BrewBoard prints beer cans with Tonejet

BrewBoard, an independent craft brewer based in Cambridge, UK, has taken advantage of Tonejet’s Cyclone direct-to-can printer to run highly customised low volume campaigns across Cambridge and East Anglia.

From left: Oliver Pugh, co-founder of BrewBoard with Lukas Littva, Tonejet Customer Operations.

Brewboard was founded in 2017 and currently sells six core beers, including ale, lager and a stout, with a number of specials that draw on beer traditions from other countries. Craft beer is a highly competitive world and BrewBoard makes good use of distinctive packaging with unique designs representing the various brews. Digital printing is an obvious fit for relatively low volume production such as targeted campaigns.

Tonejet maintains a printing line for demonstration production runs at its facility in Melbourn, Hertfordshire, which was used for the BrewBoard campaign. Rob Day, CEO at Tonejet, commented: “BrewBoard gives us the perfect opportunity to collaborate with a local partner to expose the full potential of the Cyclone end-to-end model. This is the first of many projects, craft beer is a huge potential market for digital beverage can production.”

Tonejet has developed an electrostatic drop-on-demand print head, which can produce cost-effective, high-quality images at high speeds on virtually any type of substrate. This is the basis of the Cyclone direct to can printer, which I’ve already covered here. This prints at 600 dpi resolution and can produce up to 60 cans per minute. 

Oliver Pugh, co-founder and creative director of BrewBoard, said that “having the flexibility to do small runs will enable us to win business that we might otherwise have not been able to cater for. It reduces lead times making us more competitive. We’re very lucky to be located so close to Tonejet, it was a no-brainer to collaborate with them and we are only at the beginning of our digital journey.”

The Cyclone printer does not use plastic-shrink sleeves, and the materials used are completely recyclable. In addition, Tonejet says that its process uses 90 percent less ink than conventional inkjet systems, largely because it uses a concentrated highly-pigmented ink and lays down a very thin printed layer of less than one micron. 

Pugh said that the low carbon footprint is an important factor, noting: “We are always looking for ways to make our packaging more sustainable, recyclable and environmentally friendly and digitally printed cans fit in with that philosophy.”

You can find further details on the Cyclone can printer from tonejet.com and on the craft beers from brewboard.co.uk.

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