Metal Is in the Mix

This year's winners of the Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters & Laminators (AIMCAL) competition truly reflect the composition of the organization's membership with a mix of metallizing's best. Awards were bestowed at the association's annual winter management meeting on March 10, held this year at Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA.

Mix Has Mettle

Deserving technical and marketing recognition with the top Peter Rigney Product of the Year award (named in honor of PFFC's late publisher and staunch supporter of the organization) is Grafo Regia, Monterrey, Mexico, for a 1-kg metallized bag for Harina Tortillas Selecta tortilla mix. The film, produced for Molinera de Mexico S.A. de C.V., Naucalpan, Mexico, exhibits a soft, flour-like texture suggestive of an actual tortilla with excellent sealability and shelf appeal. It comprises a matte biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP)/ink/adhesive/metallized BOPP/adhesive/2.25-mil modified low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

Unlike traditional pouch-in-carton packaging, this metallized structure uses less packaging materials than frequently seen in the high-volume dry baking mix category. It also provides better graphic reproduction and better shelf life over paper or fabric bags.

Grafo Regio provided design and converting services; substrate supplier is Biofilm, Puerto Industrial Altamira, Mexico; metallizer is Poligal (Polipropileno de Galicia) S.A., Naron, Mexico. The contract packager is Molinos Azteca S.A. de C.V., Guadalupe, Mexico.

  1. Stand-Up for Tea

    A pre-formed stand-up pouch for tea mix from Tata Tea Ltd., Kokata, India, earned a marketing award in the Packaging: Food category for Uflex Ltd., Noida, India. With single-sourcing capability, Uflex provided design, substrate production, metallizing, converting, and contract packaging.

    Converting involves a 12-micron polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that's reverse-printed rotogravure in eight colors and adhesive-laminated to 12-micron metallized polyester that provides barrier properties and extends product shelf life. The two-ply structure is then laminated to 50-micron blown LDPE.

    Pouchmaking entails the marriage of five webs in register to create a stand-up pouch with one bottom and two side gussets. Differentiating the tea from its competition are high quality graphics, a tamper-evident seal, a laser score for easy opening, and a reclosable slider zipper for multiple servings.

  2. It's a Wrap

    Unifoil Corp., Fairfield, NJ, claims both marketing and technical awards in the Packaging: Healthcare category. Starting with a marketing award for Sarah Jessica Parker Covet perfume from Coty, New York, NY, the fragrance partners with its equally appealing set-up box wrap to satisfy the olfactory, tactile, and visual senses.

    Celplast Metallized Products, Toronto, ON, Canada, metallizes polyester from Toray Plastics America, North Kingston, RI. Unifoil further converts the material comprising gold acrylic-coated 48-ga PET laminated to 80# C1S paper. Light green raised printing adds texture.

    A complementary promotional folder and envelope are also gold acrylic-coated, metallized 48-ga PET laminated, respectively, to 20 and 11.4-pt C2S Invercote Creato solid bleached paperboard (SBS) from Iggesund Paperboard, Lyndhurst, NJ. Graytor Print, Lyndhurst, NJ, is the contract packager.

  3. Staying Inside the Box

    A second award for Unifoil in the Packaging: Healthcare category honors a barrier carton for Puffs tissue that infuses a comforting Vicks scent from Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH. Earning technical recognition, the challenge was to prevent the distinctive Vicks scent from permeating the environment around the product.

    The resulting solution is an aqueous-printed, 20# Millmask stain-resistant clay-coated news from Rock-Tenn, St. Paul, MN (also the contract packager). It is laminated to 36-ga metallized coextruded PA10 polyester from Toray, which prevents odor, moisture, and vapor loss even better than a traditional foil/paperboard barrier structure. What's more, the coextruded metallized polyester/paperboard construction represents both a less expensive and source-reduced alternative to a foil/paperboard structure that would have been prone to cracking at the scores.

  4. Fan Fares

    Sweeping yet another category, Unifoil Corp. took both marketing and technical awards in the Packaging: Nonfood category for the conversion of holographic security paperboard tickets for the California Dept. of Transportation Metro, Los Angeles, CA. Crown Roll Leaf, Paterson, NJ, takes artwork from Metro Design Group and creates a holographic design, metallizes polyester from Toray, and embosses the custom holographic images.

    A propietary coating developed by Unifoil in conjunction with Crown Roll Leaf allows Unifoil to transfer metallize the holographic pattern onto a 10-pt C2S SBS. Unifoil then ships the resulting UniLustre metallized, holographic SBS sheets to Images in Foil, Monarch Beach, CA, to print the graphics in register with the holographic patterns.

    Custom-registered holographic images discourage counterfeiting and permit frequent design changes for monthly, weekly, and daily transit passes as well as transfer tickets. The non-laminated transfer-metallized paperboard reportedly yields sparkling first-generation images, resists curling, and prints like paper.

    Replacing tokens, the Metro Day Pass features fluorescent inks while the Transfer Pass uses lower cost solid inks that resemble the Day Pass. The passes are so popular, they've actually become collector items.

  5. Covers That Rock

    Rolling Stone magazine celebrated its 40th anniversary with the converting expertise of Vacumet Corp., Franklin, MA. A series of three collectible holographic covers merited the marketing award in the Decorative Display category.

    The process involves first coating the paper, then a custom holographic micro-embossing is applied, employing what is described as “the world's largest embossing machine.” Metallizing follows, and a printable topcoating finishes the job.

    Vacumet supplied and metallized the 100#, C2S HoloPRISM holographic paper. Wynalda Litho printed the 43×40-in. press sheets using UV inks. Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media, New York, NY, commissioned custom graphics from Chip Kidd and finalized the designs for each of the issues.

    The May cover employs a no-color glitter pattern on the RO graphic element and a pillars of light metallic background to support the issue's “Where We've Been” theme. July's “Summer Love” theme adds faces to the RO element but repeats the no-color glitter pattern on the letters and the pillars of light for the sky background. November adopts the “Where Are We Going” space theme, utilizing a soft swirl pattern with colorful space clouds on the RO element, while a double carousel pattern highlights seemingly infinite galaxies in the background. Even the back cover ads took advantage of the metallized paper.

  6. Build a Better Barrier

    Need a reflective insulation or radiant barrier? Celplast's Reflect-Met top-coated metallized PET might be your answer.

    Winning a technical award in the Industrial category for use in AstroShield material, a low-emissive product sold by Innovative Energy, Lowell, IN, for applications with these requirements, Reflect-Met is incorporated in the converting process by Pregis Innovative Packaging, Plymouth, IN. Used primarily in building construction and remodeling, AstroShield comprises Reflect-Met/bubble/bubble/Reflect-Met, Reflect-Met/white bubble, or Reflect-Met/white bubble/white bubble.

    The coated metallized layer reportedly helps the lamination meet requirements for water vapor transmission, strength, thermal, and fire performance while also simulating the brightness of foil. Considered significantly more machinable than thin-gauge foil that has typical scrap rates from 4%-8%, Reflect-Met also meets pending changes to the ASTM E-84 flame test, which will eliminate the usage of laminations with an unprotected foil layer. The fiber-free lamination comes in rolls and requires no custom installation tools or personal protection equipment.

  7. Lights Out!

    Nonwoven polyester fabric window shades from Comfortex Window Fashions, Maplewood, NY, warrant a marketing award for Vacumet in the Other category. The shades almost completely block out light, thanks to Vacumet's 48-ga white polyester laminated with an environmentally friendly water-based adhesive.

    With laminated metallized film on the inside of the cellular shades, the street side displays white while the consumer can pick any of 18 colors for the room side. An optical density of 4.0 and an absence of pinholes, bands, and other surface imperfections combine winningly with an insulating 3.59 R-value.

    Converter Flexo Solutions, Appleton, WI, bi-laminates the material and effects a cost savings and source reduction advantage. Compared to tri-laminate alternatives, the bi-laminate eliminates the need for an additional pass for a tri-laminate construction and a lighter weight that reduces shipping costs and offers operational advantages since it's easier to pull up and release.

  8. Surf's Up!

    Windsurfers can show off in best form and enjoy the benefits of a more durable product thanks to the role played by Rohm and Haas Co., Philadelphia, PA, in the development of sailcloth material by Dimension-Polyant, Putnam, CT. Awarded for technical merit in the Other category, a turquoise-dyed 1-mil metallized film combines with high tensile strength polyester X-PLY yarn, positioned at 22-deg angles and 0.75-in. spacing, to form a diamond-shaped, lattice-like pattern that creates a multidirectional stretch resistor and an extremely rugged rip-stop.

    Outer layers of ultra-clear PET film enclose the film-plus-X-PLY-yarn core construction to yield a 4- to 6-mil total thickness, depending on the application. A colored adhesive with UV inhibitors bonds three out of the fours layers of the material and helps increase the sail's outdoor life by threefold compared to a traditional clear monofilm.

    The sail's visible light transmission is 35%, allowing the user to see through the sail while it still enhances the UV properties that protect the PET on both sides. Initially, claims the submission, the product doesn't even look metallized, but in use on the water on a sunny day, the shimmering, metallized sailcloth is sure to grab a shoreline observer's attention.

Judging was hosted by PFFC at its Chicago office. The panel included the converting expertise of Travis Funk, senior packaging engineer, Diageo; Panos Kinigakis, CPP, senior technology principal R&D, Kraft Foods; Stan Kopecky, packaging consultant, SJK Packaging Assoc.; Paula Record, CPP, former senior development engineering manager, packaging, Unilever Home and Personal Care North America; and Yolanda Simonsis, associate publisher/editor, PFFC magazine. Moderating the judging session was AIMCAL Award Committee chair Steve Sedlak, sales manager, ESK, a Ceradyne co. (formerly Wacker Ceramics), Saline, MI.


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