New technology from Pantec enables 3D images to be printed on shrink sleeves, writes the company’s application engineer Berat Abazi.
The demand for shrink sleeves packaging is continuously growing. Brand owners are looking for new embellishments for this kind of packaging to attract customers’ attention. It is well known, and studies have proven, that haptic effects are the best embellishment option to gain attention. Unfortunately, haptic effects can hardly be achieved on shrink sleeves. Embellishing shrink sleeves with 3D images is an innovative alternative.
Shrink sleeves offer 360 degree decoration, which guarantees a high level of attention on the sales shelf. Shoppers are generally attracted to the intense colors on shrink sleeves. Now, embellishing shrink sleeves with 3D single images from hot foils offers another great advantage. The 3D effect of this innovative embellishing option encourages the customer to take the product in their hands, which drastically increases the chance of purchase. In addition, 3D individual images can also be used to counteract product counterfeiting, as copying such images is very difficult.
For a perfect appearance, the 3D image must act as an integral part of the overall design. Therefore, these special effect images are customizable to the requirements of the brand. For example, logo elements or key visuals can be perfectly integrated into the design and become the focal point on the packaging through the 3D effect. The creation of the design takes place in close cooperation between brand owner, designer, foil supplier and Pantec.
In recent years, Pantec GS Systems has been intensively exploring the application of single images using the hot foil process. In doing so, Pantec has adapted its established rotary hot foil technology to the special requirements of shrink sleeves applications. In addition to some adjustments on the equipment, the definition of the correct process parameters was crucial. Pantec’s rotary technology enables the application of up to 20 images per second with multiple foil streams and individual positioning of each image. Thus, the foils with the individual images are optimally utilized, which is not only cost-effective but also sustainable. This sustainability can only be achieved with hot foil stamping.
For such a project to be completed efficiently and successfully, good coordination between brand owner, designer, the supplier of the foil with the 3D images and the printer is essential. Pantec offers not only the know-how in process technology but also the coordination between the different stakeholders. A key aspect of the development of an extraordinary design for shrink sleeves is to define the limits of feasibility and thus the economic feasibility.
The embellishment of shrink sleeves with 3D single images is particularly interesting for FMCG products. On the one hand, this innovative finishing will make the product stand out on the shelf and on the other hand, the initial costs for the production of the 3D images can be spread over a large quantity. To make it economical, several million images should be needed over the lifetime of the product.
The development and manufacturing of the embossing tool is straightforward for this application. Only a standard tool in the dimension of the image is needed. Pantec also offers its experience in the preparation of the necessary information for the tool manufacturer and can coordinate the entire package – the printer only needs to unpack the hot stamping tool, mount it onto the machine and start the production.
The shrink sleeve market is growing internationally and taking an ever larger share of the packaging market. With the embellishment through 3D image effects, it is now possible to make shrink sleeves even more visible on the shelf and attractive for the customer with eye-catching design effects.