AIMCAL Selects Seven for Annual Honors

The Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminatots rewards outstanding packages and labels in its annual competition.

A stand-up pouch that extends product freshness over a six-month shelf life was selected Package of the Year by the Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) during its 1996 Package and Label competition.

The competition, held during AIMCAL's winter business meeting in Key Largo, FL, March 20-24, honored seven entries exhibiting technical and marketing excellence.

Judging this year's entries was a distinguished panel: Mark Wyganik, Flexible Packaging Assn.; Mark Spaulding, Converting Magazine, Jim Scott, Nabisco Tech Center; and Dr. Theron Downes, Michigan State Univ. Peter Rigney, publisher of Paper, Film & Foil CONVERTER, served as competition moderator.

The Package of the Year, Nabsico's Ritz Snack Mix stand-up pouch, was touted by judges as innovative and nontraditional in its design, which provides the necessary oxygen, moisture, and light barriers needed to meet shelf-life demands. The entry was submitted by both Printpack Inc., who served as converter and metallizer, and Toray Plastics of America Inc., metallizer and substrate supplier.

The structure is 48-ga polyester film that is reverse-printed by gravure on Cerrutti equipment and extrusion laminated via a 7# low-density polyethylene to 60-ga Torayfan PC-1 metallized, biaxially oriented polypropylene. The BOPP layer is extrusion laminated via a 7# LDPE to 1.25-mil Sigma film. The Sigma film, which is the inner, or sealant, layer, is an HDPE-ethylene vinyl acetate coex film.

The outside polyester layer provides heat resistance for high-speed machinability. The metallized BOPP layer provides product protection and graphics appeal, while the coex film gives the pouch the good sealability and stiffness required for proper stand.

Ron Komro, technical manager of the Performance Packaging Div. at PrintPack, reports that finding the right mix of materials presented his company's biggest hurdle. "The challenge was getting all of the properties that you needed. We had to try a number of different versions of sealants, because we were looking for a package that could be gas-flushed. Meeting the customer's graphics demands, meeting their heat-sealability demands for gas-flushable packaging, and meeting their barrier requirements were all opportunities we were presented with."

Toray says that the sparkle of metallized OPP is enhanced by the use of transparent inks to create eye-catching graphics that will stimulate purchase. Toray also notes the cracking and crazing resistance of PC-10PP; the package's 99% degree of pallet efficiency; and consumer convenience features such as reclosability, notched, effortless opening, and portability.

Substrates were supplied by DuPont, Print-pack, AET Packaging Technologies, and Toray Plastics of America Inc.

Label Retail-Marketing

The Black Ice Golf Club label, designed to create a contemporary, lustrous, high-end look for state-of-the-art golf clubs, replaces traditional labels or painting. The structure consists of a urethane dome, printed graphics, a 2-mil brushed polyester, a pressure-sensitive adhesive, and release liner. It uses a "revolutionary" manufacturing process to contrast the black print and semi-transparent blue logo against the brushed metallized silver polyester coupled with a clear urethane dome. The label's design also simplifies manufacturing by eliminating the need to paint the club's cavity back.

FLEXcon created the p-s structure using DuPont substrates. Techprint Inc. was the converter, and the metallizer was Ultra Vac Metallizing Corp.

Health Care, Cosmetics, and Toiletries-Technical

The Nutra Soothe Natural Colloidal Oatmeal Bath package from Brimms was cited by judges because of improved barrier, increased shelf life (one year), decreased cost, and elimination of oil stain.

The package consists of overlacquer/ink/48-ga metallized polyester/adhesive/125-ga LDPE. Printing was on an FMC six-color, central-impression press with solvent-based inks. The package can reportedly be processed easily on form/fill/seal equipment.

Jeff D'Hilly, purchasing manager at converter Cello-Pack Corp., says that printing was a challenge and required great care: "There is a screen that gives that fading look on certain colors. That was probably the hardest part, just keeping that screen clean with no blocking."

Vacumet Corp. was the metallizer. Substrates were supplied by ICI Americas Inc.

Health Care, Cosmetics, and Toiletries-Marketing

The unique appearance of the AquaFresh Toothpaste (Whitening) package is the result of a transfer metallization process that yields a non-film, holographically metallized board which combines the printability of paper with the graphic appeal of holographics.

The process begins with a film carrier, which is coated and microembossed with a wave pattern. The film is vacuum-metallized and laminated to 16-pt solid bleached sulfate. The next step is to delaminate the paperboard, which, after the film is removed, leaves both the embossed coating and the metallization on the paperboard. Next, the universally printable substrate is gravure offset-printed in five colors and a topcoat.

The package was converted by Unifoil Corp. for end-user Smith-Kline Beecham. Unifoil applied the wave pattern, Crown Roll Leaf was the metallizer and did the holographic embossing, and Jefferson Smurfit supplied the initial substrate.

Joe Funicelli, executive VP of Unifoil, reports environmental and processing benefits in addition to the package's high-impact appearance: "Without the film, the package does not curl or canoe when it's being die-cut or processed. It's environmentally friendly, because there's less metallic ink on the box than normal. We also get to recycle the film and use it again."

Nonfood-Marketing

The packaging for SpiderWire Fusion fishing line was designed to serve as a new way to market this product. A stand-up pouch and hologram graphics combine to heighten point-of-purchase appeal and set the product apart from conventional folding carton packaging. The pouch can be displayed standing up or on a peg rack display and holds its shape through the distribution cycle.

The structure is PET/ink/adhesive/holographic metallized PET/3-mil LDPE. Judges praised the three-ply structure, noting that it is tamper-evident and improves distribution with optional display.

Scharr Industries Inc. did the metallizing, and James River was the converter for end-user Johnson Worldwide Assoc. Substrates were supplied by ICI Films; the contract packager was Berry Braiding, and the package designer was Dornsife & Assoc.

Snack Food-Marketing

There are special challenges involved in packaging a fat-free product. Equal to those challenges, noted the judges, is the Keebler Delights Fruitastic Fat Free Fruit Bar package, converted and metallized by Print-pack. Since fat-free foods tend to be sensitive to external influences, a high-barrier metallized PP was chosen for shelf and moisture barrier. Surlyn sealant from DuPont offered all manufacturing facilities the ability to package at high speeds without sacrificing hermetic seals.

The structure is composed of an uncoated polyester/PE extrusion/metallized PP/surlyn extrusion. The package was rotogravure-printed on a nine-station Schiavi press to achieve graphics that communicate a healthy, vibrant image. An easy-peel seal allows easy opening without destruction. The package can be run on existing horizontal packaging equipment, and no special handling, storage, or warehousing is required.

Substrates were supplied by DuPont and Toray Plastics of America Inc. Interbake Foods Inc. was the contract packager, and Keck Garrett Advertising Inc. designed the package.

Other Food-Marketing

Pepsi's 24-can package, designed to impress customers during the Christmas season, also grabbed the attention of judges with its "eye-catching, icy look." Two separate converters were involved in this project: CFC Holographics USA and Virtual Image (a div. of Printpack). For CFC, Vacumet Corp. served as the metallizer, Reynolds Metals was the printer, and Hoechst Diafoil supplied the substrate. The CFC structure comprises overlacquer/ink/metallized 48-ga holographically embossed polyester/adhesive/board.

Pete Raya of CFC Applied Holographics says that the job was quite a challenge. "Any time you're doing a holographic package, it's very challenging because of the image. The image was very bright, and we didn't lose too much in the transfer onto the box. That's why we thought we should enter the competition."

Transparent inks over metallized silver holographic background present a striking appearance promoting high quality. Metallized polyester provides added strength to the package.

The Virtual Image structure is 1.2-mil BOPP, holographically embossed, metallized, mounted onto 21-pt clay-coated board, and flexographically printed. Printpack was the metallizer; AET Packaging Technologies supplied the substrate; contract packagers were Riverwood International and Mead Packaging; and package designers were Pepsi and Chromagem Inc.

Pepsi launched the largest promotion in the world to date utilizing a hologram, reports Virtual Image. Ten million 24-pack "cubes" were made to "light up" store shelves during the holiday season by using an all-over holographic background. It was critical that the hologram carton run without major modifications on 32 regional bottling lines. The package includes several cut-out holographic holiday postcards and tree ornaments.

For more information contact AIMCAL, 5005 Rockside Rd., Ste. 600, Crown Centre, Cleveland, OH 44131; 216/573-3773; fax: 216/573-3783.

Supplier Information:

AET Packaging Technologies, Wilmington, DE; ph: 302/594-5000; fax: 302/594-5563.

Crown Roll Leaf Inc., Paterson, NJ; ph: 201/742-4000; fax: 201/742-0279.

DuPont, Wilmington, DE; ph: 302/774-2681; fax: 302/774-5304.

Hoescht Diafoil, Greet, SC; ph: 803/879-5000; fax: 803/879-5006.

ICI Americas Inc., Wilmington, DE; ph: 302/887-3000; fax: 302/887-5363.

Jefferson Smurfit, Elk Grove Village, IL; ph: 847/364-1340; fax: 847/364-1386.

Printpack Inc., Atlanta, GA; ph: 404/691-5830; fax: 404/696-4868.

Scharr Industries Inc., Bloomfield, CT; ph: 203/243-0343; fax: 203/242-7499.

Toray Plastics of America Inc., North Kingstown, RI; ph: 401/294-4511; fax: 401/294-2154.

Ultra Vac Metallizing Corp., Bloomfield, CT: ph: 860/243-3160; fax: 860/286-0648.

Vacumet Corp., Wayne, NJ; ph: 201/628-0400; fax: 201/628-0491.


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