2022 Product of the Year, Technology of the Year and Sustainability Awards

09.05.2022 The Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) honoured the 2022 Product of the Year, Technology of the Year and Sustainability Award winners at a ceremony during the AIMCAL Executive Leadership Conference (4-5 April 2022 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina).

The 2022 Sustainability Award was given to Monadnock Paper Mills.
© Photo: AIMCAL
The 2022 Sustainability Award was given to Monadnock Paper Mills.

Product of the Year

The 2022 Product of the Year Award went to ProAmpac Holdings, LLC, Flexibles Division (Cary, IL), for a quilted, multilayer film/foil phase-change mat used to insulate attics in residential, commercial and industrial buildings and reduce energy costs for heating, cooling and ventilating by up to 50%.

The eco-friendly, nontoxic QE Platinum material produced for Syndego LLC is a patented and patent-pending quilted mat of pillow pouches filled with proprietary phase change material (PCM). The structure controls the temperature differential across the R-value instead of the traditional method of limiting heat flow by adding more R-value. Easily installed on top of existing insulation and designed to be effective for 20 years, the QE Platinum mat is positioned foil side up so the foil serves as both a radiant and moisture barrier. Additional energy control is provided by the PCM in the pillow pouches, which melts and serves as a heat sink to hold energy until the temperature in the space decreases. The PCM then re-solidifies and releases the stored energy. The PCM melt point is designed to be just above the ideal temperature for the area and minimises temperature extremes. Maintaining a more consistent temperature can flatten kilowatt-hour usage and cut energy costs and, thereby, reduce the operation’s carbon footprint. Other applications include cold-transport vehicles and cold-chain storage.

Technology of the Year

The 2022 Technology of the Year Award went to Rheonics (Winterthur, Switzerland) for its InkSight multi-station, ink viscosity-control system for printing presses. The Rheonics InkSight system delivers quality, cost and environmental benefits by managing all viscosity measurement and control functions, thereby allowing operators to focus on quality rather than measurement.

In operation, an SRV sensor detects changes in ink viscosity and transmits a signal to the control cabinet. The Rheonics predictive tracking controller monitors viscosity, predicts the rate of change and operates a valve to dose solvent as frequently as every 20 seconds to compensate for changes due to temperature fluctuation, evaporation or the addition of fresh ink. The ColorLock software and graphical operator interface allow viscosity to be locked to the desired colour density. Automating ink viscosity control reduces setup time and scrap, maximises print quality and accurately doses solvents, potentially reducing emissions. The compact system integrates easily, offers a high level of accuracy and stability and requires no recalibration, cleaning or maintenance. Compatible with inks, primers and adhesives, the technology also is used in an array of coating operations.

Technical Excellence Award

The judges also awarded a Technical Excellence Award to InkSpec (St. Bruno, Quebec, Canada) for its InkSpec MIIS-V3 viscometer, model 40339-2200, a patented and patent-pending device that measures and controls the viscosity of process fluids. Based on acoustic suspension technology, the unit is unaffected by flow, micro-foaming or machine vibration. The small, light sensor can be installed in tight spaces and mounted vertically or horizontally. Primary applications include flexographic, gravure and corrugated printing; food and beverage can coating; sheet coating; and medical-device printing and coating.

Sustainability Award

The 2022 Sustainability Award went to Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. (Bennington, NH) for a 100% post-consumer-recycled (PCR) fibre stock for gift/loyalty cards. The 28-point Monadnock Envi PC 100 Card material is a coated/laminated structure engineered for dimensional stability, durability, printability and performance equal to all-virgin-fibre cards. It can accommodate magnetic stripes, scratch-off and signature panels and maintains the structural integrity needed to allow affixing to a carrier with fugitive glues and damage-free removal by the consumer. Designed with maximum PCR content as an alternative to polyvinyl chloride, polylactic acid, virgin-fibre solid bleached sulfate or mixed virgin/recycled fibre cards, the Monadnock Envi PC 100 Card is renewable and has been independently verified as recyclable in curbside bins. Other potential applications for the PCR material include hotel keycards, near-frequency communication (NFC) cards and radio frequency identification (RFID) cards.