2022 Product of the Year, Technology of the Year and Sustainability Awards
Product of the YearThe 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 YearThe 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 AwardThe 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.