In the competitive over-the-counter sector - and particularly in the cough/cold category - manufacturers are always looking for ways to differentiate their products, and novel packaging is often the preferred method.
Metallising is a good way to impart a lustre of quality to a package dproduct, but traditional foils and metallised film laminating processes have presented environmental problems in terms of recyclability and biodegradability.
Australian firm Optimet has developed a way to directly metallise cartonboard that looks set to overturn environmentally unfriendly image of metallised packaging, according to the firm's sales manager Johan Jacobs.
"This new process has been demonstrated recently by global pharmaceutical company Pfizer in new packaging for its Sudafed Double Action Congestion & Sinus Pain Relief products," said Jacobs.
Optimet's process begins with specially formulated coatings that are dried by an electron beam radiation process. Ultra thin layers of aluminium molecules are then applied to the surface under vacuum conditions. Finally another layer of coating is applied over the metallised surface, which again is dried by electron beam radiation, and the product is then ready for printing and finishing.
"The Optimet process also completely eliminates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)," Jacobs said.
The process could also improve performance during die-cutting , as the final product had a monostructure and there was no 'pulling' or lifting of metallised surfaces as could occur with traditional film or foil laminates.
This results in superior tamper evidence, because the security sealing tag cannot be lifted without breaking the monostructure, noted Jacobs. In addition, the surface of the product is versatile in its printing receptivity and various grades of adhesive can be used to seal the pack.
Optimet is the only local manufacturer of metallised paper and cartonboard in Australia.