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Thermal modeling process takes 2014 AIMCAL Technology of the Year

Thermal modeling process takes 2014 AIMCAL Technology of the Year
Menges Roller’s heat-transfer roll design, simulation method recognized in annual technical competition.

By Contributing Editor Hallie Forcinio

 Thermal modeling technology for heat-transfer rolls, created by Menges Roller Co. (Wauconda, IL), has won the 2014 Technology of the Year Award from the Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL). The Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) Thermal Modeling Process also earned Finalist status in the Coating/Laminating Equipment/Accessories Category. Menges Roller was honored March 16 during the group’s annual Management Meeting at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ. The four-member judging panel also named two category finalists in the technology competition.

The new way to design thermal (heat-transfer or chill) rollers relies on simulation of thermal, chemical, physical, motion and reactive characteristics to quickly optimize performance, reduce waste and lower maintenance costs. By modeling performance, Menges’s process can predict every aspect of a roller’s behavior before it’s made. As a result, heat-transfer rollers can be guaranteed to vary less than 1° F, thereby preventing poor laminating results caused by inconsistent temperatures and missed target temperatures. In addition, the modeling saves time and expense by eliminating the need to rebuild rollers, tweak thermal fluid temperatures or modify pumps.

Judges noted, “This is a better way to predict performance at a lower cost.” Not only does CFD Thermal Modeling eliminate a lot of trial and error in customizing the roller to the job, but it also provides confidence before installation that the roller will do its job. Considering the number of thermal rollers in use in the world, this innovation will have substantial impact, hence winning the 2014 Technology of the Year Award. 

This year’s Technology of the Year judging panel included four well-known experts in the converting field: Dr. Charles A. Bishop of C.A. Bishop Consulting (Loughborough, UK); Dr. Edward D. Cohen of Edward D. Cohen Consulting, Inc. (Fountain Hills, AZ); Larry Gogolin of Gogolin Associates (Bolton, MA); and Dr. Eldridge M. Mount of EMMOUNT Technologies, LLC (Canadaigua, NY). Craig Sheppard, executive director of AIMCAL (Ft. Mill, SC) moderated the judging teleconference.

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Finalist – Coated, Laminated or Metallized Product

Flexitube Decoseam Tubes from UFLEX, Ltd. (Noida, India), parent company of AIMCAL member Flex America Inc. (Elizabethtown, KY) feature custom laminations with a layer of metallized film. The metallized layer not only improves barrier properties, but also can include eye-catching, holographic, optically variable or metallic effects. Reverse gravure printing of the outer layer of biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) delivers excellent tonal reproduction while protecting the graphics from scuffing and chemical attack. The optimized laminate structure reduces wall thickness without loss of stiffness or collapsibility versus conventional multilayer tubes and seamless tubes made from extruded resins or impact-extruded metals. With a wide choice of dispensing systems and closures, the tubes are suitable for a broad range of cosmetic and healthcare products.

“As far as I know, this is the first time metallized film has been used for tubes,” commented one judge. The judges also applauded the potential for source reduction and the opportunities for increased shelf impact by incorporating metallization and/or holography on the primary package. “These types of aesthetic images usually appear on the carton, which may no longer be needed,” noted one judge.

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Finalist – Material

A proprietary lamination from UFLEX, Ltd., for the Tata Water Plus Pouch is used for nutrient-enhanced drinking water by NourishCo Beverages Ltd., a joint venture between Tata Global Beverages (Uxbridge, West London, UK) and PepsiCo India (Gurgaon, Haryana, India). Compared to PET bottles typically used for water, the pouch weighs 2.5 gm and represents an 800% source reduction. The lighter weight also means lower in-bound and out-bound transportation costs and better cube utilization. At 3.3 US cents per 200-ml pouch, the water sells for an affordable price in developing markets. The lamination runs on vertical form-fill-seal machines and delivers the requisite shelf life without any deterioration in organoleptic properties, meets migration and extraction standards, and suffers no degradation when exposed to the intense ultraviolet light of the tropics.

The judges were impressed with the water pouch and its combination of lower cost and lessened environmental impact. “It’s a practical way to market these products in less developed countries,” said one judge. “It achieves a price point consumers in countries like India can afford,” agreed another.

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