Laminating Films Enhance, Protect Products

by Francis Shea, M. Digital, Inc.

Laminating films have applications in the print finishing industry for both product protection and product enhancement. The laminating process enhances the life of a product or package by protecting the printed artwork, and new developments in films offer a high-end look and feel.

Question: How have laminating films been incorporated into luxury packaging and other carton work?

Answer: Laminating films with high scuff-resistance and unique “touch surfaces” increasingly have been used to protect high-end packaging cartons. By utilizing these films, the cosmetics, spirit or high-end electronics marketer can keep the product looking its best from pack-out to the retail shelf. Interesting surfaces like fine linen, leather or other custom structures add even more point-of-sale appeal with an embossed surface feel and decorative grain.

Film lamination always has been an excellent choice for protecting the printed sheet or carton from abrasion, chemicals and fingerprinting. The protection and enhancement that lamination offers cannot be matched by UV or water-based over-coatings. The scuff-resistant coating correlates to a lower reject rate as well.

Laminated films can be integrated into current wet or thermal lamination equipment. Films offer a smooth process side to aid in laminating and keep line speeds and throughput high. Additionally, the ability to laminate over digitally printed stock now is mandatory as digitally printed carton and board stocks are more commonplace.

Question: Are laminating films used for security purposes for packaging and other printed products?

Answer: Lamination films allow for security features, overt and covert, to be included under the surface, greatly enhancing the security and authenticity compared to other post-applied methods. By incorporating the security feature during carton lamination, laminating films offer more control by the marketer of its brand protection and security program. Some security elements even can be designed into the process flow to allow for tracking downstream.

Permanency, however, is the largest benefit of security features protected by laminated film. A security feature incorporated under the surface of a laminating film is less likely to be tampered with or removed. As the technology for on-product communication methods such as RFID and other machine-readable techniques grows, integration with lamination films offers unique possibilities to interact with customers and retailers from the shelf.

Question: Can specific custom images be incorporated into a laminating film?

Answer: Yes. Achilles Films offers a service that allows a logo, trade name or special image to be incorporated into a laminating film within six to eight weeks. This allows packages to have additional branding or an inspirational look and feel within normal production and project timelines.

Several worldwide brands in automotive, skin care and personal audio have had their logo and trademarks incorporated into laminating films to enhance product presentation kits, on-shelf packaging and certificates of authenticity. By utilizing customized laminating films, the brands have been able to accomplish marketing goals with a very individualized approach.

Question: How has the print finishing marketplace been adapting to the shrinking commercial print market?

Answer: We all know that traditional print has been contracting for some time now, and print will continue to adjust as more digital formats reach out to customers. Print finishers have been looking to expand their scope and are finding that packaging may be a smart focus. The packaging industry has been experiencing growth, and jobs often are sizeable projects with global brands.

There also have been some multi-media campaigns involving print ads that are matched with product carton constructions to translate the look and feel of a particular brand.

Achilles offers innovative paper enhancements, creative presentation products, high-quality lamination and trend-setting packaging solutions. With a strong presence in Germany and throughout Europe, Achilles has US representation in Florida through Francis Shea, M. Digital Inc. For more information, call 941.730.8213 or email [email protected].