Gravure winners solve problems

During the technical meeting of the Packaging & Label Gravure Assn., 11 entries were cited in the group's first packaging competition. The Best of Show and a winner in the flexible packaging category was the Kirkland Four Cheese Ravioli pouch by Nordenia USA (Jackson, MO) for Costco.

(see Packaging World, April '01, p. 2 or https://www.packworld.com/go/kirkland) for more on the Kirkland package.

Two other winners have been covered in past issues of PW: Nordenia's stand-up pouch for Tyson Foods' cornish hens (see PW, April '01, p. 34 or https://www.packworld.com/go/tyson) and Avery Dennison's (Framingham, MA) gravure heat-transfer decorating for the commemorative holiday bottle for Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser (see PW, March '01, p. 10 or https://www.packworld.com/go/budweiser).

The other winner in the flexible packaging category was Catty Corp.'s foil/paper lamination for Brach Confections' Milk Maid Royals candies. The new wrap incorporates a polyethylene coating on the paper that, together with some other modifications, yielded two improvements to Brach.

"We spent a year working on this to get the material to work on Brach's equipment without changes," says Bruce Scott, president of Catty (Huntley, IL). The polyethylene coating offers better release properties so the caramel candy doesn't stick to the wrap, compared to the wax coating previously used. Even more important, says Scott, it adds strength to the wrap so it won't tear on high-speed twist-wrapping equipment. Scott declines to identify the type of polyethylene used for the coating or its weight.

This description was confirmed by Jack Bakke, Brach's senior manager of procurement. "We partnered with Catty to find a solution, and they provided some long R&D time on this," he says. "It's really helped to give us a fresher and better product, which gives our sales people an added tool. The new wrap is a "wash" economically, Bakke says, which makes it a net improvement to Brach. He also admits that some of its twist-wrap equipment can create a real challenge to the material.

The outside of the aluminum foil is gravure printed in four colors, which Bakke describes as a high-quality print job.

Another interesting solution was provided by Tolas Health Care Packaging (Feasterville, PA) for Immunex's Enbrel, an injectable drug for arthritis sufferers. The syringe is packed in a pouch that's sealed with a printed lid from Tolas. What was critical to this application was the development of a low-strength adhesive coating for the Tyvek lidding from DuPont that would withstand sterilization and shipping yet be easy to open for people with arthritic hands.

"The lidding had to be peelable by patients who don't have much gripping power," says Tim Stasak, Tolas process engineer. The water-based adhesive went through several iterations before the material passed all tests, he says. In addition, the lidding is gravure printed in three colors using water-based inks. These had to be specially formulated to work on the spun-bonded material.

Other winners include Multi-Color Corp. (Cincinnati, OH) for in-mold labels for Cascade Complete and Downy Enhancer products from Procter & Gamble; North Star Print Group (Watertown, WI) for holographic labels for Miller Lite's special Super Bowl promotion; Arlin's (Lowell, MA) 50-cents-off printed tear tape for Newport cigarettes; Package Service's (Kansas City, MO) pressure-sensitive label for Suavitel for baby; and Gilbreth's (Croydon, PA) six-color sleeve label of PETG for George Dickel whisky.

Look for more information on the PLGA awards in the July issue of PW.

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