Adhesion of Continuous Inkjet Inks on PTFE

New inkjet inks are compared formulated for better adhesion to PTFE are compared with traditional gravure inks and typical continuous inkjet ink.

Gem Gravure Walks for Project Bread

Gem Gravure Walks for Project Bread
Pictured from left to right: Bob Strunk, Ramona Krogman, Annaliese Sviokla, Giuliana Ciaramella, Kim Cushing, Maureen Scartissi, Paul Gemelli, Linda Smith, Steve Miscioscia, David Gemelli, Sharlene Capaccioli, Jonathan Dupont, Sharon Hall, and Kathy Smith

Gem Gravure Company, Inc., West Hanover, MA: 

The weather in Boston on May 4th was perfect for a walk. Seventeen of the Gem Gravure Company team and family members did just that by participating in the 46th Annual ‘Walk for Hunger’ sponsored by Project Bread. They were joined by 43,000 friends. Gem Gravure Company, Inc. is a 60 year old family owned and operated business specializing in inks and marking & coding equipment. Family and community service are cornerstones of the GEM philosophy.

Since 1969, Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger has been the largest walk event in Massachusetts and the oldest continual one-day pledge walk in the country. From individual walkers to corporate teams, senior citizens and students, the Walk relies on people from across the state to walk, volunteer and fundraise. This year, initial estimates indicate the event will reach its goal of raising $3.5 million dollars. Money raised at the Walk for Hunger will help support local food pantries, community-based meal programs, early childhood and school nutrition initiatives, and improved access to farm-to-table resources. The GEM walkers were responsible for adding $2750.00 to that total. After a day in the sunshine with good company, we expect to be walking again next year.

Congratulations to Gem Gravure Representatives at Interpack 2014

Congratulations to Gem Gravure Representatives at Interpack 2014
Six companies belonging to the KBA Group shared KBA-Metronic’s stand for the first time at interpack 2014. Together they presented their individual printing solutions for the extremely diverse packaging market

For the first time, six companies including KBA-Metronic joined together to represent Koenig & Bauer Group at Interpack 2014 to display their extremely diverse printing solutions. Thank you to Gem Gravure representatives Paul Gemelli, Jon Jensen, and Mike Prasad for representing Gem Gravure, KBA-Metronic’s exclusive North American reseller. The Gem team had an opportunity to learn about new offering from the KBA group, as well as greet visitors from the US and Canada.  

Many visitors from Germany and abroad, who had previously only worked with one company in the press manufacturing group, were amazed by the breadth of the range on offer for the extremely diverse packaging market. Analogue and digital coding technology from KBA-Metronic, UV film and card printing from KBA-MePrint, full-colour metal decorating from KBA-MetalPrint, folding carton and corrugated printing from KBA Radebeul, digital decorative and industrial printing from KBA Würzburg, printing systems for flexible packaging from KBA-Flexotecnica, and finally direct decoration of glass and hollow containers from KBA-Kammann – the high-quality product samples on show from each segment were all received with great interest. KBA staff from the various companies were on hand to discuss possible combination solutions and a lot of new ties with representatives from the packaging industry the world over were established.

This first joint trade show presence at interpack also encouraged the KBA companies involved to exchange ideas. According to the old saying “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, in the future greater advantage will be taken of possible potential for synergies arising from different technologies for packaging printing as well as the transfer of know-how will increase between the different sites. This much is already clear today: The companies belonging to the KBA Group which target packaging printers will be present together again at interpack 2017 with a raft of innovative packaging solutions.

Dow and Ampac team up for new packaging technology

Dow and Ampac team up for new packaging technology
The handled Ampac CubePak is reclosable.

The future of packaging looks to be pretty square, at least when it comes to design.

Dow Chemical's packaging division has partnered up with flexible packaging converter Ampac to bring a new packaging technology to North America. Ampac is now a licensee of Dow's PacXpert packaging technology and is authorized to sell the packages in North America. Ampac will produce packages enabled by PacXpert Technology and will sell the packages to their customer base under the Ampac CubePak name. 

The lightweight packaging design offers a fitment closure and integrated ergonomic dual handles, reportedly enabling precision pouring, easy reclosing and convenient carrying. While the package is flexible, PacXpert technology is shelf stable and can stand upright or on its side once filled.

To read the full article at PlasticsToday, click here.

Pillar Technologies secures DNA authentication for brand protection

Pillar Technologies secures DNA authentication for brand protection

Brand protection is a concern for brand owners who have seen the brand equity of their own products and those of other brand owners undermined by counterfeiting. In response, Pillar Technologies, a business unit of ITW and supplier of induction cap sealers and surface treatment technologies, has formed a business partnership with Applied DNA Sciences, a provider of DNA-based security and product authentication. The agreement for marking and authenticating original products and packaging was reported by our sister publication, PlasticsToday, in an article that describes how Pillar will offer its customers the ability to prove the authenticity of its products by tightly binding ADNAS's SigNature DNA in new ways to existing and new physical substrates.

We go deeper into this timely development—especially the packaging aspects—in this Q&A with Pillar Technologies’ Rory A. Wolf, CEO/Business Unit Manager, surface modification & induction sealing systems, who reminds us that “Pillar has been in brand protection for many years with its induction-sealing systems. This collaboration with ADNAS is an extension of that experience.”

What led to this collaboration?

Wolf: It’s all about brand security. There have been a number of industries which both Applied DNA Sciences (ADNAS) and Pillar Technologies serve that have been impacted by counterfeiting. Existing industry verticals in military supply chains and in textiles served by ADNAS are already specifying DNA solutions for brand protection. These same verticals are served by Pillar Technologies, so the collaboration is a logical extension of our business models.

How will this technology work for Pillar’s customers?

Wolf: Much of the process technology is proprietary, but I can generally share that botanical DNA, branded by ADNAS as its SigNature DNA product, is arranged in a way that allows a specific consumer product to carry a unique product  identifier in a predetermined location to authenticate the product. Existing and new physical substrates, in two- or three-dimensional orientations, are easily adapted to the DNA product. For Pillar customers, awareness of this DNA technology and its delivery and improved affixation to the surface with Pillar surface treatment technology will offer a convenient adaptation of the process.

How are the markers applied to the packaging materials?

Wolf: The DNA markers can be applied anywhere in the process and anywhere on the package. However, these decisions are made in collaboratively with the consumer products company so that authentication is optimized.

What is required to authenticate a product or package?

Wolf: From a consumables and capital equipment perspective, the brand owner/customer typically commits to installing the delivery methodology most conducive to their process. Sampling techniques involving brand owners as well as personnel within the ADNAS authentication network streamline the authentication process today. Lab analysis at ADNAS currently provides definitive authenticity (or lack thereof), with in-field authentication techniques also currently being calibrated to specific application processes within supply chains.

What product and packaging applications are possible?  

Wolf: That’s what makes our collaboration so enabling. The combined implementation of our technologies allows for any flexible or rigid packaging to carry DNA. The same applies to all types of physical products manufactured by all types of product fabrication and decoration methods, such as plastic extrusion/molding, paper-making, weaving, metal fabrication, spunbonding, dyeing, printing, coating, adhesive application, etc. The opportunities to introduce the DNA product within the supply chain are limitless.

What is the timeframe for implementation of the tech at Pillar? And how seamless is it?

Wolf: Because our technologies are complimentary in their current states, the timeframe for implementation is immediate. Pillar’s surface modification technologies, particularly those involving atmospheric plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) methodologies, are currently in service commercially so there is no process change required. In summary, it is nearly completely seamless.

How does this arrangement expand ADNAS’s markets?

Wolf: This collaboration with Pillar Technologies has the potential to expand the ADNAS technology initially into food and beverage markets, and onto substrates such as polymer films, foils, synthetic/natural fabrics, glass, and natural fibers. Substrate configurations can be in the form of a web, a sheet, a yarn, or a 3D object.

How much of a cost premium does this represent?

Wolf: Because the DNA product is highly reliable in very low concentrations and its methods of delivery (including Pillar surface modification technologies) are well-established, the cost of product and delivery combined is extremely low. This becomes particularly imprtant when considering the significant scale and impact of lost revenues to globally-based counterfeiting opportunists.

What kind of interest do you anticipate?

Wolf: There is already established and working commercial applications within the financial industry (physical currencies and their transfer), the high-end apparel industry (fashion wear), government (military component parts, personal I.D.), and many others.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Wolf: Because the application opportunities span so many industries which have been financially impacted by counterfeiting of their products, we are in the process of focusing our joint efforts on developing application solutions which are most synergistic to our mutual organizations, and which can be implemented quickly by our customers.

Sophisticated packaging sells store brands

Sophisticated packaging sells store brands
Top winner in the 2014 Store Brands Packaging Awards competition

Packaging for store-branded products continues put distance between its early “generic” non-designs and today’s sophisticated and stunning packages, as evidenced by the winners of the 2014 Store Brands Packaging Awards competition. The winning packages made their debut last week in a display at the PMMI pavilion at FMI Connect 2014, which took place June 10-14 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Judging for the competition took place on April 17 in the editorial offices of Store Brands magazine. After boosting my energy with a hearty sandwich from Jimmy Johns, the staff of Store Brands magazine put me and three other judges to work.

Hours later and after some lively discussion, we agreed on the winners (see them here, along with the judges’ insightful comments for each winning package/line).

The judging gives me an opportunity to see some of the best packaging designs for store brands in one place at one time, which makes it fairly easy to discern some trends. Here are the trends I see in packaging for store brands this year:

1. Contemporary fonts are easy to read and, somewhat surprisingly, appeal to all generations (that is, they attract new, younger consumers without alienating loyalists).

2. Designs leverage a brand’s heritage but meld it with contemporary packaging designs. This takes advantage of the brand’s longevity with relationships with its consumers, while showing it cares enough to keep the packaging fresh and convenient.

3. Improved shoppability with label architecture, fonts, colors and stunning photography show a concern for the consumers’ time in the store, as well as acknowledgment of the reality of crowded shelves. This is especially noticeable with families of products.

4. Ownable colors differentiate on shelf and take many product presentations up a notch. For a great example, see the plnt herbal supplement line, which won a Gold Award in the Non-Foods category.

5. Ingredients in photography for foods and beverages speak to the quality of the products and counter the earlier consumer impression that store brands were “lesser” than national brands when it comes to the ingredients. See the Western Family Premium Tortilla Chips package, which tied for a Gold Award in the Shelf-Stable Foods category.

Click here to see how the packaging trends for store brands this year compare with 2013.

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Portable high speed laptop solution that can record at 200 fps in 640 x 480 resolution.  Easy to use GUI for non technical floor operators. 

Provides continuous loop, prepost trigger and event markers.  Record for long periods of time.

The case of the plugged pipe

The case of the plugged pipe

I was about halfway through my first cup of engine room coffee when Willie called."

I'm not getting steam to my capper," he told me. "I'm out of ideas and I hope you have some."

"I always have ideas, Willie. Sometimes I even have good ideas. I'm on my way." I told him as I finished the remains of my coffee.

Not long after Willie and I were looking at his capper. Sure enough, there was no steam. Willie had piping schematics and we located and checked all the valves and traps between steam generator and capper. Nothing seemed out of order.

"Willie," I said, "It was working Friday and now it's not. Something changed. What was it?"

The maintenance manager told us that her team had replaced some water piping over the weekend. We found the pipefitter and asked him to show us where. He explained that, in order to get the new water pipe in, he had to remove and replace a section of the steam line.

"Fiddlesticks on no steam," I exclaimed. "Something blocked the pipe when it was replaced."

When the pipefitter unbolted the steam pipe for us, we found a nice new gasket with no center hole.

Sherlock Holmes said "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

This story is true, even if though it sounds like fiction.

On ships, the best and strongest coffee is always found in the engine room.

Softlips puckers up with innovative cube packaging

Softlips puckers up with innovative cube packaging

The leading lip care company, Softlips, has recently launched a new cube-shaped package for its lip balm. The sleek, modern package is dome-shaped and made from clear plastic (resembling an ice cube) and easy to apply—just lift up square lid. Voila!  

Packaging Digest got the exclusive on this innovative packaging from Katherine Tocheff, director of marketing and innovation, Softlips.

What is the motivation behind Softlips recent activity in introducing new packaging?

Tocheff: Softlips has been the leader in lip balm for women since its inception in 1992, when we launched the slim stick. We are always looking to surprise and delight our consumer and we know women are always looking for innovative beauty products. As the first brand to create lip balms specifically for women, we are once again giving women what they want with one lip balm that delivers  5 in 1 lip care benefits and unique, colorful, cube shaped packaging.

What design trends does your packaging set in the lip care market?

Tocheff: Beauty and style is what inspired our design. We believe that lip balm should be both efficacious and enjoyable to use. Softlips Cube brings quality and sophistication not currently prevalent in the mass lip balm market, elevating the expectation of how a lip balm should look.

What changes did you make to the packaging that makes it more eye catching?

Tocheff: The glass-like Softlips Cube is a new design that was developed with the consumer experience in mind. Highly light reflective, easy to hold, apply, and find in a purse or bag are all attention grabbing characteristics that are highly appealing to the consumer.

What are the benefits of the glass-like cube?  

Tocheff: Aside from being highly stylish and light reflective, the glass-like Cube allows consumers to see the product before they even buy it. They know what to expect, a benefit few other lip balms offer.

Where are the products being packaged?

Tocheff: In the US.