Advanced hot and cold foil fresnel lens packaging technology from China will be available for the first time to Western manufacturers and converters as part of a new move from leading supplier, Fresnels Inc. The Shenzen-based sole distributor has introduced the foil products to enable the packaging sector outside of China to have available proven technology that will provide significant efficiency and cost savings benefits.

Current fresnel effects for consumer products are achieved using PET laminates, which cover the whole packaging before being overprinted to leave only the lens showing through. This method can be considerably expensive and wasteful in terms of materials, resulting in a product that can be costly to produce and cannot be recycled due to the high level of PET contained within the bulk of the laminate.

Now, the Fresnel technology coming onto the Western packaging market is seen as a cost effective alternative to laminates, utilising fully metallised or clear fresnel stamping foils that are approved for high-speed machine application and VOC certification.

The technology differs in that it selectively applies the lens only where required, reducing costs and producing an effect that provides an eye-catching display, which also significantly enhances resistance to counterfeiting because it cannot be removed or re-engineered.

The product, which can be quickly and easily recycled, will also be supplemented by improved brand protection and anti-piracy capabilities.

The global market for food and beverage, personal care and pharmaceuticals is expected to be worth almost $100 billion by 2018 but the firm will also be targeting tobacco, confectionary, sports and entertainment goods’ producers looking for innovative packaging solutions with added value appeal.

Fresnels is planning to draw on the experience gained in China supplying large alcohol and tobacco industries as it develops its presence globally.

This will see it utilising its expertise to service the broader Asian market in addition to the opportunities for the technology in America and Europe – the firm believes that global brands need regional supply to secure lower prices and reliance on single sources.

Dr. Glenn Wood, who is heading-up Fresnel's new international push, says: “This is a really exciting development that will for the first time, see genuinely innovative, recyclable low cost added-value foil technology becoming available to packaging firms around the world.

“Leading brands and the packaging industries that service them, want striking and intriguing effects, with security features, to tackle the impact of the grey market, counterfeiters and brand pirates. The effects of fresnel lens, whether radial or free form, provide a unique ability to address these demands.

“Furthermore, the foil is light weight so can easily be shipped around the world for local converting, making it an attractive proposition to markets in the Americas, Europe and wider Asia.”

And in a further new move John Jones, president of Fresnels, says that the company will soon be announcing a collaboration with manufacturers of foil application equipment.