Readers Choice | Top 10 New Products of 2015

From high-performance films to flexo plates and anilox cleaner, it takes a diverse group of products to keep a converting plant operating at peak performance. Here are 10 that you especially liked.

Converters rely on a variety of high tech films to produce the labels and packaging that protect their customers’ products and the consumers who use them. This year Toray Plastics (America), Innovia Films, Jindal Films, and Avery Dennison launched products that captured the attention of our E-Clips subscribers, whose interest we judged by the number of clicks these new products generated through the newsletter.

But an online calculator that determines roll dimensions for HERMA self-adhesive materials earned the top spot in our annual roundup. Here is a look at the ten that came out on top.


HERMA Online Roll Calculator

HERMA, Stuttgart, Germany, announced an online calculator for roll dimensions that allows users—with just a few clicks on a smartphone, tablet, or PC—to determine the running length and outside diameter of the company’s self-adhesive material rolls, covering any possible combination of materials. For reasons of efficiency, many label converters prefer to use rolls measuring 4,000 meters instead of the standard running length of 2,000 meters. With the roll calculator, they can quickly determine whether the resulting larger outside diameter is suitable for their machines. On the other hand, converters wishing to utilize the maximum outside diameter can use the roll calculator to determine the corresponding running length they need to order.

In order to use the roll calculator, label printers do not need to determine any specifications, such as the thickness of the label material or the release liners. Any desired label material, adhesive, and release liner can be selected from a drop-down menu. Using the calculator requires no download or installation of an app. A registration or a log-in is not necessary either—users merely need Internet access. On many smartphones and tablets, the roll calculator can be added to the start screen as a so-called web app. It is available in German, English, French, and Dutch.



Toray Torayfan PWX5 Metallized BOPP Film

Toray Plastics (America), North Kingstown, RI, launched Torayfan PWX5, a metallized BOPP film designed for use as a high-performance, inner moisture- and oxygen-barrier web in gas-flushed applications. One side of the film is vacuum-deposited aluminum on company’s proprietary ultra-barrier layer, which produces a packaging film said to have superior metal adhesion and a shiny appearance. The other side of the film has a stable coefficient of friction (COF) and is heat-sealable.

Product reportedly offers high moisture-, aroma-, and flavor-barrier protection, and its excellent barrier durability makes it the preferred choice for applications requiring an extended shelf life. Also called well suited for the packaging of salty, flavorful snacks, cookies, crackers, biscuits, and confectionery items.



Toray LumiLid Bio-Based Dual-Ovenable Lidding Film

Toray Plastics (America) announced LumiLid bio-based, dual-ovenable lidding films manufactured with company’s proprietary sustainable resin blends, which are made with more than 50% renewable feedstocks. The films were created to lessen the impact on the environment—as they use fewer petroleum resources while they are being manufactured—and to meet the needs of environment-conscious end-users and consumers. They are solvent-free and may alleviate end-users' concerns about solvent retention, as well as enhance the films' sustainability profile.

The new LumiLid films are designed for frozen, wet and dry food, and dairy applications. They are FDA-compliant for use with oven temperatures to 400 deg F for 30 min. LumiLid films offer a low seal initiation (SIT), broad seal range, outstanding seal integrity, and an easy peel. They are available in clear, white, and metallized formats.



Innovia Propafilm RCU Acrylic Coated BOPP Film

Innovia Films, Cumbria, UK, launched Propafilm RCU, its first proprietary acrylic coated BOPP film that reportedly has proven barrier to mineral oil migration for up to 1.5 years. Company says a sister product, Propafilm RBCU, a white version, has all the qualities and benefits of RCU, including excellent barrier, a low sealing threshold, and a broader sealing range.

Manufacturers and packers who prefer a solid white film now have an alternative option, and company believes the chocolate and snack markets are likely to be interested in this product due to its versatility.



Jindal Metallyte MM688 and MM648 BOPP Films

Jindal Films offers Metalltye MM688 and MM648 biaxially oriented polypropylene films featuring the company’s very low temperature seal (VLTS) coating, which is said to deliver high performance in demanding high- and variable-speed horizontal form/fill/seal (HFFS) packaging applications.

A printable, overcoated metallized surface on the opposite side reportedly enables consistent machinability, excellent graphics, and barrier to moisture, flavors, and aromas. Company says this performance and protection come in a single film, so lamination is no longer required in order to achieve the desired moisture barrier and product protection. This allows producers to lightweight their packaging while maintaining product shelf life and enabling further distribution.

Films are called ideal for high-speed packaging lines, HFFS packaging lines where accurate heat control is a problem, and HFFS packaging lines where dwell times vary due to frequent machine speed changes. Company says products deliver excellent performance, protection, and promotional opportunities for food and non-food packaging applications.



Avery Dennison Bio-Based PE Film

Avery Dennison, Oegstgeest, Netherlands, launched two bio-based polyethylene label films with a facestock that includes more than 80% renewable content. They offer brand owners the opportunity to meet their target on renewable resources in packaging, while continuing to benefit from the functionality and performance of a regular PE label.

The bio-based PE self-adhesive laminates are available in a white and a clear version. The resin used for the new bio-based PE films is made from Bonsucro Certified Sugar Cane, which reportedly follows rigorous social and environmental monitoring prior to certification.

Company says both new products offer performance and recyclability comparable to standard PE85 resin, and with the proper precautions and preparation, these films act as drop-in replacements, meaning converters can substitute conventional PE for a bio-based PE label film without investing in new machinery.



DuPont Cyrel EASY Flexo Plates

DuPont Packaging Graphics, Wilmington, DE, launched Cyrel EASY, a flexographic printing plate technology platform said to simplify the prepress process by building the flat top digital dot directly into the plate, resulting in increased productivity and consistency. Cyrel EASY plates are based upon a new polymer that produces higher ink transfer and higher resolution. Customer testing has shown significantly higher solid ink density without compromising on highlights.

Cyrel EASY plates are available for FAST/thermal and solvent processing and in engineered and smooth surfaces; both are said to deliver high ink transfer and color saturation, regardless of existing workflow. 



DMS Web-On-Air Air Bar and Turn Bar Systems

DMS, Lake Zurich, IL, introduced the Web-On-Air advanced air bar and turn bar systems. This new technology allows printers and converters the ability to reduce press air consumption and noise levels, eliminate web weaving, and improve front to back registration when running turn bar units.

The patented micro-porous pneumatic flotation technology features thousands of pores per bar length and reportedly delivers near silent operation and consistent web float. Web abrasion or scratching common with conventional turn bars is reduced or eliminated, and there is no need to mask, seal, or plug the exposed part of these bars when running narrower webs. 




Harper Anilox Surface Cleaner

Harper Corp. of America, Charlotte, NC, introduced the Anilox Surface Cleaner to its lineup of HarperScientific products. This specially formulated cleaner is ready to use and designed to remove surface stains and residue blemishes from the surface of ceramic anilox rolls.

The proprietary emulsifier helps to break down and loosen surface stains, including water and ink marks, surface line blemishes, and coating residue. It is said to be especially effective on coatings containing silicone. In addition to cleaning anilox rolls, this concentrated cleaner also can be used on press components and accessories.




Spartanics X-350 Laser Cutting Module

Spartanics, Rolling Meadows, IL, announced the X-350 Laser Cutting Module, engineered to be integrated seamlessly into the E-Cut and Digital Galaxie Semi-rotary Converting Solutions from Smag Graphique. The X-350 is a modular laser station that can cut materials to 350 mm wide with an infinite length. It is capable of reaching cutting speeds to 100 mpm, comes standard with Spartanics’ Fastline and Optimization Control Software, and is available in either a 200– or 400–w laser.

Since the X-350 is modular, it can be integrated into a SMAG converting solution from equipment inception or at a future date. 


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