At a ceremony held during the ALUMINIUM CHINA 2017 exhibition in Shanghai, the first ever winners of the prestigious Alufoil Trophy competition to be held in China, which was launched in 2016, were announced. Sixteen aluminium foil products and solutions from 13 companies were awarded an Alufoil Trophy China.
Alufoil Trophy China 2017, co-organized by the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNFA) and the Global Aluminium Foil Roller Initiative (GLAFRI) and supported by EAFA, the European Aluminium Foil Association and Reed Exhibitions received more than 50 entries from over 30 companies. These covered aluminium foil rolling and application products, including aluminium foil containers and flexible packaging for medical and food packaging, as well as household appliances and applications for the electronics, electrical, construction and automotive industries.
The awards ceremony was attended by many senior representatives from aluminium foil manufacturers, aluminium foil product suppliers, aluminium foil users and the news media. Speaking during the awards ceremony, Dong Chunming, GLAFRI Coordinator in China, told the audience, “China’s aluminium foil industry, through this event, can better show aluminium foil’s capabilities, as well as demonstrating a responsible and sustainable product image. It also addresses some of the challenges facing aluminium foil, as well as delivering a positive and dynamic ‘voice’ for the sector.”
“In addition, the Alufoil Trophy China shows the wider community the diverse applications of aluminium foil and the Chinese industry’s innovative abilities. The competition promotes sustainable production and adds momentum to ‘greener’ consumption,” he added.
Dong Chunming announced the winners of the awards on behalf of the jury, which comprised seven experts from the industry selected by the sponsors. Awarding the trophies were: Zhang Jilin, Vice chairman and secretary general of CNFA; Yang Yunbo, deputy secretary general and director of Light Metal Department, CNFA; and Guido Aufdemkamp, Executive Director of EAFA, who also spoke to the winners about their achievements.
Entry categories for Alufoil Trophy China were the same as for the European Alufoil Trophy. Winners in each category were:
Marketing & Design:
Ningbo Times Aluminium Foil Technology: Heat sealed Eco-friendly Aluminium Foil Container for G20 Summit Qingdao Wohler Household Products: Cooking Recipe with Aluminium Foil – Marketing Design for Promoting Retail and Consumption of Products Hunan New Xiangwei Packaging: Customized Aluminium Foil Packages with Unique Printing Technology
Hangzhou Qunle Packaging: Aluminium Foil Membrane-Seal Composite Can Shanghai Ashburn Aluminium Foil Products: Four Compartment Aluminium Foil Food Combo Pan Jiaxing Jinxin Al Container: Smooth-wall Aluminium Foil Container
Kunshan Aluminium: Ultra-thin Aluminium Foil for Instant Noodles Luoyang Longding Aluminium: Efficiently-produced High Quality 3004 Alloy Aluminium Foil for Making Food Containers Yunnan Haoxin Aluminium Foil: Casting 0.009mm Double Light Aluminium Foil for Current Collection in Lithium Ion Batteries
Yantai Donghai Aluminium Foil and Greatview Aseptic Packaging: High-Quality Light Gauge Aluminium Foil for Diverse Aseptic Packs Jiangsu Hanlin Pharmaceutical Packaging: New Type of Paper/PTP/ Aluminium Foil Ningbo Times Aluminium Foil Technology: Heat Sealed Aluminium Foil Container for Boiled Crawfish
Yunnan Haoxin Aluminium Foil: Ultra Thin Aluminium Foil for Power Capacitor (4/4.5mm) Kunshan Aluminium: Ultra-wide Aluminium Foil Insulation Jiangsu Dare Aluminium Industry: 0.0045mm Power Capacitor Aluminium Foil
Jury Special Award
Qingdao Wohler Household Products: Retail Market Development of a Range of Aluminium Foil Containers and Household Foil Rolls
Summary of winning packs and applications
Commenting on the entries the judges said, “We are very pleased to see such diverse range of colourful, innovative applications and solutions using aluminium foil”.
“Those companies recognized with the award of a Trophy represent an advanced level of aluminium foil production and manufacturing, showing the progress of the Chinese industry and reflect where developments and trends are leading the aluminium foil market. Winning products were mainly based on the domestic market, highlighting the advantages of aluminium foil materials in sustainable consumption, resource conservation and emerging industries,” explained the judges.
A major highlight of the winning entries were four products using aluminium foil as lunch boxes and food containers. This is an area of the market which has seen faster growth in recent years in domestic applications. In particular one winning entry, an environmentally friendly, heat seal aluminium foil container, was used during the recent G20 summit in Hangzhou.
Chinese requirements for health and safety at large international events mean that containers made from paper or plastic packaging are unsuitable for heating to the correct temperature. Alufoil containers prove to be an ideal solution and were widely used at the meeting. They are already popular in most large cities in China, for catering, schools and hospitals canteens, as well as take-away snacks, to enhance food safety.
Another winning pack, which also uses heat sealable aluminium foil containers, was for delicious and spicy crawfish, a popular food in the domestic market. These packs have enabled the sales cycle of the crawfish, formerly supplied from June to September, to be extended to all year round.
Other winning pack styles include a digitally printed personalized pouch which can offer a unique code for each pack and provides differentiation for brands and customers; an aseptic pack comprised of an aluminium foil laminate which showed, through quality improvement, the ability to use thinner gauges without loss of barrier properties and so improve resource efficiency; plus instant noodle packaging; pharmaceutical packaging; and composite-can sealing offering product safety, health, and consumer convenience.
Industrial applications also featured strongly with Trophies being awarded for ultra-wide foil composite insulation products aimed at the international construction market; ultra-thin 4-4.5mm aluminium foil power capacitors for UHV grid capacitors; and aluminium foil for lithium ion batteries which have found increasing domestic applications in the last two years. Indeed, the explosive growth of lithium ion batteries in, for example, new energy vehicles and mobile phones, has led to domestic foil makers developing high quality aluminium foils, replacing the imported ones, for battery power storage devices.
Opportunities for Chinese alufoil sector
Speaking during the ceremony Zhang Jilin, Vice chairman and secretary general of CNFA, said that although China is the world's largest aluminium foil producer and consumer, there is still a big gap between China's per capita consumption of aluminium foil compared with the developed countries. “This is a major opportunity for the sector,” he considered.
“Alufoil Trophy China 2017 is of great significance, and can be a positive guiding influence for domestic consumption with high reference value. It helps to promote the advantages of aluminium foil in everyday life and opens up a new ‘ocean’ of possibilities to help find new areas for foil applications,” he added.
At the awards Dong Chunming revealed data about aluminium foil which illustrated the importance of continuing to expand the aluminium foil market domestically. According to Sunlight Metal Consulting, China’s aluminium foil, in terms of capacity, output, export and consumption, is ranked first in the world.
Chinese aluminium foil production grew from 760kt in 2006 to 3400kt in 2016, which means national output accounts for about 65% of the global total. Exports increased from 186kt in 2006 to 1080kt in 2016. Home consumption ramped up from 640kt in 2006 to 2400kt in 2016.
However, he explained, in the past two years, due to the decline in property values and so slower infrastructure investment growth, consumption of aluminium foil declined in such traditional segments as thermal transmission, construction and structural applications, electricity, and electronics.
Although Chinese exports of aluminium foil is still growing, it is facing anti-dumping tariffs from the EU, India and the United States, so the continued further growth of exports will encounter challenges, according to Dong Chunming.
Under these conditions, adjusting the product offering, developing new products, tapping new application markets and expanding domestic demand is becoming more urgent for China’s aluminium foil industry, he considers.
Under these new economic realities, the Alufoil Trophy China 2017 should bring some vitality into the aluminium foil industry supply chain, encouraging and guiding enterprises and professionals to develop new products, explore new markets, realize innovation-driven development, and build a new model for industrial expansion. “We hope this event will become an engine for market development and an accelerator of both industrial growth and value chain promotion!” he concluded.