Digital printing technology being introduced by packaging manufacturer Orora Beverage is taking aluminium can decoration to the next level.
It will allow brand owners to unleash their imaginations when it comes to colour, texture and finish and enable smaller quantity runs than currently possible, Orora’s General Manager of Beverage Cans, Chris Smith, said.
“This technology allows for direct-to-can printing, so it not only speeds up the process so clients can see the product in real time and request quick artwork enhancements, but it also allows for a huge spectrum of digital printing ability, previously not available,” he said.
“The potential is huge for customers who may want to do a limited-edition run if they’re promoting a new product or celebrating an occasion such as a sporting event or a grand final.
“With infinite colour and varnishes and the most flexible decoration options available, the possibilities are endless, and the results will certainly give shoppers something to talk about when choosing beverages off the shelf.”
The high-speed digital printer, from global provider Velox, is the first of its type in Oceania and will dramatically boost Orora’s existing in-house design and decoration capability.
Called Helio, the new design service — being introduced to the company’s Dandenong site late next year — will be able to deliver up to 500 cans a minute.
There have been other developments at the Dandenong site.
A second manufacturing line that can produce aluminium cans of varying sizes, from the slim 250ml to the standard 500ml, has been introduced and is set to increase production capacity by about 10 per cent.
Demand for multi-size cans from craft, RTD (ready-to-drink) and traditional and non-alcoholic beer brands has exploded in the past five years, Mr Smith said.
“There is still strong demand for the standard size, but we've really noticed a trend for slim and sleek cans to accommodate new product categories that weren’t a consideration a few years back,” he added.
“Sugar and/or alcohol-free beverages like kombucha, sparkling water and the like have become increasingly popular as people make healthier choices, and these lend themselves to that slimmer line.”
Orora has also increased capacity and warehousing for production at its Ballarat facility.
“It’s all happening,” Mr Smith said.
Orora Limited (parent company of Orora Beverage) has been a member of Ai Group since 1937.
“We appreciate the value Ai Group brings across a range of areas, from access to professional development opportunities, insights into topical industry issues and support with advancing our position on important industry matters.” — Carolyn Coon, General Manager, Corporate Affairs and Communications, Orora Limited
Wendy Larter is Ai Group's Communications Manager. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a reporter, features writer, contributor and sub-editor for newspapers and magazines including The Courier-Mail in Brisbane and Metro, News of the World, The Times and Elle in the UK.