AUSTRALIA – Amcor’s folding carton business has launched a new printing technology named Sunshine, that delivers a highly reflective metallic effect, a wide variety of design possibilities, and faster speed to market for a range of folding carton applications; the breakthrough technology also simplifies the supply chain, improves packing line performance versus laminated boards, and provides significant environmental benefits.
Consisting of an in-line application of a bright silver coating over an ultraviolet (UV) or electron-beam (EB) primer, Sunshine offers a wide range of cost-effective design options and can serve as an alternative to existing multi-process technologies such as metalized board and hot foil stamping.
The in-line process is completed on a single press and removes various stages in the supply chain - therefore reducing lead times and eliminating extra transportation costs associated with conventional metallization methods. The brilliantly reflective effect is achieved using a three-layer structure consisting of paper board (layer 1), an energy-cured lacquer (layer 2), and a specially developed metallic coating (layer 3).
“Sunshine technology is a cutting-edge development using the gravure printing process,” said Felix Angst, Amcor’s Business Development Director for the Americas. “This launch comes in response to customer demand for more efficient processes and firmly positions Amcor as a technology leader in the folding carton market.”
Responding to demand for improved packing line performance and reduced cost, Amcor’s innovation team has worked on Sunshine for several years, resulting in commercialization in 2014 in the US, Europe, and Asia.
“Sunshine is a highly unique capability that sets us apart in the industry,” says Richard Skidmore, Global Director of Innovation at Amcor.
According to Skidmore, Sunshine offers superior brand enhancement due to the greater reflective characteristics of the board surface after a lacquer coating is applied. The end result reflects more lumens of light compared to metallic inks whether applied overall, or as a spot application. This eye-catching visual effect helps create a folding carton container with stronger shelf presence that stands out amidst other products.
Among the key environmental benefits of the technology are reductions in waste and carbon footprint. During production and application, Sunshine drives a significant decrease in water consumption and greenhouse gases, according to ReCiPe 2008, a global environmental life-cycle assessment tool. The ability to use standard board and the removal of a metallization stage also reduces transportation freight costs, fossil fuel consumption, and unnecessary CO2 emissions.