The development by Hinterkopf suggests that packaging innovators are responding to expectations of the approaching industry boom of digital printing use, which allows for efficient smaller print-runs, and offers novel features for branding and design.
According to market research firm MarketsandMarkets, the cosmetic packaging machinery market value is projected to reach $2,510.0 million by 2018, and estimates suggest that digital printing will account for 18% of all printed material by 2016.
Out with the old
The trend for digital printing responds to increasing industry demand for streamlined supply chains with less reliance on warehouses and big print runs.
For example, although the overall volume of aerosol units sold is increasing, the rising demand for late-differentiation in these products means that individual order sizes are decreasing. Brands increasingly want to manufacture smaller batches of product on-demand.
Digital printing by-passes the plate-alignment and cleaning time constraints which hinder change-over times in traditional printing processes, offering optimised supply-chain efficiency.
It allows high quality image resolution up to 1200ppi, and opens up the spectrum of possible colours from 12 in a traditional off-set machine, to 3 million.
In the case of Hinterkopf's printer the ‘D240’, the company claims it to be the first of its type capable of printing directly onto hollow cylinders, including aerosol canisters, tubes and cans which can be made from laminate, plastic, steel or aluminum.
"It prints solid colour or colour-fading from 100% to 0, which previously was difficult to achieve by digital printers," company MD Alexander Hinterkopf told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.
The managing director adds that the technology features a 360 degree printing capability, which he reckons will be of interest to brands looking to protect their products from counterfeiting insecurity.
“Big brands want to have production security, and to see their products diversify into different markets, so we believe the time is coming now for digital printing,” Hinterkopf concluded.