Digital inkjet manufacturer Tonejet is set to launch an upgraded version of its two-piece Can and Tube Digital Decorator, which can now print onto necked cans.
The Cambridge-based firm will show the updated direct-to-cylinder device for the first time at InPrint in Milan, which will take place from 15 to 17 November. The machine, which can print on up to four cans per minute, will be commercially available immediately from the show.
The device uses Tonejet’s nozzleless electrostatic ink droplet projection system and its printheads can produce a super thin sub-micron print layer thickness.
The firm said the technology provides a cost-effective way to produce short-run unique and personalised packaging and its new ability to print directly to fully converted necked cans, which are fully-formed and shaped, makes it suitable for special event beverages and products where market agility is key.
The previous version of the machine, which printed onto straight-walled cans, has been used by customers in both the US and Europe and has been particularly successful in the craft beer market.
Tonejet sales manager Marvin Foreman said the ability to print onto necked cans means users can now buy finished blank cans and then label them with the device.
“This is being done already but they are being labelled by either pressure sensitive labels or shrink sleeves, nothing has been printed directly onto the cans before now, which is what our technology allows for.”
He added: “The beverage market for independent beers and small batch product continues to rise, with larger drinks producers now regularly producing unique short-to-medium run beverages too.
“This, coupled with the many advantages of canning a beverage, means that digital can printing is recognised as the key to unlocking huge new business potential for brewers, beverage manufacturers and investors alike.”