AR Metallizing is at the forefront of technological innovation and has become a world leader in the production of metallised papers, boards, and films for flexible packaging and labels.
AR Metallizing, which is a subsidiary of the Japanese multinational company Nissha, has experienced a highly fruitful decade, in which the company rapidly moved up the value chain. "As an industrial manufacturer of metallised papers that is primarily active in the European market, we have transformed into a global leader that offers customised packaging and labelling solutions," explains AR Metallizing CEO Bart Devos.
Today, the world leader in speciality technical coatings for metallised applications has forged an enviable reputation for producing innovative papers and boards that are widely used in the beverage industry, all while ensuring that brands benefit from having a sophisticated look for their labels and packaging.
From its manufacturing sites in Belgium, Italy, the US and Brazil, it is able to guarantee lean product lead times to an array of clients, including printers, laminators, converters and top-tier end users in the beverage industry.
In a concerted effort to take its activities to the next level, AR Metallizing recently expanded its product portfolio with SilberBoard - a special metallised paperboard for folding boxes. This unique product enables premium brands to get rid of plastics, while still offering consumers glossy and aesthetically appealing packaging.
SilberBoard™ has been hailed by the packaging industry as a revolutionary product that not only helps with meeting the environmental requirements of consumers and state regulatory authorities, but also satisfying industry needs from premium brands in the drinks and beverage market. SilberBoard distinguishes itself by being environmentally friendly, recyclable and repulpable. SilberBoard is, therefore, an innovative, good-looking and sustainable product compared with regular plastic packaging.
"Consumers' buying behaviour shows that packaging needs to look great, reflect brand values and remain functional," Devos states. "This often leads to brands using plastics in their packaging and putting environmental considerations to one side. SilberBoard enables premium brands to maintain, or even improve, their trusted look and feel, without the use of plastics. Brands that have already tried out SilberBoard have reported positive sales results and consumer feedback, and as a result, many of these brands have switched to it permanently."
Marked shifts in consumer priorities have made packaging companies compete to create a product that is environmentally sustainable, without compromising aesthetics. SilberBoard can be seen as an exciting solution that offers dramatic environmental benefits when compared with plastic products, aluminium foil or metallic inks. As well as reducing solid waste, AR Metallizing's SilberBoard benefits Mother Earth by reducing the carbon footprint of the packaging process. "This can be seen in the state -of-the-art production techniques that are adopted when producing SilberBoard, which leverages a process called metallised vacuum vaporisation to cover paper with a microscopic layer of aluminium. This innovative and environmentally friendly process gives brands' packaging a more sophisticated and high-gloss appearance, while eliminating the need for plastics," Devos notes. SilberBoard is a print-ready end product that is easy to work with; it is also compatible with any printing technology, helping to simplify supply chains and reduce the need for shipping.
The development of SilberBoard followed years of extensive R&D, and investments in people and technology. "In order to ensure that our company can continue to grow and stay ahead of the competition, we continue to invest heavily in new product development," Devos adds.
"Furthermore, we have strengthened our global research capabilities, working with scouts in several major countries to identify local trends. As a result of this, we have transformed ourselves into a global customer-focused market leader by offering customised, environmentally friendly packaging and labelling solutions that are actively involved in B2B and B2C supply chains."
Although only recently introduced to the market, SilberBoard has already been honoured with several awards. The most recent of these was at the European Business Awards, where AR Metallizing was selected as one of the ten Ruban d'Honneur recipients in the Environmental and Corporate Sustainability category out of more than 33,000 businesses, which initially entered the competition. In addition, it was also awarded the title of Sustainability Leader of the Year, Packaging Solutions by The New Economy magazine.
"It is our aim to make sure that all brands, wherever they operate, have the opportunity to reduce their ecological footprint, which is why we have worked hard to make SilberBoard available worldwide," Devos says. "Interestingly, we see more interest today for this product in the US than the EU. Although it is often believed that people in the EU are more environmentally conscious than those in the US, we are experiencing quite the opposite. In the US, brands are eager to switch to sustainable packaging and, fortunately, we quite like a challenge here at AR Metallizing; for those reasons, we will continue to expand our export opportunities to service demand for products like SilberBoard. In total, we have developed five different types of SilberBoard to meet various industry demands for attractive and protective packaging; for example, outer-box, gift-wrap, bottle-carrier and cluster-packs packaging."
AR Metallizing expects to grow organically via its increasing product portfolio, and possibly through future acquisitions. The company has seen more demand for customised labelling and packaging solutions, and its R&D team is working closely with its sales and marketing to quickly translate trends and innovative ideas into products.
Looking forward, the company also predicts that there will be an increasing demand for special limited editions, which have proved to be popular and appreciated by customers globally. One of the first projects to be carried out in the early 2010s saw sparkling water producer S. Pellegrino add Bvlgari's logo to its label, marking the jeweller's 125-year anniversary. In a recent example, AR Metallizing worked with label specialists Engelhardt Etikett on Starbucks' festive season red cups, which used in-mould labelling technology.
Devos concludes, "Our aim is to meet and exceed our customers' expectations, in order to help them drive consumer engagement and stand out from the competition on busy store shelves. This has been our core business for more than 40 years and we are proud to continue to do so for an increasing group of customers." Without a doubt, AR Metallizing is a world leader and will continue to surprise its customers with innovative and high-quality products.