Flexible packaging material manufacturer Rollprint Packaging Products Inc. is getting a huge boost from its anti-counterfeiting color-changing sealant technology for flexible heat-seal applications, and from the addition of a clean room for medical pouch and bag manufacturing.
The Addison, Ill.-based firm's Chameleon technology is named for its ability to change the color of a package when it is opened. Dwane Hahn, vice president of sales and marketing, said the proprietary product was a huge hit at the Pack Expo trade show, held Oct. 28-31 in Chicago.
“The anti-counterfeiting aspect has caught the attention of people in our industry because of the inherent simplicity of our product, because it is cost-effective, and because you get a quick bang for your buck,” Hahn said by telephone. The product is priced only about 4 percent higher than regular film, he said.
The technology allows a film of one color to transfer a peel indicator of a different color, providing a strong visual indication that a package has been opened, he said. “We control the way the pigment is transferred, so only some elements of the color transfer.”
Hahn expects early adopters of the technology to be companies that package costly products for surgical operating rooms and that it will gain traction for products like sutures, scalpels, pre-filled syringes, catheters, artificial joints and surgical gloves.
“We have had inquiries from many high-level pharmaceutical and medical companies,” Hahn said. “We've learned that simplicity transfers much more quickly to marketplace understanding. Some of the other technologies — [radio-frequency identification] and holograms — are too difficult and costly to use.”
Chevron pouches and lidding materials for trays probably will be the first commercialized applications, according to Rollprint.
“Companies can use this without reinvesting, but you're adding color throughout,” said Hahn. He said counterfeiters would have difficulty duplicating the product because of the $9 million investment Rollprint made in the technology.
The coextrusion-coated sealant could be applied to any thermally stable web, including polyester, nylon and polypropylene or on any of the company's ClearFoil barrier structures. It can accommodate many color combinations and help support corporate branding initiatives, he said.
“We view this new sealant technology as a game-changer to help manufacturers grow market share, while also enhancing security.”
The firm added a 6,000-square-foot clean room for sterile medical pouch and bag manufacturing that received ISO Class 8 certification in mid-September. That move, said Hahn, has triggered a 40 percent increase in inquiries and customer requests.
“We hadn't lost any business because we didn't have clean room manufacturing, but we decided to be the first medical pouch manufacturer to get the certification to enhance our quality image,” he said. Even before the clean room was up and running, pouch manufacturing was “one of the fastest-growing parts of the company,” said Hahn.
But the $5 million investment, which includes filtration equipment and web cleaners, has led to more 20-30 percent more business, he said. “We are ordering new pouch equipment because of the spike in demand.”
The clean room has five production lines for header bags, chevron pouches, three-sided weld seals, vented and corner-peel bags, Hahn said.