The Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) presented its 2019 Product of the Year Award* tonight at an Awards Ceremony on the opening day of its Annual Meeting (Feb. 26-28, 2019) at the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, CA).
The winner of the top prize, the Spirit of Innovation holographic folding carton, clearly stood out from the other entries in the annual competition. Designed by Hazen Paper Co. (Holyoke, MA) to help Autajon Packaging USA demonstrate holographic options for folding cartons, the graphics consist of printing precisely registered with multiple holograms including the woman’s eye, the snake’s tongue and three parts of the snake’s body. In-house hologram design, film production and laminating make it possible to take a custom hologram from concept to finished product in four weeks.
Judges were impressed with the carton’s high visual impact and how it expertly addressed technical challenges of precisely registering holograms, embossing, matte and gloss finishes. “There’s a lot of complexity,” observed one judge. “The result is a highly premium appearance,” concluded another member of the panel.
The judges liked the extensive use of embossing, excellent halftone reproduction, tight registration and inside color. “This is a complete integration of design, metallizing and other elements,” commented one judge.
Another Product Excellence Award recognized a patented and patent-pending barrier film from Flex Films (USA), Inc. (Elizabethtown, KY), a subsidiary of the Films Business of Uflex, Ltd. (Noida, India). The F-TBF-M metallized, ultra-thin and ultra-high yield biaxially oriented polyethylene therephthalate film offers a high barrier to oxygen and water vapor transmission and potential for downgauging, source reduction and cost savings. A high-speed vision system confirms consistent deposition of the metallization on the 8- or 9-micron film to ensure it delivers the promised barrier properties.
The judges predict the film will broaden the usage of polyester structures for more moisture-sensitive products. In addition, they view the ability to uniformly metallize such thin film as a technical accomplishment and believe it will help spur the development of equipment capable of handling thin films efficiently. “Substrate innovations are the driver to better equipment,” noted one judge.
Judges noted that the adhesive has the potential to create all-polyethylene, recycle-ready pouches and also appreciated the productivity-boosting and sustainability-enhancing advantages associated with eliminating solvent from the flexible packaging converting process. “We can see this adhesive replacing solvent-based adhesives in many applications,” the panel concluded.
The judging teleconference was moderated by Melissa Crandall, event planner at AIMCAL. The panel consisted of experts in converting and packaging: Larry Jopko, principal of Stickum Consultancy LLC (Houston, TX); Robert M. Kimmel, Sc.D., associate professor, director, Packaging Science Program, director, Center for Flexible Packaging, Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences, Clemson University (Clemson, SC); and Jeff Weber, senior package application expert for bag-in-box and standup pouches at Scholle IPN (Northlake, IL).
Jopko has been involved in the flexible packaging industry for more 40 years and recently retired from Dow Chemical Co. (Lake Jackson, TX). As a specialist in industrial packaging and expert in urethane, acrylic and polyester adhesive and coating chemistry, he has helped develop products, structures, converting and application methods, as well as suitability testing protocols.
Part of the Clemson faculty since 1999, Dr. Kimmel teaches package design, supervises research and service to industry in flexible packaging and maintains an active consulting practice as an expert witness for intellectual property litigation. Earlier in his career, he spent time at Hoechst Celanese Corp. where he developed polyester and other resins and films.
Prior to working with Scholle, Weber spent many years in packaging development at Mondelēz International (Deerfield, IL) and its predecessor Kraft. During that time he was responsible for eight packaging patents. Many of the packaging solutions he helped develop, commercialize and optimize have endured and remain visible today on grocery store shelves throughout the world.
* The AIMCAL Product of the Year Award honors the late Peter Rigney, former publisher of Paper, Film and Foil Converter and long-time champion of the competition, who passed away in 1997.
About AIMCAL, Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
AIMCAL, the Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators, represents converters of metallized, coated, and laminated flexible substrates and their suppliers. Founded in 1970, membership stands at nearly 300. A global group, AIMCAL promotes the growth and prosperity of the converting industry and member companies via an array of technical and marketing services. Membership information is available online at www.aimcal.org