Depending on the decoration design, the technology can currently reduce label waste by over 50% compared to a similar footprint pressure sensitive label by elimination the label matrix, reducing the decoration thickness to about a third of that of a typical clear pressure sensitive label and eliminating label media plastic in non-print areas.
Furthermore, with Signite decorations comprising less material mass than alternative modalities, such as pressure sensitive labeling and shrink sleeves, this alternative is more accommodating to current recycling processes and the expanding brand led container reuse programs beginning to dominate single-use glass packaging throughout the world, the company says. The Signite decorations represent an alternative to “no-label look” labels, bringing the look and feel of direct to container screen or digital printing with the efficiency of pressure sensitive labeling. Today, the decorations are produced using slightly reconfigured narrow web flexo or hybrid digital printing processes running at standard narrow web printing speeds.
Transfer of the Signite decorations to containers requires designed-for-purpose variations of pressure sensitive labeling equipment. The first Signite inline applicators launched into the market address rigid cylindrical containers at lower throughput speeds. Subsequent system designs, which are in different stages of prototype development, will address aluminum and asymmetrical containers along with thin-walled container types requiring inflation for decoration transfer. High speed Signite applicator machines and corresponding decoration media are planned as an inherent part of the technology roadmap and are anticipated to move into prototyping in 2022.
“Brands are taking a leadership position on sustainable packaging solutions, with ambitious waste reduction goals and a drive to increase the efficiency and scale of container recyclability,” explains Anthony Carignano, technical director of marketing – Signite, ACTEGA. “At the same time, these companies are seeking ways to unlock new high-quality label aesthetics and tactile experiences for premium products.
“Signite offers these brands the best possible chance to meet all of these objectives," he adds. "The solution is truly game-changing with no other technology delivering plastic waste reduction on this scale. Plus, as the solution advances and becomes compatible with other production processes, such as digital inkjet, the impact on the industry and ultimately, the environment, will only become more significant.”
Signite has been designed for numerous market sectors and aims in the future to support the high-volume production required by high-profile brands. Today, the solution is ideal for small volume contract decorators and specialty brand owners looking for a substantial differentiator that strengthens their competitive edge.
“In this first phase of the technology’s launch, we have a strong and clear focus on advancing this solution for the glass packaging sector. The end customers initially benefiting from this solution will therefore include producers of craft distilled spirits, micro- or mid-sized winery products, specialty food and non-alcoholic beverages, natural and nutraceutical pharma products, and home glassware, such as candles. With several beta customers already in operation working with glass containers, and additional versions of the technology targeted for rigid PET containers and aluminum beverage cans anticipated over the next few months, we expect the demand for this solution to accelerate its success and rollout across the industry,” says Carignano.