“Highly flexible when it comes to bottle design”
The printing heads contain the four basic colours of classical 4C printing, comparable to a standard inkjet office printer: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Two additional printing heads supply white and a transparent primer, which serve to enhance adhesion. The inks in question were developed by Krones, in conjunction with the Marabu company. “This system renders us highly flexible when it comes to bottle design,” explains Christian Bazlen, a media designer and communication specialist by trade. “What’s particularly innovative is the fact that we can print on both solid glass material and on soft, flexible PET with just one inking system – and this we can do without having to modify the machine, i.e. without any make-ready times. Moreover, digital printing is, of course, significantly less costly than screen or pad printing.
We’re making full use of all the design options available, depending on what the bottle is required to look like later on. Here, we can give free rein to our creativity: possibilities galore, ranging from very generic to extremely specific and goal-driven.”
Clean printed image for one-off package designs
Döhler’s customers, who are getting the printed sample bottles, are delighted with this type of design. The wish expressed by the company’s marketing people to present clients with something really special, something visually striking, as soon as they are being sent the first sample bottle, is met to consummate perfection by the DecoType C. “The design work only has to be done once, i.e. when the marketing department creates the labels on the PC,” says an ebullient Christian Bazlen. “Except for the metallic effect, we have the same options as those offered by conventional printing methods.”
Christian Bazlen believes in the future of digital container printing. For him, it is a path-breaking design enhancement of the digital office printer, since this process can be used for printing on three-dimensional shapes. “We wanted to break new ground in regard to sampling, and with the DecoType we’ve hit the bull’s eye. I think that it will in future be possible to use digital printing for decorating any kind of container – not just round ones but also concave, convex or thermoformed bodies; in short: any special-shaped containers. Digital printing thus provides customised package designs with a clean printed image. The technology of the kind that Krones has implemented for us in the DecoType C lab machine can also be employed for higher-speed machines, and could likewise be used in any beverage bottler’s normal production operation.”