Actega USA (Cinnaminson, NJ, with locations in Mississauga, ON and Laval, QC), a leading manufacturer of specialty coatings, inks, adhesives and sealing compounds for the print and packaging industry, has launched Signite – “a revolutionary Actega-patented premium quality decorating solution designed to significantly reduce waste in label production.” Depending on the decoration design, the new technology can reduce label waste by over 50% compared to a similar-footprint, pressure-sensitive label by eliminating 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.
Signite decorations comprise substantially less material mass than alternative options such as pressure-sensitive labeling and shrink sleeves. The company also added that the new alternative “is much more accommodating to current recycling processes and the expanding brand-led container re-use programs beginning to dominate single-use glass packaging throughout the world. The ground-breaking Signite decorations represent a bold new 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, decorations are produced using slightly reconfigured narrow-web flexo or hybrid digital printing processes running at standard narrow-web printing speeds. Small to mid-sized brands have the potential to utilize these new or modified variations of their printing assets immediately, allowing for relatively seamless scaling of their decoration production as the Signite technology continues to commercialize, the company pointed out.
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 that 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 Actega’s technology roadmap – and according to Actega 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,” said Anthony Carignano, Actega Technical Director of Marketing for Signite. “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. 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. 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 benefitting from this solution will therefore include producers of craft-distilled spirits, micro-sized 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,” explained Carignano.