Tetra Pak has completed installation of its new full-color, full-width digital printer at its Denton, Texas packaging material converting factory. Commissioning is ongoing, and the company expects to begin commercial production in 2022. This marks an important milestone as Tetra Pak continues its quest to drive innovation in the food and beverage industry with digitally printed smart packaging.
A first in the food and beverage carton industry, the digital printing technology reduces time from design to print and brings flexibility in order placement and product customization. Benefits like the ability to print dynamic on-package QR codes and the capability to include a variety of designs within the same order bring new possibilities to food and beverage brands. Digital printing also allows for smaller, more customized batch sizes and facilitates connected packaging applications via unique codes and designs.
“We’ve always been committed to helping our customers grow through innovation,” says Jeff Fielkow, president and CEO of Tetra Pak U.S. and Canada. “This digital printing technology opens new avenues for brands to connect more deeply with consumers, while also delivering more customization and flexibility.”
As demand for aseptic carton packages continues to grow, this new digital printing technology is just one of a series of recent investments in both the Denton, Texas and Queretaro, Mexico packaging material converting factories, both of which serve customers across North America.
“We’ve been investing heavily in our Denton and Queretaro plants over the past several years to meet the growing demand for aseptic cartons and smart packaging across North America,” says Bruce Mackimmie, vice president of supply chain, Americas. “Our customers are looking for innovation, flexibility, and scalability, and we’re well positioned to deliver on that.”
In addition to the digital printer, the Denton plant recently installed a new state-of-the-art laminator and completed several downstream equipment upgrades. These investments allow for increases in capacity and technology that deliver more advanced packages. This year, the factory will add Tetra Brik® Aseptic 250 Edge and Tetra Brik® Aseptic 250 Base Leaf capabilities, moving production of these advanced formats closer to North American customers.
The Queretaro plant has also added new capacity and technology in recent years, most notably the ability to print dynamic QR codes that are unique to every package. The codes can be scanned by ordinary smartphones and enable a wide range of connected features, including product traceability, promotional tools, and consumer engagement.