” judges said. “It looks embossed, but it isn't.”

Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Category — Technical Award
The Technical Award in the Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Category recognized Graphic Packaging for a metallized carton designed by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co., Skillman, NJ. The metallized carton replaces a foil-stamped carton for First Aid Advanced Care pads and provides greater shelf impact with an upcharge of less than 10%.

To produce the carton, Graphic Packaging takes 1-mil PET film metallized by Vacumet and adhesive laminates it to unmetallized PET. This two-ply film structure is then laminated to SBS from Georgia-Pacific, Naheola, AL. Graphics are flexo printed with water-based process printing using seven colors, one base coating, and in-line ultraviolet (UV) coating. Die-cutting (including stability feet) is followed by folding and gluing across one seam so the carton blanks can be shipped flat.

Labels — Retail Category
FLEXcon Co., Spencer, MA, took home the Technical Award in the Labels — Retail Category for an extended, pressure-sensitive (p-s) film label for USanimals from Usana Health Sciences, Salt Lake City, UT. The label replaces less durable p-s paper and p-s metallized paper labels and unwraps partially to provide space for additional product information. It then can be rewrapped and resealed to store neatly. The structure, converted by FLEXcon, consists of printed graphics/2-mil hard silver MPET/permanent acrylic adhesive/44# natural kraft release liner. Best Label Co., Cerritos, CA, combination prints the label with silk-screened white opaque letters and rotary letterpress graphics. UCB Films, Smyrna, GA, supplies the film and Dunmore Corp., Newtown, PA, provides metallization.

Judges noted the label's vibrant graphics and the use of combination printing, giving extra credit for the attention to detail.

Labels — Industrial Category
A Motorway Fee Sticker for ÖSAG Österreichische Autobahnen- und Schnellstraßen Aktiengesellschaft, which shows road use fees have been paid, earned Hueck Folien GmbH, Baumgartenberg, Austria, the Technical prize in the Labels — Industrial Category. The complex structure consists of top coat/60-micron white oriented polypropylene (OPP)/metallization/adhesive/60-micron white OPP/top coat. The OPP from ExxonMobil Chemical Films Europe, Luxembourg, is top coated, metallized, and laminated by Hueck.

After curing, it is slit into rolls and sent to converter Schreiner Prosecure, Oberschleissheim, Germany. Schreiner prints the material by letterpress with conventional and UV inks, adds bar coding and sequential numbering via an ion-deposition process, then applies p-s adhesive and a polyester release liner. A hot-stamped eagle, Austria's national emblem, stresses the official nature of the document.

In the final converting step, each label is die-cut in a special pattern so once applied to a windshield, it cannot be removed without tearing. The sandwiched metallization provides the opacity needed so printing on either side of the label is visible and doesn't show through when viewed from inside or outside the car.

“This solves all the problems they had with the previous paper label,” noted the judges. “It's very functional and secure.”

Decorative/Display Category
Hueck Folien also took home Marketing and Technical Awards in the Decorative/Display Category for a stunning holographic canister for Bailey's Irish Cream for R&A Bailey & Co., Dublin, Ireland. Pronounced “extremely well done” by the judges, the promotional canister consists of a co-lamination of strip steel and holographic film developed by Hueck to be thermally stable and durable enough to withstand the can converting process. It consists of scratch-resistant coating/aluminum metallization/holographic image embossing/embossing resin/primer/12-micron PET/thermally sensitive adhesive. DuPont Teijin Films, Luxembourg, supplied the PET. Once film and steel are laminated, the material is slit, sheeted, printed, embossed, stamped, shaped, and fabricated to form the canister and its friction-fit lid.

Sharing the Marketing Award in this category is Unifoil for the Radiant Gift Bags for Converters Connections, Sea Bright, NJ. Unifoil laminates Radiant Film from 3M, St. Paul, MN, to 50# paper from Consolidated Paper, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, and sends the film/paper material to Talco/Bonita, Dallas, TX, for conversion into handled bags. Color-shifting film not only changes hue from blue to magenta or yellow to red as a viewer's perspective changes or the bag is moved but also imparts strength to the bag.

Judges for the 2002 Vacuum Metallized or Coated Product competition included Jim Reinke, instructor, flexographic printing, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI; plus several Chicago-based converting experts such as competition host Yolanda Simonsis, associate publisher/editor, Paper, Film & Foil Converter magazine; Paula L. Record, CPP, senior development engineering manager, Packaging Hair Care, Unilever Home & Personal Care — USA; Panos Kinigakis, CPP, senior technology principal R&D Quality, Kraft Foods; Arnie Orloski, VP/editor, Packaging World magazine; Laura McCluskey, associate editor, Converting magazine; and AIMCAL Awards committee chair Steve Sedlak, product manager, metallizing, Wacker Ceramics, Adrian, MI.

Technology of the Year
Technology of the Year winner Flex Products, Santa Rosa, CA, was recognized for development of its new SpectraFlair pigment Silver 1400. This light-diffracting colorant comprises micron-sized, multilayer, thin-film flakes of magnesium fluoride and aluminum. Precisely controlled layer thickness and surface geometry impart a high specular, or mirror-like, finish as well as the appearance of multiple, bright rainbow-producing prisms moving over a liquid silver. Surface coatings containing SpectraFlair pigment Silver 1400 enhance the contours of 3-D objects and create spectacular visual effects. Initial applications include automotive or industrial paints using Silver 1400 “stirred-in” pigment, but the product also can be blended with inks and plastic resin. To create custom color stylings, it can be combined with other pigments and dyes. Since it's composed of inorganic materials, the pigment exhibits good durability and light fastness.

“The impact will be large,” predicted the judges. “Special pigments are very sought after for new products for both decorative and security applications.”

Technical Excellence — Metallizing Equipment/Accessories Category
A finalist in the Technology of the Year competition, Applied Films Corp., Longmont, CO, received an award for technical excellence in the Metallizing Equipment/Accessories Category for its Topfilm Sputtered Layer Evaluation and Control System.

The quality assurance tool improves the consistency of optical multilayer stacks by calculating the optimum sputtering thickness of each layer. During production, the unit compares this data to actual values and alerts the operator to deviations so corrections can be made on the fly. This eliminates guesswork in maintaining production tolerances and reduces waste resulting from out-of-spec product. Although initial applications are devoted to checking anti-reflective coatings like those used on TV screens and computer displays, the system has potential for use with glass coating/metallizing machines.

Technical Excellence — Material Category
Toray Plastics (America), North Kingstown, RI, earned the award for Technical Excellence in the Material Category. The judges recognized Torayfan PCF, 45-ga, high-barrier, MOPP film targeted for foil replacement in multilayer extrusion and adhesive laminations. Low corona treatment on the nonmetallized side produces a compatible surface for printing and lamination while an ultra-high surface energy treatment on the other side ensures a crack- and craze-free metallized surface. Yield-boosting thin-gauge film offers potential cost savings of up to 20% versus foil structures and makes it feasible to downgauge package designs without compromising barrier performance.

Applications include pouch laminations for dry mixes and liquid products, barrier liners in paperboard laminations, and bag-in-box structures. With enhanced oxygen barrier performance currently under development, the metallized film could be used for coffee and tea packaging.

Judges for the 2002 Technology of the Year Competition included Ed Cohen, Edward D. Cohen Consulting, Fountain Hills, AZ; Ed Gutoff, Gutoff Consulting, Brookline, MA; Consultant Paul B. Heilman, Williamson, NY; Eldridge Mount of Emmount Technologies, Fairport, NY; and moderators Mark Spaulding, editor of Converting magazine, Chicago, and Committee Chair Steve Sedlak, product manager, metallizing, Wacker Ceramics, Adrian, MI.

For more information contact AIMCAL, 2166 Gold Hill Rd., Fort Mill, SC 29715; 803/802-7820; aimcal.org.

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