Tetra Pak is to become the first company in the food and beverage carton industry to offer full-color digital printing on its carton packages.
Working in collaboration with Koenig & Bauer, a full-width RotaJET 168 is to be installed at Tetra Pak’s converting plant at Denton, Texas. RotaJET 168 has a minimum web width of 840mm up to a maximum of 1680mm. It has a maximum print speed of 150m/min. The standard RotaJET 168 is designed with a PATRAS M reel transport system, an automatic Pastomat C 1760 reel splicer and an automatic rewinder. It uses RotaColor water-based polymer pigment inks and features an NIR infrared high performance dryer. Piezo-electrically modulated drop-on-demand inkjet printheads allow a native print resolution of 600 dpi, variable droplet sizes, and an optional resolution of 1200 dpi.
The press is currently being built by Koenig & Bauer. Field testing of the new, digitally-printed carton packages is expected to begin in early 2020 with North American customers.
Carmen Becker, president and CEO at Tetra Pak US and Canada, said: ‘Brands continue to look for opportunities to deliver greater customization and personalization of their products. We’re thrilled to offer our customers new and innovative ways to engage with consumers, all while increasing flexibility in the design and order process.’
It is anticipated that the digital printing technology will simplify the complexity of design handling, reducing time from design to print and opening up new opportunities for flexibility in order placement and product customization, according to Tetra Pak. Beverage brands can take advantage of added benefits like dynamic on-package printing and the ability to include a variety of designs within the same order, the company noted.
Charles Brand, executive vice president, product management and commercial operations at Tetra Pak, said: ‘We are committed to helping our customers explore new avenues with a truly “smart” package, supporting their need for product customization, smaller batch sizes, greater traceability and the ability to interact with the consumer. Our investment in this digital printer demonstrates our commitment to support customers with future-proof technologies as the digital revolution transforms the way we all do business.’
Christoph Müller, member of the board of Koenig & Bauer, added: ‘We are absolutely delighted that Tetra Pak has decided in favor of our digital printer. Collaboration between our companies is on an extremely constructive and trusting basis. I am sure that, together, we will significantly change the market for the benefit of Tetra Pak customers.’
Koenig & Bauer and Durst have recently entered into a strategic partnership to advance the development of future-oriented digital printing technology. Through a 50/50 joint venture, the two companies are to pool their know-how and strengths with a focus on the folding carton and corrugated printing markets.