By Contributing Editor Hallie Forcinio
For the second straight year, the Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) has bestowed its Product of the Year Award* on Graphic Packaging International, Inc. (GPI), Atlanta, GA. The 2014 Product of the Year Award recognizes a trio of stunning, metallized cartons for Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Complete Odor Sealing Litter from Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Ewing, NJ. The award was presented last night during AIMCAL’s annual Management Meeting (March 16-19 at the Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, AZ.)
Graphic Packaging served as converter, metallizer, substrate supplier and designer for the 6.35-, 9.1- and 12.7-kilogram (14-, 19/20- and 28-pound) cartons of premium Fresh Home or Multi-Cat Formula kitty litter. In fact, the project involved three GPI facilities: design and converting in Solon, OH; metallizing in Lawrenceburg, TN; and paper-based substrates in West Monroe, LA. Toray Plastics (America), Inc., North Kingstown, RI, supplied the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film. The two smaller metallized Composipac Z-Flute cartons consist of metallized, reverse-printed PET laminated to heavyweight clay-coated solid unbleached sulfate (CCSUS) then Z-Flute reinforced with additional CCSUS paperboard for bulge and stacking strength. The largest carton uses the same metallized, reverse-printed PET laminated to GPI’s lightweight CCSUS and used as a top sheet for a B-Flute box to create a metallized Composipac Fluted Box. Transparent and opaque inks reveal and obscure the metallic effects of the metallized film. The metallized film also protects the kitty litter from oxygen and moisture and prevents it from clumping inside the package. Handles from Roberts Polypro, Charlotte, NC, make it easier to pick up and carry the cartons; while a perfed tabbed opening simplifies pouring. The Composipac structures provide the shelf impact Church & Dwight wanted to differentiate this premium kitty litter from the cartons, bags and pails commonly seen in this category. The cartons also had to run on existing filling lines.
Members of the judging panel were immediately drawn to this package. “It’s eye-catching and appealing,” noted one judge. “It really stands out in the category,” commented another. A third member of the panel noted, with the many households with one or more cats, “this is a new, potentially large use for metallized film.”
Judges for the Vacuum Metallized or Coated Product Competition also awarded Marketing and Technical Awards in several categories.
Food Packaging - Marketing
The Marketing Award in the Food Packaging Category went to Celplast Metallized Products, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for metallized, light-blocking low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags for four varieties of potato from EarthFresh Farms, another Toronto-based firm. Celplast metallizes 1.25- or 1.75-mil LDPE from Tempo Plastics Ltd., Innisfil, Ontario, and returns it to Tempo for conversion into wicketed bags. Stripe metallizing provides product visibility while blocking most of the light that would reach the potatoes in a standard poly bag. Eliminating light exposure prevents the potatoes from turning green (and bitter) and more than triples shelf life to 21 days. Bags are punched with two parallel rows of ventilation holes and printed with bilingual product and brand information as well as alternate serving suggestions. Color coding identifies Roasting (gold), Boiling (green), Baking (red) and Mashing (blue) potatoes.
Judges noted potato bags tend to be heavier gauge film or woven. “We really haven’t seen anything like this for fresh potatoes,” said one member of the panel. “It opens the door to greater use of metallized packaging in the produce department,” predicted another.
Food Packaging- Technical
The Technical Award in the Food Packaging Category was presented to Dunmore Corp., Bristol, PA, for metallizing and converting the oxygen-regulating liner in the VinPerfect Smartcap from VinPerfect, Napa, CA. Although wine quickly deteriorates when exposed to large amounts of oxygen, quality actually improves with exposure to minute amounts (less than 1 part per million per year). The pharmaceutical-grade elastomer/metallized PET/PET structure of the liner combines mechanical performance (more consistent sealing) with a controlled oxygen transmission rate. In fact, by varying the optical density of the metallization, liners can be tailored to provide the oxygen transfer rate needed by a particular wine. The VinPerfect Smartcap replaces cork closures and eliminates the possibility of cork taint, while the two-film liner structure is said to provide a smoother, more uniform sealing surface than the heat-bonded Saranex cap liners typically seen in screw closures for wine.
Noting that control of oxygen transmission can be a challenging endeavor, judges were impressed by the combination of metallizing and laminating technologies to solve the problem. “This is a new application for metallizing,” noted one judge. “Cork issues are rampant so a cork alternative has huge potential,” commented another.
Nonfood Packaging - Marketing
In the Nonfood Packaging Category, Hazen Paper Co., Holyoke, MA, captured both the Marketing and Technical Awards. The Marketing Award recognizes its role in a metallized carton with a print-in-register hologram for Spiderwire Stealth Glow-Vis Braid, a premium fishing line from Pure Fishing, Inc., Spirit Lake, IA. Hazen designed the custom hologram, a radiating, glowing burst with a discreet image of the spider legs, in conjunction with Olympak Packaging and Printing, Minneapolis, MN. Hazen also applied an embossable gravure coating to 48-gauge metallized polyester, embossed and metallized the film to create the hologram, laminated the film to 16-point solid bleached sulfate (SBS) and sheeted the material into 24 x 36-inch sheets. Olympak Packaging and Printing prints the sheets in register and converts the folding carton. The combination of holographic elements with registered printing is said to be unique for fishing line and a reflection of its first-of-its-kind status, a fishing line that glows above water, but not below. The carton, which consists of 100 percent recycled paperboard with a minimum of 35 percent post-consumer-recycled content, is credited with generating reorders more quickly than anticipated.
The judges felt the holographic carton was well executed and would stand out in the fishing gear aisle. In addition, noted one, “It’s reflective of the high-end nature of the product.”
Nonfood Packaging - Technical
Hazen Paper’s Technical Award in the Nonfood Category recognizes three-pack folding cartons and 12-pack setup boxes for Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls from Titleist, Fairhaven, MA. Hazen transfer-metallized the 16-point SBS from Clear Water Paper, Canton, GA. The transfer-metallized SBS replaces an SBS/foil lamination to achieve source reduction (95+ percent less aluminum), enhance recyclability and improve appearance. In fact, the brightness and reflectivity of the transfer-metallized surface reads more than 800 gloss meter units, roughly double the reading of the foil laminate. (A perfect mirror reads 1,000 units.) Transfer-metallized board also exhibits less curl, or tension, than a foil or film lamination for jam-free travel through folding, gluing and filling operations. The lower aluminum content also minimizes the chance that the package will accidentally trip electronic security or radio frequency identification systems. The sheeted board is hot-leaf stamped and offset printed. Converting and design duties were performed by Curtis Packaging, Sandy Hook, CT.
Judges applauded the enhanced recyclability and sheen of the transfer-metallized packaging. “The folding cartons and boxes reflect the quality of the premium product,” commented one judge.
Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Packaging - Marketing
Hazen Paper also swept the Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Packaging Category, capturing Marketing and Technical Awards. The Marketing Award recognizes folding cartons for Opalescence Go Tooth Whitening System from Ultradent Products Inc., South Jordan, UT. Available in mint, melon or peach flavors, the auto-bottom folding cartons feature a double rainbow hologram plus round diecut windows to mimic the bubbles found in the product’s active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide. Hazen Paper, working in conjunction with broker Henderson Specialty Paper LLC, Anaheim, CA, served as metallizer and converter, metallizing Ultracure acrylic-coated Double Rainbow Holographic film and laminating it to the coated side of 0.018-caliper SBS. International Paper Box, Salt Lake City, UT, served as package designer and contract packager.
The judges loved the carton’s subtle design. “From a consumer standpoint, looking at it, makes me want to touch it, you automatically gravitate to it,” commented one judge. “It’s magnetic,” agreed another. “With two visible rainbows on all sides, the ‘movement’ is going to draw attention in the retail environment,” predicted another member of the panel.
Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Packaging - Technical
The Technical Award in the Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Category recognized Hazen Paper’s metallizing and converting role in setup boxes for Gucci Pour Homme and Made to Measure gift sets from Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, OH. Hazen supplied Ultracure acrylic silver 48-gauge metallized polyester and laminated it to the coated side of 80-lb litho paper. The film laminates well and smoothly stretches around the padded top of the Pour Homme box. McLean Packaging, Moorestown, NJ, provided package design and contract packaging services.
The judges were impressed with how all the elements of the packaging came together: metallization, lamination, ink laydown, pillow top and fingerprint-repelling surface. “It’s appealing from afar,” noted one member of the panel.
Label: Retail - Marketing
The litho label for a setup box, designed by Warner Home Video, Burbank, CA, for the 75th Anniversary Limited Edition of the Wizard of Oz, won Hazen Paper the Marketing Award in the Label: Retail Category. The litho label consists of custom-registered, acrylic-lacquered 0.5-mil holographic film/80-lb coated-one-side paper with tightly registered holographic stars and rings for the top and embossed lettering for the top and side. Printing, finishing and box converting required a substrate with excellent lay-flat and stay-flat characteristics. Multi Packaging Solutions, Inc., New York, NY, converted the box at its facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The judges were impressed with the well-executed combination of tightly registered holography, printed elements and embossing. “A well-done piece,” they agreed.
Decorative/Display - Marketing
Hazen Paper earned the Marketing Award in the Decorative/Display Category for its role as metallizer and substrate supplier for a poster designed by Dwight Maddox, Atlanta, GA, for Don Miggs, Tampa, FL, and his pop/rock band miggs. Designed to be printed in four colors plus white on an HP 7500 Indigo digital press, the poster consists of HP Indigo-compatible overlacquer/transfer-metallized 12-point coated-two-side Hazen Burst Holojet Digital stock. This design is the first use of the Burst Holojet stock for a poster and met the band’s desire for explosive graphics and recyclable material. To enhance the keepsake quality of the poster, the ultraviolet overlacquer provides a surface receptive to signing autographs.
The judges loved the impact of the bulls-eye hologram and liked the autographable top coat. “I’d buy their album,” exclaimed one member of the panel.
Industrial - Technical
In the Industrial Category, the Technical Award was given to Technical Coating International, Inc., Leland, NC, the converter of the Ribs Ultra metallized laminate used by COMPtrade Technologies, GmbH, Eisenach, Germany, for two-side-sealed pouches. Pouches, which are used for long-term storage of automotive electronics and metal parts, consist of 48-mil PET with 3.7 optical aluminum/92-gauge PET with 3.7 optical aluminum/coextrusion of PE/conductive PE/Corrosion Intercept. Engineered Materials, Inc., Buffalo Grove, IL, designed the package, which delivers a low water vapor transmission rate along with permanent protection against electrostatic discharge (ESD) and corrosion. The ESD protection and bronze color of the inner layer is difficult to duplicate and provides confidence the parts are authentic. The structure enables parts suppliers to meet the 15-year storage-life requirements of the German automotive industry without repacking every few years. Filmtech, Bean Station, TN, served as metallizer, and Purestat Engineered Technologies GmbH, Lewiston, ME, supplied the substrate.
Judges were impressed with the ability of this structure to protect and authenticate parts for 15 years. “It shows what a creative combination of metallizing and laminating can achieve,” concluded one judge.
Other Products - Marketing
In the Other Category, Hazen Paper, in conjunction with Henderson Specialty Paper, captured the Marketing Award for the cover of Gap Dream’s Shine Your Light album for Burger Records, Fullerton, CA. Hazen Paper converted and metallized the Ultracure-coated 48-gauge film/0.018-caliper SBS. The metallized film features a copyrighted, custom hologram with two focal points, one on the front and a smaller version on the back. Hologram and printing are precisely registered. Stoughton Printing, City of Industry, CA, provided design and contract packaging services.
Judges noted the front and back sides of the album cover carry equal impact. Regardless of which side you see, “It catches the eye and makes you want to pick it up,” noted one judge.
The judging panel for the 2014 Sustainability Awards Competition included Vince DiTrolio, vice president/owner of DiTrolio Flexographic Institute, Broadview, IL; Jeffrey T. Weber, research principal, Mondelez International Inc. (formerly Kraft Foods), Glenview, IL; Stan Kopecky, principal, SJK Packaging Associates, Prospect Heights, IL; Yolanda Simonsis, president/editorial director, Paper, Film & Foil Converter, Chicago, IL; and Pat Reynolds, editor-in-chief, Packaging World magazine, Chicago, IL. Randy Apperson of Finzer Roller, Des Plaines, IL, chairman of AIMCAL’s Awards & Competition Committee, served as moderator. The judging session was co-hosted by Simonsis and Reynolds at the Packaging World offices.
About AIMCALAIMCAL represents converters of metallized, coated, or laminated flexible substrates and their suppliers. The international nonprofit trade association also includes a CEMA Division focused on the interests of converting equipment manufacturers. The group is headquartered in Fort Mill, SC. Membership information is available online at www.aimcal.org
* The Vacuum Metallized or Coated 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.