Tonejet to show Cyclone can printer

Tonejet, which makes advanced electro-static drop-on-demand digital print engines, will be demonstrating its Cyclone inkjet printing direct to drinks cans at the InPrint show in Munich, next month.

Tonejet worked with Anheuser-Busch InBev to print 10000 customised cans like this with 15 different designs in runs ranging from 1400 to 15 cans.

The machine at the show will be the first fully-featured production machine. It uses a unique electrostatic drop on demand system that allows for high speed printing to a wide range of substrates without pretreatment. It uses concentrated pigmented inks in an oil carrier liquid that can produce a very thin layer of less than 0.5 micron, which should prevent cracking or flaking of the ink while the subject is shaped, formed and bent, which is an obvious requirement for metal and flexible film packaging. Tonejet claims this combination also allows for a running cost simiar to conventional analogue printing.

It features a Rockwell iTRAK transport system that’s integral to removing the barriers associated with small batch canning. Marvin Foreman, Sales Manager at Tonejet, explained: “This system brings a new level of competitiveness to beverage can production for short to medium runs as well as ultra-short runs.”

He added: “Built to accommodate any design at any run length, Tonejet’s direct-to-can printing capabilities provides brands with an opportunity to manage special or one-off print runs and easily accommodate for events or festivals, social media campaigns and competitions or even limited-edition beverages.”

There’s no need for a minimum order and the system can print multiple jobs without stopping, which should reduce the product time-to-market. Tonejet claims that the cost per print is comparable to traditional can decorating processes

Back in July Tonejet worked with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, to produce 10,000 customised cans for the Tomorrowland music festival. This included 15 different can designs featuring national flags in runs ranging from 1400 to 15 cans.


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