Digital Magazine

AIMCAL selects 3 finalists for technology award

Three finalists have been announced for the 1995 Technology of the Year Award sponsored by AIMCAL, the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators, Alexandria, VA.

Finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

* A. D. Tech, Taunton, MA, patterned metallized printing (PMP) process.

* Custom Fabrication & Service Co. Inc., Bloomfield, CT, optical monitoring systems (OMS) product line.

* Deposition Technologies Inc., San Diego, CA, SecureClear transparent hologram coating.

The winner of 1995 AIMCAL Technology of the Year Award will be announced at AIMCAL's annual meeting March 15-19 and in the April issue of PAPER, FILM & FOIL CONVERTER. A description of each of entry follows with information provided by the company.

A. D. Tech's newest vacuum-metallizing technology relates to a process known as PMP where high-definition patterns are metallized for a variety of new and existing applications. Some of these applications relate to segmented capacitor electrodes, microwave-food packaging, electronic article-surveillance labels, anticounterfeit currency threads and patterned logos or windows for standard packaging substrates.

All of these applications require very high definition, complex patterns. A. D. Tech has now commercialized and sold PMP materials with resolutions as high as 130 dots (or lines) per in.

The first commercial application pioneered by the company is a new material for microwave browning and crisping called a fused susceptor. This material is safer and self-adjusts to the specific heating applications by turning itself off in the areas where too much heat is generated. This patented material, being sold under the trademark of Accu-Crisp, has been incorporated into a microwave browning and crisping bag sold direct to consumers via direct-response television. It's being marketed to other converters and food companies.

"This new technology continues to open up many exciting markets where some patterns have only been possible using costly etching methods," Glenn J. Walters, A. D. Tech president and coinventor said. "Our PMP system gives high definition and patterns that aren't available with a secondary step of demetallization." The firm has patents or patents pending on most of the applications and will continue to leverage its proprietary technology by working with strategic partners in the industry.

Custom Fabrication's optical-monitoring systems product line offers converters the opportunity to fully inspect the layer thickness of their metallized films. The innovative optical design was engineered from the ground up to offer optical versatility, stand-alone operation and easy system integration.

Reliability is assured with the use of fully sealed components and the absence of any delicate fiber-optic components within the harsh vacuum-chamber environment. Stability and accuracy are achieved with the use of precision electronics, autocalibrating components and specialty light sources.

The optional computer interface is further protected from the industrial environment with air-conditioned, shock-mounted hardware. V3 software for monitors and controls is included with the computer interface and provides an intuitive graphical user interface, real-time optical density and process-variation graphs, recipe switching and robust reporting capabilities.

Stand-alone systems are upgraded and incorporated into existing process-control systems with the use of the RS232/RS422/RS485 standard. Computerized systems can communicate on any network with the use of fully user-definable program and data directories.

Deposition Technologies Inc.'s nomination is for a sputter-coating process technology that allows for the production of a transparent hologram coating, SecureClear. It can assist hologram producers in developing state-of-the-art security-document systems to guard against forgery and counterfeiting.

Difficult-to-counterfeit new products are possible because the sputter-coating-process technology is proprietary. Product benefits include high-optical clarity and high-light reflectivity, which allows for complete document viewing. This allows for print on the document to be seen through the hologram.

The optically enhanced hologram image can't be photographically reproduced, which enhances the product's security features. US and foreign patents are pending for the SecureClear product line.

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