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Digitally printed PET for World Cup bottles

The Martens brewery in Belgium is making good use of direct-to-shape digital printing to get specially designed bottles on the shelves for the soccer World Cup.

One of the many PET bottles digitally printed for the promotion.
One of the many PET bottles digitally printed for the promotion.

To mark the big kick-off in Moscow, Belgium’s Brouwerij Martens is offering its premium beer in 32 country-specific bottle designs in the French market. Various images of the participating nations have been printed straight onto the PET bottles using Direct Print Powered by KHSTM.

Back in 2015 the Belgian brewery was the very first beverage producer to launch directly printed bottles to market produced with a prototype of the direct print technology. Martens is convinced in the value of direct-to-shape digital printing and will also rely on the innovative technology from NMP Systems and KHS in the future, say the brewery owners.

The successor Pilot 1.0 version of NMP Systems’s digital technology, which includes many few features, is now being used on the Martens production line. Pilot 1.0 incorporates technological additions that permit an even better quality of print at high speeds and enable each individual bottle to be printed with different motifs within a very short space of time. The customer is able to decide whether the individual designs are printed onto the bottles consecutively or at random. An additionally developed printed image inspection system ensures the standard of quality at industrial performance level.

Regardless of whether one or one thousand different bottle designs are printed, individual motifs that are adapted for marketing campaigns or even at the customer’s specific request and produced in the shortest time are possible on the Direct Print machine, giving the beverage producer a clear competitive edge. The short time-to-market phase is especially suitable for marketing offensives such as the current World Cup push.

The bottles produced using the digital printing process are also 100% recyclable. This was again confirmed last year when the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) renewed the certificate granted to the process. PET bottles processed by Direct Print Powered by KHS have no negative impact on the rPET and are thus officially approved for bottle-to-bottle recycling.

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