Direct Printing Technology Sets The Tone For Packaging Sustainability
The Cyclone system’s arrival comes at a critical time in Quebec
December 9, 2019
An upstart Quebec specialty printer is aiming to revolutionize Canada’s beverage sector with one-of-a-kind digital printing technology that it claims will provide beverage producers with all the benefits of shortrun digital can decoration without the high cost, waste and recycling headaches that come with traditional labels and shrinksleeves.
Installed at Solucan’s 8,000-square-foot production facility in Trois-Rivières in late fall, the world’s first Tonejet Cyclone direct-to-can digital printing system—manufactured by U.K.-based digital decoration specialists Tonejet Limited—will initially be used to support craft-brewers and other beverage manufacturers in Quebec and along the north-eastern seaboard.
“We are now able to transform a beverage can into a totally digital portal,” says Solucan’s general manager Jean-Francois Gaudreault.
“Linking packaging to the digital world, accessible via your smartphone or laptop, is a total gamechanger that provides a powerful marketing tool.
“In addition to using the space to promote events, marketing promotions, etc., you can include codes to link to augmented reality (AR) apps and even invisible codes and watermarking,” Gaudreault states.
According to Solucan, the Cyclone system’s arrival comes at a critical time in Quebec, where there is significant regulatory pressure to increase packaging sustainability.
With the provincial recycling agency Recyc-Québec starting to enforce new environmental regulations, the plastic film shrinksleeves and pressure-sensitive labels currently used for short-run will ultimately become obsolete when the new standards are fully enforced.
However, beverage cans produced using the digital Tonejet Cyclone system are 100-percent recyclable, Solucan claims, providing a future-proof solution.
“The government is looking for a recyclable solution and we have their support towards development of a better canning solution for the industry,” says Solucan’s president Sebastien Baril.
“Currently, beverage producers wanting to avoid labels have to purchase from the major can manufacturers, whose minimum quantities are far too large for any microbrewer or craft-beer producer that we are working with.
“With the Cyclone, all these issues are addressed,” Baril states. “The system allows us to keep up with changing consumer habits, transforming packaging as we know it.”
Baril relates that Solucan has worked closely with Tonejet over that last four years to develop its digital printing expertise, positioning itself as a leader in leader in the field of digitally-printed packaging.
“We are totally focused on offering a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution to our clients and to their customers,” he states.
Adds Tonejet’s chief executive officer Rod Day: “Now that Solucan have their machine installed, they can offer digital packaging to beverage producers whilst complying with new government regulations.
“At the same time, they will save on material costs, minimize lead times, and achieve better quality than with traditional labels, ” Day states.