FPA Honors Both Flexible & Flashy

AirLiner, an inflatable insulating liner that converts a corrugated box into a cooler, is a breakthrough in flexible packaging, reports the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA). Manufactured by Cargotech, San Diego, CA, AirLiner was a big winner in the FPA's 2001 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards competition, taking home a Highest Achievement Award in the Packaging Excellence category and Gold Awards in the Technical Innovation and Environmental Achievement categories.

A New Solution
Specifically designed to ship temperature-sensitive and perishable products by expedited carrier, AirLiner is said to present the first viable alternative to polystyrene and polyurethane rigid foam packaging. Its patented internal heat barrier technology uses layers of reflective barrier film heat sealed into proprietary geometry.

Inflated with either air or an inert gas, this structure forms a honeycomb-shaped baffle system that inhibits radiation, convection, and conduction.

AirLiner ships and stores flat and can be deflated after use for compact disposal.

Fresh Pasta Gets Longer Shelf Life
Nestlé's Buitoni Brand of Fresh Pasta Lidding also impressed the judges, earning a Highest Achievement Award for Packaging Excellence and a Gold Award for Technical Innovation. Cryovac, Duncan, SC, uses its oxygen scavenging OS Films to manufacture the packages.

OS Films contain a proprietary polymer component coextruded as a layer of the package. Because the scavenger is part of the film, it is invisible to the naked eye and does not alter the clear view of the pasta inside.

The lidding material removes residual oxygen from the modified atmosphere package to achieve oxygen levels of less than 0.1%. This active scavenging process increases the shelf life of refrigerated pasta by more than 50% and does not require moisture to activate the scavenging process, rendering it equally effective in low- or high-humidity applications.

Through a patented process, the oxygen scavenging is activated “on demand” through an ultraviolet-light-triggering unit installed on existing packaging lines.

Gravure Glows
Intense color and vibrant graphics convey the vitality of Fuze, a new line of healthy refreshment beverages in glass bottles. Graphics on the full-body shrink sleeves earned Gold Award honors for Alcoa Flexible Packaging, Richmond, VA.

Five flavor varieties are captured on the sleeves using four-color, reverse gravure printing. The reverse printing prevents scuffing during distribution and provides a glossy appearance without the use of special overcoats. The four-color process allows Alcoa to produce the challenging vertical gradation down the length of each label.

For a complete list of award winners, contact FPA, 971 Corporate Blvd., Ste. 403, Linthicum, MD 21090; 410/694-0800; flexpack.org.

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