Pliant Awarded $5.1 Million Government R&D Contracts for Leading Edge Food Packaging

Oct 25, 2004, 01:00 ET from Pliant Corporation

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Harold Bevis, President and CEO
 of Pliant Corporation, announced today that Pliant has been awarded several
 significant R&D contracts from the US government to conduct leading edge
 research on food packaging.
     Bevis said, "Pliant is pleased to have been selected by the US government
 to conduct its important R&D programs with regards to food packaging.  Major
 R&D areas are:
      -- High Barrier Foil Replacement Film Packaging Solutions
      -- Tamper Evident and Traceable Films and Packaging
      -- Preservation of Food Taste and Freshness
     The government is committed to providing safe, healthy, great-tasting food
 for the armed services. The government is also committed to very long shelf
 lives and lowest total cost solutions for its food packaging.  Pliant is
 pleased to be the packaging company selected to conduct this important
 research with them. And there are many, many avenues for commercial food
 packaging applications.  So, this should be a significant benefit for both the
 government and for Pliant's commercial food packaging business."
     Greg Gard, Senior Vice President of Innovation & Technology for Pliant
 Corporation, expounded on the main thrusts of the R&D programs.  "Pliant is
 one of the primary players in food packaging.  We have a vibrant and on-going
 set of development activities to advance our capabilities on a continuous
 basis.  These contracts supplement our commitment and play right into our
 strengths as a leader in food packaging solutions." Gard emphasized the
 significance of each primary research area:
     High Barrier Foil Replacement Film Packaging Solutions - foil is a very
 good solution for certain food packaging solutions but it has certain
 undesirable characteristics in extreme conditions.  Our goal is to mimic the
 barrier characteristics and food packaging characteristics of foil with
 special performance films and constructions. This type of research involves
 the use of nano-composite materials and specific polymer constructions
 imbedded in the films.  It also involves the use of microlaying techniques
 which can produce multilayer films comprised to 50 or more layers.  Today's
 commercial edge for multi-layer films is around 7 or 9 layers.  This takes us
 to an order of magnitude past that level.  The chemistry is extremely
 sophisticated and so are the manufacturing and testing processes.  We are
 researching breakthroughs on multiple fronts.
     Tamper Evident and Traceable Films and Packaging - the government desires
 very long shelf lives for its food portions.  We are developing new materials
 and manufacturing techniques to give 3+ years of shelf life at affordable
 costs.  Additionally, the government wishes food rations to be tamper-evident
 and safe in the new age of bioterrorism.  This type of research involves very
 sophisticated material science and extremely precise manufacturing processes.
 We are studying multiple ways of accomplishing these objectives through the
 use of sensors and indicators.
     Preservation of Food Taste and Freshness - while food & beverages can be
 packaged to be safe and edible for a long period of time, the packaged product
 sometimes loses its taste appeal.  We are researching sophisticated releasers,
 inhibiters, stabilizers and enhancers embedded in the film structures to
 counteract these affects.  Food and beverages should be just as tasty at the
 end of their shelf life as at the beginning.  This type of research involves
 quite a few variables including antioxidants, flavor-enhancers, desiccants and
 sustained-release formats.
     "Pliant has over $500 million of sales into the food industry.  We are
 already one of the major drivers of innovation.  We have one of the broadest
 product portfolios in the industry and conduct a very large, continual in-
 house R&D program.  Across the company, we conduct over 7,000 new samples and
 new trials per year.  To support these activities, we have 2 large R&D centers
 and pilot plants and a sophisticated corporate lab.  We have had excellent
 success carrying over our technology breakthroughs into commercial success.
 We are expanding our development efforts and our production capacity in all of
 these areas.  We look forward to accomplishing the objectives of these R&D
 programs," said Bevis.
     Pliant Corporation is a leading producer of value-added films and flexible
 packaging products for food, beverage, personal care, medical, material
 handling and bulk shipping. The Company operates 24 manufacturing facilities
 around the world and employs approximately 3,100 people.
     For more information, please contact Greg Gard, Pliant's Senior Vice
 President of Innovation & Technology, at (715) 720-3139 or visit .
     This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which are made
 pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements involve risks and
 uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the Company's ability to fulfill
 its obligations under the agreements and meet milestones thereunder,
 successful completion of product research and development, the success of
 product tests and commercialization risks.  Further information regarding
 these and other risks is described from time to time in the Company's filings
 with the SEC.

SOURCE Pliant Corporation