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PaperCon 2017 – Minneapolis, MN

PaperCon 2017

PaperCon 2017
April 23-26, 2017
Minneapolis Convention Center
Room: M100D
Minneapolis, MN

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the most important gathering of Paper and
Board Professionals in the industry.

PaperCon brings together industry professionals from around the world eager to share knowledge, innovation and new ideas about the paper and board industry.  These professionals know that PaperCon is the premier industry event offering them the opportunity to learn and discuss the latest technologies, best practices, issues and solutions to help them stay competitive in today’s marketplace.

Learn from a panel of experts from TAPPI’s Coating and Graphic Arts Division

This exceptional training in the basics is held as part of the Coating Program at PaperCon 2017, and it’s a great way to kick off all the events taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The topics covered:

  • Current commercial print methods and the equipment used, including traditional offset and emerging digital technologies
  • Paper and packaging grades that are typically printed and the methods used
  • Examples of print and press problems, how to identify and potential solutions
  • Predicting and testing print quality
  • Color perception and color gamut

Introduction to Printing 101

This two-day introductory course is designed for those who need to understand print quality, attend print trials, trouble shoot print problems or are generally new to printing operations.You’ll learn from a panel of experts from TAPPI’s Coating and Graphic Arts Division.This exceptional training in the basics is held as part of the Coating Program at PaperCon 2017, and it’s a great way to kick off all the events taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The topics covered: Current commercial print methods and the equipment used, including traditional offset and emerging digital technologies.

  • Paper and packaging grades that are typically printed and the methods used
  • Examples of print and press problems, how to identify and potential solutions
  • Predicting and testing print quality
  • Color perception and color gamut

For a complete agenda, registration information and other useful information please visit http://www.papercon.org/attendevents/


Food Packaging Inks and Coatings: Safety and Compliance

Food Packaging Inks and Coatings

Food packaging inks and coatings compliance tends to cause much confusion and concern for those involved, from the raw material supplier to the printer or coating producer, to the end-use customer. Defined as an ink, overprint, or functional paper and packaging varnish, a wide variety of “coatings” are used on myriad food packages, including ready-to-eat, microwavable, take-out, refrigerated and frozen consumable items. However, there is confusion about the difference between direct and indirect contact versus direct and indirect additives, how specific applications are addressed in the regulations, and what options are available when establishing suitable safety and regulatory clearance for food packaging. In this article, we will discuss the applicable regulations and other considerations for determining the suitability of a coating for use in a food contact application.

When is a Coating a Food Additive?
A food additive is defined in the FFDCA as “…any substance the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, in its becoming a component of, or otherwise affecting the characteristic of any food including any substance intended for use in…packing…packaging…or holding food….” Based on this definition, under many circumstances printing inks and coatings that come into contact with food are considered food additives, and are therefore subject to premarket clearance by FDA. Two types of food additives recognized by FDA are direct additives and indirect additives. Direct additives are substances that are intended to become ingredients in a food product and therefore, are intended to be eaten. These include preservatives, flavoring agents, gums and anti-caking agents. Indirect additives are substances used in the processing, packaging, holding and transporting of food. These additives have no functional effect in the food, but may be reasonably expected to become components of food or to affect the characteristics of food. Inks and coatings often fit within this portion of the food additive definition.

In addition, the FDA recognizes three types of food contact. Direct Contact substances are those that directly contact food. Substances that might come in contact with food, such as on the outside of food bag or carton, are defined as indirect contact. Finally, incidental contact substances are those that rarely contact food and the contact is not purposeful or continuous. For example, food that contacts an extraneous part of a food processing machine where contact is not expected is considered incidental.

There often is confusion with the terms “direct additive” and “indirect additive.” Printing inks and food packaging coatings may be indirect additives, and they may have direct, indirect or incidental contact with the food. This means that they are not intended to become a part of food, but they may in fact do so through some type of food contact. Considering the following regulatory definitions and exclusions helps to clarify the difference:

Migration Data. According to 21 CFR 170.3(e), food additives do not include substances that do not migrate to food. It states: “If there is no migration of a packaging component from the package to the food, it does not become a component of the food and thus is not a food additive.” Thus, if there is acceptable data to show that a substance does not migrate to the food, FDA premarket clearance is not required. These data may be obtained in a variety of ways, from simple calculations to conducting migration studies using food-simulating solvents.

Functional Barriers. Often, a food packaging supplier will mention that a functional barrier excludes substances from becoming a component of food. This concept dictates that if a substance is not part of the food contact surface and is separated from the food by a barrier that prevents migration of the substance into food, then the substance is not a food additive and is excluded from the FFDCA definition of food additives. Establishing the existence of a functional barrier should include either migration testing or structural analysis using anticipated exposure conditions.

Housewares Exemption. Food packaging suppliers may rely on the “housewares exemption” to exempt their coating from FDA’s premarket clearance authority. There is no statutory or regulatory definition of a “houseware,” and FDA has not codified a housewares exemption. The definition of a “houseware” has evolved to include cooking utensils, paper cups and plates, plastic eating utensils and tableware. Since it is the responsibility of the producers of housewares to ensure their products are suitable for use with food, a safety determination that includes migration data is strongly recommended by FDA.

Indirect Food Additives Regulations. If a coating is reasonably expected to become a component of food, FDA regulates it, and prior to market introduction, one of these five clearances must be established:

• Substances permitted by an effective FCN. Unlike food additive petitions that resulted in CFR listing, only the submitter and its customers may rely on an effective FCN. Effective FCNs are published on FDA’s website. On rare occasion, FDA may require a food additive petition.

• Substances permitted by regulation in 21 CFR 175, 176, 177, 178.

• GRAS substances as determined by FDA. Many of these substances are listed in 21 CFR Parts 182, 184 and 186, or are published on FDA’s website. Sometimes these substances are only limited to the specific application for which the determination was made.

• GRAS substances as determined by qualified experts without FDA approval or notification. These are commonly referred to as GRAS self-determinations. FDA acknowledges in 21 CFR Part 182.1 that the list of GRAS substances is not exhaustive. This implies that manufacturers are free to make their own determination of safety. This approach, when done thoroughly, includes the depth of chemistry and toxicology data required as part of the FCN process.

• Prior sanction substances or substances that were approved for use before the FFDCA in 1958. The prior-sanctioned status of a substance is a straightforward determination that depends solely on the existence of an appropriate pre-1958 letter from either FDA or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

21 CFR 170.30(6)(g) states: “A food ingredient that is not GRAS or subject to prior sanction requires a food additive regulation promulgated under Section 409 of the Act before it may be directly or indirectly added to the food.” Thus, a substance essentially becomes a food additive only if it fits into one of these categories.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).

As mentioned in 21 CFR 174.5, there are GMPs that apply to indirect food additives, which also should be considered. In particular, GMP guidelines require that the quantity of indirect additive that is used is not more than is reasonably required to accomplish the intended physical or technical effect in the food contact article. The substance must be of a suitable purity for the intended use and must not impart an adverse taste or odor to a food product. Several of the CFR sections contain references to quality assurance tests, such as 175.300, 175.320 and 176.170. It should be noted that these tests are less rigorous than the testing required for a FCN.

Regulations Applicable to Inks and Coatings
21 CFR has two parts that directly apply to many inks and coatings, Parts 175 and 176. The former, Part 175, Indirect Food Additives: Adhesives and Components of Coatings, includes four regulations with broad utility. These are

• 175.105: Adhesives for use as components of articles intended for use in packaging, transporting or holding food.

• 175.125: Pressure-sensitive adhesives for use as the food contact surface of labels and/or tapes applied to food.

• 175.300: Resinous and polymeric coatings intended as the food contact surface of articles intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting or holding food. These are coatings that must be continuous coatings and, in many cases, may be crosslinked.

• 175.320: Resinous and polymeric coatings for polyolefin films. This lists substances that may be used as continuous coatings over polyolefin films listed elsewhere in the CFR.

Part 176, Indirect Food Additives: Paper and Paperboard Components, includes many regulations, two of which are of general interest to ink and coating applications for food packaging. Substances identified in these regulations may be safely used as components of the uncoated or coated food contact surface of paper and paperboard intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting or holding of food. Part 176.170 applies to surfaces exposed to aqueous and fatty foods. Part 176.180 applies to surfaces exposed to dry foods.

The regulation in Part 176.170: Components of Paper and Paperboard in Contact with Aqueous and Fatty Foods, is divided into two sections. Section (a)(5) contains a list of substances that may be used without meeting quality assurance tests, as long as they follow the limitations mentioned in the section. While this is a long list, the substances listed have limited use in ink and coating applications. Most of the substances are for use in papermaking or to achieve specific paper properties. Section (b)(2) contains a list of substances that may be used, but that also must meet the quality assurance tests mentioned in Paragraph (d) of this section. These tests require that the extractives do not exceed 0.5 mg/in2 of food contact surface. For various food types and temperatures, there are different solvents and extractive conditions to model the application. Tables detailing both food types and conditions of use are found in this regulation at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~rdb/opa-fcn3.html.

Also of interest is Part 176.180, which addresses components of paper and paperboard in contact with dry food. Dry foods are Type VIII and IX foods as mentioned in Table 1 of 176.170. Substances listed in this regulation are not required to meet quality assurance test limits.

Determining FDA Status
Coatings and inks manufacturers and food packaging purchasers can take several steps to gather information to determine whether substances are considered food contact or additives, or not. First, the substrate identity (paper, polyolefin, polyester, etc.) of the substance should be determined, and then the use conditions (microwave cooking, room temperature, etc.). Next, food types to which the coating may be exposed should be identified. For general purpose applications, such as paper plates, this will include all food types. The supplier of the food contact substance should provide information on FDA clearances for each coating ingredient. If they cannot supply this information, the coating manufacturer should be very cautious about using the ingredient.

In addition, the presence of a functional barrier between the coating and food will help determine its proper application and use. If an acceptable functional barrier exists, the coating is prevented from migrating to food. Therefore, it is not reasonably expected to become a component of food, and is not subject to regulation. In the absence of a functional barrier, the next step is to review the substrate, use conditions, and food types and determine if all components are permitted for use under these conditions. If they do not conform, or if the restrictions are not acceptable for the application, the coating must either be reformulated with substances that are acceptable, or migration studies must be conducted to determine safety.

Migration studies should be performed as described in FDA’s chemistry and toxicology guidance documents to assure that the testing is acceptable for supporting a safety determination. If there is no migration, the ink or coating does not become a part of the food, under the test conditions, and is not a food additive. At this point, the coating manufacturer has two options: File a FCN with the FDA, or if a coating substance(s) is extracted, take actions to determine the potential exposure. If the exposure is low, the manufacturer can either file a FCN or make a GRAS self-determination. If too much substance is extracted, the ink or coating ingredient is not appropriate for the intended application and should not be used.

For an in depth look at Food Packaging Inks and Coatings as they relate to compliance please visit the FDA’s website.

Article written by By Lisa Barrientez and Paul Strege and published by Food Safety Magazine

What Sets UV, Aqueous and Laminates Apart?

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 1.50.00 PMGraphic finishers and commercial printers alike have constantly dealt with the challenges of matching the right coating or laminate with the printed sheet. Many factors are involved in this decision that can affect the outcome of the project. And while no set rules exist on choosing one over the other, there are specific advantages and disadvantages of each process that can help determine the best overall choice.

Ultra-Violet Coatings
UV is a very popular coating choice due mostly to the high gloss finish one can achieve, adding a brilliance to the finished sheet unlike any other coating method. UV coatings also provide good resistance to solvents and abrasion – much better than most water-based coatings. Because of its high sheen, UV coatings are popular on a wide variety of consumer products, including paperback books, trading cards, and cosmetic packaging.

However, UV coatings are not the best choice for all applications. Special precautions are necessary, especially when hot stamping foil, scoring, folding, or gluing is involved. Certain types of UV coatings can also cause cracking problems if the sheet or carton is to be scored and folded. UV coatings are a challenge when foil stamping is involved as well. If the coating has a high level of silicone, hot stamping foils will simply not adhere. Even special UV coatings without a heavy silicone addition are difficult in many situations. It is suggested to foil stamp first and then apply the UV coating to avoid potential problems. Even in this scenario, the foil stamper should check with its foil supplier to choose a foil that is overcoatable.

In addition, UV coatings have been known to yellow over long periods of time and are highly susceptible to fingerprinting. Environmental concerns also surround the use of UV coatings. Although very little waste is left to dispose of when applying UV, what is left is very toxic. Special arrangements are necessary to dispose of this waste.

Aqueous Coatings
Probably the number one advantage of aqueous coating is the cost savings you can achieve – especially in sheet-fed applications. Aqueous coatings are very user-friendly when additional finishing is necessary as well. They work efficiently over most printing process inks, wet over wet or in some cases, wet over dry. They also accept many glues and are very receptive to hot stamping foil.

Aqueous coating is promoted as environmentally friendly. There is a small percentage of solid waste (about 10%) left from an aqueous run and should still be handled with some precautions. It is certainly the environmental choice when compared to UV or film lamination.

Thermal Film Lamination
When protecting the printed sheet or carton from abrasion, chemicals, or even when fingerprinting is of utmost importance, film lamination is the best choice without exception.  Film lamination is available in several matte and gloss finishes and can even be applied with a special embossed roller that leaves a textured pattern over the laminated sheet.

As the number one advantage of aqueous coatings is the cost savings, a major deterrent to the use of film lamination is the price. High volume production of many packaging applications prohibits the use of thermal lamination because of the expense of the film itself and the slower off-line application used to apply the film compared to UV or water-based coatings. In addition, certain types of film laminates have a very low dyne count, meaning the surface tension of the sheet restricts the adhesion of other finishing processes, including hot stamping foils and glues. In the past, the film was corona treated, providing an acceptable surface. The challenge was that the corona treatment would wear off over a period of time. Special films have now been developed with a permanent chemical additive that will readily accept hot stamping foils and glues. If you have questions on the overstampability of the film, it may be wise to consider foil stamping before laminating the sheet.

As you can see, a great deal of analysis must go into the decision when choosing between UV coating, aqueous coating, and film lamination. From a graphic finisher’s point of view, you might think steering your customer towards UV or lamination (because you offer the service and know aqueous will be applied in-line) is the best choice. This certainly is not the right approach for long-term growth with the customer. Helping printers or other customers you work with analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the different coatings and laminates available and helping them match the right choice with the right application will solidify your position with the customer. Suggesting aqueous over UV when the application warrants it, will translate to a happier customer and a longer lasting relationship for the future.

Editorial by FSEA.com

Soft Feel Coatings Enhance Haptic Feel

soft feel coatingsSoft Feel coatings, also known as Soft Touch® are manufactured to create a smooth, leathery surface and enhance tactile appeal of printed substrates like paper, film and foil including nylon, PET and OPP. Soft Feel coatings dry quickly and are non-yellowing, offering a lasting, finished look in end use applications. Often used to deliver high clarity and matte muted graphics, these aqueous coatings offer a luxurious, sophisticated look while providing a scuff and mar resistant barrier to printed substrates.

Soft Feel Coatings and Graphic Arts 

Known for excellent print receptivity, Soft Feel coatings are a popular option for darker color palettes, making them appear muted and offering a rich, more luxurious finished look. Soft Feel coatings are generally applied to a semi or high gloss surface, to avoid flattening of the printed graphics post-production. Receptive to a wide variety of inks, these coatings are manufactured to work well with solvent borne, water based, UV and offset inks.

Soft Feel coatings are applied in-line during the printing process and protect the substrate from abrasion. Converters use Soft Feel coatings to avoid purchasing secondary matte films to achieve the same matte look and feel. Film laminates also use Soft Feel coatings to create a scuff and mar resistant clear matte appearance while offering a surface that does not change gloss when scuffed or marred like traditional aqueous matte coatings.

Soft Feel coatings are commonly used for end use applications like:

  • Printed marketing materials
  • Food & beverage product packaging
  • Over laminate films
  • Book cover paper stock

For more information about aqueous Soft Feel coatings, please contact Roymal, Inc. at roymal@roymalinc.com or by calling (603) 863-2410.


Understanding Aqueous Coatings

Aqueous Coatings: Defined.

waterbased coatings, custom coatings

A lot of people are confused about what aqueous coatings are and their advantages for users. For a long time, it was industry standard to use varnish as coating and it was thought of as good enough. Aqueous coatings were introduced to the market at the end of the 70s, but they were prohibitively expensive back then.

Also called water based coatings, they were invented and adopted because they are vastly superior to varnish. The finish and quality one gets from aqueous coatings far exceeds anything that is possible with varnish or any other type of coating. It is also better than varnish in many other ways. There is no yellowing problem with time which is a common complaint when it comes to varnish. Ghosting issues are also solved with aqueous coatings and they also do not pose a risk to the environment the way varnish does.

There are many different types of aqueous coatings such as:

High Gloss
If you want a high gloss finish then aqueous coatings will be a great choice for you. They provide a high amount of gloss and also offer press stability, tailored coefficient of friction, and good hot stamp receptivity.

Matte Finish
Aqueous coatings are also available in matte finish with gloss ranges in 5-20° at 60° angles. The clarity and adhesion of these is excellent plus they also have great water and chemical resistance.

Soft Feel
Soft Feel aqueous coatings have a luxurious leather type feel along with excellent rub and mar protection. They are receptive to ink as well as ballpoint pens.

Chemical Resistant
Aqueous coatings can also be made resistant to alkalis, acids, ketenes, alcohols, dry cleaning solvents, acetates, household cleaners as well as automotive fluids.

Controlled C.O.F.
Controlled COF (coefficient of friction) allows a stable COF and are available in both gloss and matte finish.

Heat Resistant
Heat resistant aqueous coatings can survive temperatures up to 450°F (232°C) which makes them ideal for processes involving hot temperatures.

Heat Seal
Heat Seal aqueous coatings can be used to keep the heat locked in and have a dwell time as low as 0.01 to 0.1 seconds and can handle pressure up to 40-0 psi.

Security Coatings
Aqueous coatings can also be used for invisible security purposes and are only visible in certain conditions.

UV Cure
UV (ultraviolet) curable aqueous coatings are specially formulated to act as topcoats and primers.

Print Receptive
These are receptive to many different types of inks such as digital, solvent borne, offset, water based, inkjet and UV.

To learn more about custom aqueous coatings please contact Roymal, Inc. at (602) 2863-2410 or email roymal@roymalinc.com.

Polyurethane Matte Coating Technology for Product Packaging

Polyurethane Matte Coatings and Consumer Perception

Polyurethane matte coatings are becoming increasingly more popular among today’s consumers who are increasingly focused on all natural and organic products. As a result, brand owners, in an effort to differentiate their consumable goods, are looking to emphasize the perception of product quality through matte packaging which is often associated with the perception of natural-ingredient-based products. Aqueous matte coatings are manufactured to deliver a smooth, matte finish, while maintaining a high degree of color retention and offering several additional features and benefits.

Polyurethane Matte Coatings Offer a Unique Finish

Roymal’s custom polyurethane matte coatings are engineered to impart reduced gloss and a soft, luxurious feel, while also maintaining a high degree of color retention. This polyurethane coating technology and unique polymer design can help packaging professionals create a distinctive finish and provide a “natural” aesthetic to the product packaging. Roymal’s polyurethane matte coating performance, compared to existing matte coating alternatives in the marketplace, offer a distinct look, feel and performance.

The physical properties of polyurethane matte coatings promote a number of features and benefits valuable to converters, packagers, and brand owners, including:

  • Low gloss
  • Excellent clarity
  • Consistent matting from all angles when viewing a package
  • Pleasant aesthetics and a soft haptic feel
  • Excellent print receptivity
  • Heat-resistance suitable for use in further packaging assembly & processing
  • Excellent mar resistance
  • Superior UV resistance

Polyurethane matte coatings are designed for excellent wear and abrasion resistance on packaging films and surfaces. These coatings are engineered for application using conventional technologies and equipment. Aqueous matte coatings can be applied to printed substrates in either spot or complete package coverage. They offer excellent adhesion to ink, with high quality print definition that creates a smooth matte finish. Roymal’s custom matte coatings are applicable to numerous packaging markets and could be an attractive alternative to several existing options, including:

  • Matte films (embossed and silica-filled polyolefin)
  • Matte solvent based lacquers (silica based)
  • Gloss packaging

For more information about custom aqueous matte coating technology, contact Roymal, Inc. by email at roymal@roymalinc.com or by phone at (603) 863-2410