James River Corp. boosted its microwave packaging business in an agreement with Advanced Deposition Technologies Inc. of Taunton, Mass., the Richmond, Va., company announced Aug. 8. AD Tech will supply James River with special metalized PET films, plus the North American rights to use the materials in microwave packaging. In return, AD Tech got a license to use 24 James River patents in micro-wave packaging.
AD Tech developed and patented ``fuse susceptor'' technology to control temperature in packaging during microwave heating. The firm's metalized film contains small, nonmetalized patterns of X's that act like fuses if an area of the packaging overheats. AD Tech controls location and density of the patterns in a proprietary metalized printing process, according to Glenn Walters, AD Tech's president.
Timothy Bohrer, James River's vice president of technology, said AD Tech's film is especially applicable for foods with irregular shapes that could overheat in some spots in microwave ovens.
The AD Tech deal is James River's second microwave technology agreement this year. In the spring it agreed to make packaging that allows microwaved food to turn crisp. It is making the paperboard/aluminum/polyethylene packaging for Beckett Tech-nologies Corp. of Mississauga, Ontario, which developed it.
New technologies make micro-wave heating suited to a growing variety of foods, Bohrer said in a telephone interview from James River's packaging business office in Milford, Ohio. The technology is evolving quickly and new applications offer more growth than general flexible packaging, which James River plans to exit this month when it completes the sale of its flexible packaging business to Printpack Inc.
James River makes flexible and rigid microwave products at Wausau, Wis., using purchased, metalized PET film as a key component.Publicly traded AD Tech buys PET and other films and metalizes them. It reported sales of about $10 million last year.