Last month, international packaging company Plastic Ingenuity made an impression at Pack Expo 2013 by demonstrating its latest technological innovation. The newly patented process has already made an impact in the industry.
A new, specialized coining process used for creating less expensive, more precise, longer-lasting impressions in plastic packaging — a process that Plastic Ingenuity explains as long overdue for the industry.
The process of molding impressions like numbers and letters traditionally takes place after the package has been created, or thermoformed.
This operation, called hot stamping, creates impressions that wear off over time, and as a secondary operation, represents additional expense. Plastic Ingenuity’s new process eliminates the need for this process, which the company explained has a dramatic effect.
"This has never been done before. In fact, this technique is the subject of a utility patent we own," said Rob Helmke, Marketing Director at PI. "Until now, no packaging company has found a way to remove the hot stamping or pad printing process, which can save tens of thousands of dollars."
Helmke explained that the patented process creates impressions during the plastic thermoforming process instead of after, which makes the impressions easier to read while increasing manufacturing speed and cutting out labor costs.
The packaging company is keeping its sights set on developing further refinements to the thermoforming process.
Time will tell what kind of impact this new technology has on the demand for hot stamping or pad printing, but one thing seems clear: The long-term effects are already taking shape.