The new INNOCAN™ technology - Digital Off-set printing for cans

Introducing a new collaboration between ACTEGA, Brasilata Labs & HP Indigo:

INNOCAN™ finally makes digital offset printing a reality for can makers

Bremen, April 17, 2023 – Exciting news for the can making industry: the fruitful collaboration between Brasilata Labs, HP Indigo and ACTEGA brings the long-awaited digital-offset print to this market by developing the INNOCAN™ technology.

For years it has been a challenge for can makers to print short and medium runs with special designs for high marketing efficiency, since shorter runs are usually associated with high costs. At the same time, the market for smaller can volumes is growing, as personalized designs are highly demanded by customers, especially brand owners and private labels. The innovative and cost-effective INNOCAN™ technology offers a high throughput solution, with lamination of high quality, digitally printed film over tinplate.
INNOCAN™ was created by Brasilata Labs and ACTEGA to disrupt the traditional can decoration process with the digital capabilities of HP Indigo digital offset presses. Their collaborative endeavor brings serialization, personalization, high marketing efficiency, and low to medium runs to the can making industry. “These capabilities could only be found in the paper and labeling industry up until now”, said Gabriel Zaragüeta, CEO, Brasilata Labs. “We are proud of our cooperation with great companies such as ACTEGA and HP Indigo, and we see a promising bright future for INNOCAN™. This is the technology the industry has been seeking for a long time, and it presents a leaner, cleaner, and better way to print on cans”.
INNOCAN™ combines ACTEGA’s expertise in coating technologies with the coating process expertise from Brasilata and HP Indigo’s specialized knowledge in offset-quality digital printing and inks. “ACTEGA is proud to be part of the INNOCAN™ project”, said Wilfried Lassek, Senior VP Metal Packaging at ACTEGA. “INNOCAN™ makes high speed offset digital printing a reality for the can making industry. Each can is unique and impressive, thanks to its offset-quality digital print on laminated film. This new development is another example of ACTEGA’s customer-centered innovation”, Lassek added.
The proprietary and patent-pending method works on 3-piece cans such as aerosol, food and general line, while meeting the protection and migration standards of decoration material upheld by the industry. For up to 50,000 1 liter cans (2,400 sheets) this innovative and sustainable method enables reduction in printing costs, according to Brasilata. For more than 50,000 cans, the cost difference is negligible while the INNOCAN™ image quality is sharper and the digital offset technology creates ornate printing with a variety of available finishing options. The printing ink from HP Indigo is food compliant, and compatible with various cans and applications: welded or folded cans, expanded cans and aerosol cans.

“HP Indigo brings to this exciting collaboration the inherent digital printing benefits such as short-runs, variable data printing and full serialization of products, as well as a rich portfolio of inks, brand protection solutions, graphics generators for brand campaigns and more”, said Gidi Amir, Innovation and IP strategist, HP Indigo. “We are delighted to bring our market-leading digital print technology to yet another domain, opening new business opportunities in can making, with just-in-time production and zero inventory.”

The INNOCAN™ technology:

The process of the INNOCAN™ includes preparing the metal sheet for lamination, printing on the thermoactive side of a thermal lamination film, and laminating it onto the metal sheet:

1. Preparing the metal sheet for the lamination process:

Preparing the metallic substrate with coatings specifically developed jointly by ACTEGA do Brasil. The sheet can be activated with heat, promoting the adhesion of the pre-printed polymeric film.

2. Printing with a digital offset press on the thermoactive side of a lamination film:

The polymeric film printed by the HP Indigo digital press is then applied onto the metallic substrate.

3 Laminating onto the metal sheet:

Exposure of the material (metallic substrate and applied polymeric film) to heat to promote adhesion.

For a live presentation, visit the ACTEGA booth at the METPACK 2023 (02.05. to 06.05.2023, Hall 3, Booth 3C55) in Essen, Germany, where all three companies will be present.