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AIMCAL picks the best of the best

THE Association of International Metallisers, Coaters & Laminators (AIMCAL) bestowed its Product of the Year Award on the Consumer Packaging Division of Graphic Packaging International (GPI), US, for a series of oval holiday canisters for Kleenex tissues from Kimberly-Clark.

GPI, taking top honours in this competition for the third consecutive year, was the converter for the project. The three-piece formed canister is designed to complement home décor during the holiday season. The sidewall structure consists of ultraviolet (UV) coating/UV inks/metallised polyethylene terephthalate (mPET)/solid bleached sulphate (SBS)/extruded low-density polyethylene.

A proprietary process creates a lens pattern on the mPET. The resulting ‘ornaments’ look so three-dimensional that the paperboard appears embossed. Registration marks in the film ensure the lens pattern aligns perfectly with the graphics. UV inks and coatings enhance shelf presence.

The Holiday Ovals for Kleenex tissues impressed the judges on many levels. They loved the eye-catching oval shape, the interplay of the metallisation, lens image and holiday ornament graphics, and the three-dimensional effect.
The judges also named six category winners, who received marketing or technical awards.

GPI captured the Technical Award in the Food Packaging Category for a susceptor package it converts for Red Baron Fire Baked and Brick Oven Pizza Singles from Schwan’s Consumer Brands. GPI converts the overprint varnish/ink/SBS/patterned adhesive/paper/adhesive/mPET to create a functional susceptor patch lamination that eliminates warping of the front panel when it’s exposed to repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Warping not only made the package less attractive on shelf, but also caused uneven microwave cooking. The key to preventing warping lies with the paper/mPET lamination and the adhesive pattern that attaches it to the SBS. Since the adhesive creates open channels between the SBS and susceptor, humidity vents to the interior of the carton instead of passing through the paperboard, minimising warpage. The innovation extends package shelf life by six months, presents a more appealing package, and enables more even cooking. Toray Plastics supplies the PET film, metallised by Rol-Vac.

The Marketing Award in the Food Packaging Category went to the Packaging Division of Uflex, India, for a PET/mPET/polyethylene stand-up pouch for chocolates from Cadbury India. Uflex serves as a single-source provider as the substrate supplier, printer (rotogravure), metalliser, laminator, slitter and converter. Plasma metallisation enhances the lamination’s barrier properties. Added convenience is provided by a punched hole for hanging display and a press-to-close zipper.

In the Nonfood Packaging Category, Hazen Paper (US) captured the Marketing Award. Hazen Paper served as the substrate supplier and metalliser for a holographic slip case for the Elvis 75th Anniversary DVD Collection from Warner Home Video. The slip case wrap consists of 60-gauge custom holographic mPET laminated to one-side coated litho/label paper from Hazen. A two-/three-dimensional Holo-Lens insert adds a security feature. The custom hologram, a repeating pattern of the name Elvis, reflects the persona of the star as well as the integrity and pizzazz of the brand. The litho/label stock exhibits excellent lay-flat and stay-flat characteristics to support faster printing and die-cutting speeds. The PET helps prevent score cracking.

The judges agreed the slip case is a superior integration of metallising, holography, and printing. Registration between printing and holography is tight, and there’s great contrast between the printed images and words.
Hazen also won a Technical Award in the Decorative Display Category for a magazine insert publicising its custom holographic capabilities and sustainable practices. Hazen served as designer, substrate supplier, metalliser, and converter for the Rose Among Thorns insert. The two-side coated paper features a custom, transfer-metallised hologram overprinted in four-color process plus opaque white. A UV coating protects the front and back of the page. Transfer metallising helps the relatively lightweight insert lay flat because it permits moisture gain and loss on both sides of the sheet.

Describing the insert as ‘really effective,’ the judges noted how transfer metallising provides source reduction because it eliminates a metallised film layer. It also offers superior aesthetics and minimises warping because it allows the paper to breathe.
The Marketing Award in the Decorative Display Category went to FLEXcon (US) as the substrate supplier for indoor floor advertisements for Tecate beer from Heineken US. The base film consists of FLEXmark MMV 400 F Silver TC-848 A-109 94 PFW, a metallised silver, pressure-sensitive polyester/vinyl laminate. The metallised base film generates a shinier, more reflective metallic appearance than the previous structure, which relied on screen-printed faux metallic ink. In addition, the pressure-sensitive adhesive bonds strongly to floor surfaces, but removes cleanly for up to 180 days after installation. The surface-printed, four-colour-process graphics are protected by FLEXmark OV6602, a clear gloss, pressure-sensitive vinyl overlaminate that resists delamination and meets industry standards for non-slip performance.

According to the judges, the metallised floor advertising not only enhances brand recognition for Tecate beer, but encourages favourable purchase decisions and spurs sales.
As its third win in the 2011 competition, Hazen Paper took home the Marketing Award in the Other Category for the holographic cover it designed, embossed, metallised, and laminated for the Super Bowl XLIV Exclusive Stadium Collection Edition programme. The custom hologram, featuring the Vince Lombardi Trophy, was transfer-metallised to two-side coated paper, coated inline with Ultracure Acrylic.

The judging panel consisted of Vince DiTrolio, vice president/owner of DiTrolio Flexographic Institute; Travis Funk, senior packaging engineer, Diageo; Jeffrey
T. Weber, research principal, Kraft Foods; Stan Kopecky, principal, SJK Packaging Associates; Pat Reynolds, editor-in-chief, PACKAGING WORLD magazine; and Yolanda Simonsis, associate publisher/editor, Paper, FILM & FOIL CONVERTER magazine.

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