A salary survey that sparkles

I’m sure you noticed a special luster on this month’s cover.

It comes by way of Unifoil Corp. (www.unifoil.com), specialists in laminating, coating, and metallizing.

Unifoil took the original cover design by Packaging World art director Dave Bacho and produced a custom holographic “origination” of it. Unifoil then used this holographic origination—essentially a master image used to make a microscopically embossed surface that diffracts light at different angles—to manufacture a holographic UniLustre™, which is a monolayer paper that delivers the intrigue and beauty of holography in a manner considerably more sustainable than traditionally possible. The proprietary UniLustre transfer-metallizing process applies an extremely thin, 0.0003-in. layer of metal directly to the substrate, which in this case is an 80-lb paper stock. This eliminates the need to create the holographic effect on a separate film substrate—typically a polyester—and then laminate that substrate to paper.

Because it obviates the need for a multilayer structure, says Unifoil, this process results in a material that is easier to recycle. In addition, the transfer-metallizing process uses no solvents or water and requires no drying, thereby saving the energy consumed by thermal or infrared dryers. Finally, UniLustre paper and paperboard can be recycled in traditional waste streams, is repulpable and compostable, and is capable of containing recycled content.

The judges in the 2009 AIMCAL (Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators) awards competition were so impressed with this technology that they named Unifoil one of two winners in AIMCAL’s first Sustainability Award Competition. Part of a larger AIMCAL awards program, the Sustainability Award Competition honors equipment, materials, or processes that reduce environmental impact, minimize energy usage or waste, and/or increase recycling. The judges viewed the replacement of multilayer structures with direct-metallized monolayer materials as a significant win for the environment due to the combination of source reduction and improved recyclability. Transfer-metallizing to produce UniLuster paper—or UltraLustre film—also is a low-energy process. As one AIMCAL judge put it, “There’s no heat involved, so that saves energy.”

When you’re done being dazzled by our cover (nice work, Mr. Bacho), be sure to check out the story that spawned it, the 2008 Salary Survey. An extraordinary number of people (1,637 to be precise) responded to this Jan. 13-Feb. 13 online Survey, which was conducted jointly by The Institute of Packaging Professionals and Packaging World magazine. Developed in cooperation with Gros Executive Recruiters, and with market research by Kane Consulting, the story on page 44 examines packaging incomes by multiple factors. It also gauges job satisfaction during the unprecedented economic times we live in today.

As Jim Butschli points out in his story about the survey, it’s nice to see that packaging remains a place where the average total compensation in 2008 was $101,879. But verbatim comments from respondents who answered an open-ended question about the overall condition of their employment in the packaging sector are troubling. It seems that packaging professionals are still not recognized as vital contributors to cost savings, speed-to-market goals, project implementation, and bottom-line profitability. The sooner this recognition comes about, the better.

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