ASG (AGI-Shorewood Group) has developed the world's first automated inline process for creating magnetized product packaging. Designed for a new line of chewing gum marketed by a leading gum manufacturer, the folding packs feature a new type of magnetic closure considered the first of its kind and a "game changer" in the highly competitive confectionery industry. The new brand rolled out in the United States this summer to such retailers as Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, and Rite Aid with plans to expand globally in 2013.
The innovative magnetic closure permits consumers to easily open and close the new gum packets without the typical wear and tear of most cartons. "The functionality of closures on confectionery packaging is very challenging," explains Greg Chup, director of innovation at ASG. "Our customers have looked at hundreds of designs over the years, including ones with Velcro, and all of them have had their shortcomings until now."
While magnets have previously been incorporated into all types of packaging, Chup says there is a fundamental difference between older applications and those employing this new printing technology.
"In the past, printers have used a variety of manual application processes to incorporate magnets into product packaging offline," he says. "Our new process features a coating we apply during printing. We have the only inline fully automated converting printing process in the world that can do this."
ASG is seeking to make the most of its investment in the new magnetic printing technology by expanding applications to other consumer product segments, such as personal care, home entertainment, beauty and cosmetics.
According to ASG confectionery account executive Ken DeJaray, the groundbreaking process is the culmination of more than two years of research and development working with various partners, including MagnetNotes Ltd., the company that developed the magnetic extrusion technology.
"This new process serves as a prime example of ASG's creativity, capability to innovate and eagerness to partner with customers to bring exciting new packaging technologies to market," he says. "Despite facing enormous technical challenges, we developed a functional, attractive, unique packaging solution that should help differentiate this new brand of gum."